Product Roadmapping

Monday, March 11, 2019
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Hawes 203

​Whether you are a startup founder or a product manager at any stage tech company, product roadmapping is a valuable skill. The roadmap allows all key stakeholders - from co-founders, investors and the board to the entire company, partners and (sometimes) customers to be aligned on product vision and objectives. The process to develop the roadmap itself often illuminates the effort involved to move current and future products forward and necessary tradeoffs.

Assignment

There is no assignment for this session beyond the required reading and formulating your strategy based on the role you’ve been assigned and in the context of the caselet. We will be doing a hands-on exercise in class to simulate the roadmapping process.

Two teams will be selected to do crits at the end of class. These will be "choose your own adventure" crits - topic of the teams' choice!

 

​Required Reading

  1. Caselet: SassCo’s First Roadmap, by Julia Austin for PM102 
    [To be sent via e-mail to students based on their assigned role]

  2. Guide to Product Planning: Three Feature Buckets, by Adam Nash

  3. Product Prioritisation 101, by Martin Eriksson.

 

Recommended Reading

  1. 20 Product Prioritization Techniques, by Daniel Zacarias. Skim this long post (also available as a free PDF ebook) which describes and categorizes a set of techniques for prioritizing product features.

  2. Estimating, by Mitch Lacey. Comprehensive description of different methods for software project cost estimation.

  3. Before You Plan Your Product Roadmap, by Des Traynor. How/why to conduct a feature audit that shows the fraction of users who use each feature and their frequency of use.

  4. Pandora’s Product Prioritization System, interview with Pandora CTO Tom Conrad describes an approach in which proposed features are assigned a price and planners get a budget to spend on them.

  5. The Alternative to Roadmaps, by Marty Cagan. Makes the case for OKRs instead of roadmapping.

Julia Austin, Senior Lecturer

Harvard Business School

Rock Center 115