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  • Writer's pictureBill Holmes

Project Management Basics – Chapter 16 – Agile – Product Roadmap


A key information radiator!

“Always plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark.” Richard Cushing


“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” H. Stanley Judd


The product roadmap is a recurring source of confusion for students aspiring to the Project Management Institute Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification. I believe it is because we describe the roadmap as a document that describes the vision and strategy, helps align stakeholders, provides guidance as we execute against the strategy, and is an effective information radiator.


Then we say it is neither a schedule nor a promise of functionality.


While those seem to be conflicting ideas, they are not.


It begins with the Benefits Management Plan. A more detailed description of that plan can be found here: https://www.projectmanagementforum.net/post/project-management-basics-chapter-4-product-metrics


The Benefits Management Plan describes how and when business benefits are to be realized and assisted us in deciding that an agile approach was needed. The Benefits Management Plan also serves as the basis of the product roadmap. We develop the product roadmap by logically grouping together features that will be delivered as functioning software, meaning it can be deployed into a production environment. Most organizations refer to that as a minimally viable product.


Once we have completed the logical grouping, we estimate how long it will take to develop each group of features. With that done, we have completed our product roadmap!


With the roadmap completed, the next step is to determine our first product backlog. The development team works with the product owner to identify and refine the user stories (agile requirements) that will comprise the product backlog. The level of effort to deliver the first release is now understood, so the product owner and development team can determine the number of sprints required to deliver the product backlog. Adjustments are made to the product roadmap based on this new understanding of the nature of the work and the level of effort.


The reason the product roadmap is not a firm commitment to deliver certain functionality by a certain date is because of the iterative nature of agile development. We may decide that certain features can be pulled forward into the current development cycle, or we may decide it makes sense to defer certain functionality into later releases. Once the teams productivity (velocity in agile terms) is known, we can further refine the timing of the releases.


The product roadmap is an important agile artifact, but it is not a promise!


Next I’ll discuss the Minimally Viable Product and the Minimum Business Increment.


Coda


I am thinking of doing a series on financial literacy. With my daughters either leaving for college or moving out to begin their separate lives, I am having a lot of financial discussion with them. Interestingly, they have begun to direct their friends to me with financial questions. I was watching one of the “Wives of” reality TV shows with my wife, and even at that income level their knowledge of finances was shockingly low. Let me know your thoughts.



4 commentaires


PM Aspire
PM Aspire
20 août 2023

Hey there! 👋 I just finished reading your post on project management basics and Chapter 16 on Agile product roadmaps – and let me tell you, it was an enlightening read. Your ability to break down complex concepts into understandable and relatable explanations is truly commendable.

Your explanation of Agile methodologies and how they intertwine with product roadmaps was spot-on. The way you highlighted the iterative nature of Agile and how it aligns with the dynamic nature of product development really helped me grasp the big picture. I also appreciated your emphasis on customer collaboration and feedback, which seems to be the backbone of successful Agile projects.

Your inclusion of real-world examples and practical tips was invaluable. The "Dos and…


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PM Aspire
PM Aspire
06 juin 2023

In Chapter 16 of "Project Management Basics," we delve into the Agile methodology and specifically focus on the concept of the product roadmap. Agile is an iterative and adaptive approach to project management that emphasizes collaboration, flexibility, and continuous improvement. The product roadmap is a valuable tool within Agile that helps teams visualize and plan the development and delivery of a product.

The product roadmap serves as a high-level strategic plan that outlines the vision, goals, and major features of the product over time. Here are key points to consider when creating and utilizing a product roadmap in Agile:

  1. Vision and Goals: The product roadmap starts with a clear vision and well-defined goals for the product. These objectives guide the…

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PMO Global Institute
PMO Global Institute
02 juin 2023

Hello, forum members!

In this discussion, I'd like to focus on Chapter 16 of our project management journey, which covers Agile methodologies and specifically explores the concept of the Product Roadmap. Agile approaches have gained significant popularity in project management due to their adaptability, collaboration, and iterative nature. Let's dive into the basics of Agile and understand the significance of the Product Roadmap:

  1. Agile Methodologies: Agile methodologies emphasize flexibility, continuous improvement, and customer collaboration. These methodologies promote iterative development, frequent feedback, and the ability to adapt to changing requirements. Agile frameworks, such as Scrum or Kanban, provide a structured approach for managing projects in an Agile manner.

  2. The Product Roadmap: A Product Roadmap is a strategic document that outlines the…


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PMaspire Ltd
PMaspire Ltd
29 mai 2023

Hey there, Author!


First off, I want to say how much I enjoyed reading your article on Agile product roadmaps. It's evident that you have a solid understanding of the topic and a knack for breaking it down in a concise and engaging manner. Your writing style is refreshing and easy to follow, making it a breeze for someone like me, who is relatively new to project management, to grasp the fundamental concepts.


The way you explained the key components of an Agile product roadmap was spot on. I particularly appreciated your emphasis on the iterative nature of Agile and how the roadmap should be flexible to accommodate changes and adaptations along the way. It's so true that in today's…


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