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Agile DevelopmentProduct ManagementRoadmaps

Roadmap Planning – Bottom Up View

By Rivi Aspler

A product roadmap can be easily compared to an ambitious architectural plan. Very much like a new type of building, the product roadmap should draw a vision that is as useful as innovative. And very much like an architectural plan, achieving the plan is much more challenging than setting the goal.

Challenges are countless… many people are involved, working towards this (hopefully on target and well-defined) goal. Budget is always an issue. Timeline is always an issue and if I had to make a bet, I would put my money on having something go wrong, sometime, somewhere and with someone….

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For this post, my assumption is that you already have a structured roadmap plan and you now have to get your hands dirty and start maintaining this intended product strategy.

Bottom up monitoring of the Sprint-Over-Sprint actual investment in each product (that is if you are working with Agile) is one of the must-do actions in order to achieve your ambitious multi-product roadmap plan.

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The table below is an example showing the actual investment in each product, compared to the planned investment.

The yellow cells highlight problematic sprints, in which the actual investment is significantly lower than the planned investment, possibly jeopardizing the intended product strategy.

Reasons could be various and are often prosaic. People get sick, take a vacation, quit (or get fired). Alternatively, you may have started the year with a plan to recruit 4 people and you are unable to find them. Another scenario could be that you have found these newcomers but they are not productive yet (2-3 sprints to train a new employee). Many reasons could explain a lower productivity level and that roadmap plan that has to be realized.

No matter the reason, don’t be surprised when R&D supplies less content if it has less coders than required or a lower quality product if it has less QA people sprint-over-sprint.

Want your actual product strategy to be as close as possible to your intended product strategy?! Move people around. This is what Agile is all about. Flexibility. Make sure that your more important products get more R&D power sprint-over-sprint.

Should you wish to use the excel that is explained in both roadmap planning posts, attached please find it (Roadmap_Plan).

Rivi

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