This exercise can help you gain alignment across the team and stakeholders. It creates a shared understanding of a goal and the steps you need to achieve it along a timeline.
The product owner or project manager should create this artifact in consultation with stakeholders
After prototyping is complete and you begin to create an implementation plan; the roadmap should continue to evolve once created
How to use this method
A roadmap helps you and your stakeholders plan and align on how solutions will roll out internally and externally. A roadmap can help you identify the minimum set of features needed for a first version of your solution, and the improvements that could be made after to achieve greater impact.
Roadmaps can follow many different formats. This outcome-oriented roadmap encourages alignment between your team and stakeholders so you can focus on what matters most:
1. Set the stage
Familiarize the team with the roadmap template and timeframe. The roadmap is organized in slices by quarters and months. This will help focus the team on the highest priority tasks and communicate what you’re pursuing to stakeholders.
2. Define your outcomes
Once your team understands the template, it’s time to define what outcomes you’d like to achieve for your business and users. Outcomes are measurable changes in behavior that drives business results. They serve the project POV and vision.
Ask each person on the team to generate product outcomes. There are no wrong answers at this stage; you’re looking for creative ways to help the product succeed. Constrain outcomes to what’s achievable in the next 3–12 months and what aligns with the project POV.
3. Measure outcomes with metrics
To understand if you’re getting closer to reaching the outcomes you’ve set, establish metrics at the outset. This is a key part of the outcome-oriented roadmap, because it forces you to objectively measure your progress.
4. Define features
Features are the path to your desired outcomes. An outcome can sometimes feel like an enormous goal to a product team, which can feel intimidating. Every great service design outcome begins with a simple step.
5. Consider risks and dependencies
Define your potential risks and dependencies in the roadmap so you can address them sooner rather than later. Dependencies are anything that your schedule relies on, and risks are events or conditions that can impact your product roadmap.
You don’t have to be perfect in this section, but by brainstorming with the whole team and calling out potential risks to your team’s success, you can be proactive and prevent issues from derailing the team.
6. Share and iterate
Share the roadmap with relevant stakeholders so they understand where you’re focusing your efforts. Iterate and refine as the project progresses.