Product Roadmaps provide organization-wide communication that aligns Stakeholders with organizational goals and keeps everyone pulling in one direction while incorporating the agility to adjust plans as needed. Rather than literal roadmaps, Product Roadmaps are statements of intent that are living documents rooted in the core Agile feature of adjusting to changing conditions or to new knowledge.
How Product Roadmaps Benefit Your Agile Transformation
Activities in large, established organizations are driven by a common strategy. Coordination and planning are required between product teams, supply lines and bureaucratic functions that may not have embraced Agility. When scaling Agile, a Product Roadmap helps to:
- Ensure teams and their day-to-day work are aligned with your organizational strategy.
- Transparently communicate team progress throughout your organization.
- Secure and sustain Stakeholder buy-in with regular status updates.
- Motivate teams through clear direction and understanding of where their efforts fit into the big picture.
Keep Your Product Roadmaps Up to Date
Product Roadmaps are statements of intent based on incremental planning designed to be living documents that change as conditions change and you learn from customer feedback loops. They lay out your intentions and how you expect to achieve them, but as you proceed and learn, your plans will shift to better meet customer needs and changing conditions.
It’s crucial keep your roadmaps updated. An out-of-date roadmap will confuse other teams and departments and be useless to other Stakeholders. Any changes, action items, decisions or new documents should be immediately reflected in the roadmap so there is clear understanding when things change, how they changed and where you are currently as an organization.
One of the twelve principles behind the Agile Manifesto is welcoming changing requirements, even late in development because Agile processes should harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. This works by creating a process where teams work incrementally to ensure products optimally meet customer needs. If they don’t, you learn why, adjust and adapt the product to continuously improve. Product Roadmapping allows you to maintain coordination, communication and alignment throughout your organization, while attaining the competitive advantage that comes with Agility.
For more insight into how well-developed Product Roadmaps help optimize your Agile Transformation, watch Part 2 of the Measuring Success in Your Agile Transformation webinar series, Optimizing Your Agile Transformation.