Product Roadmapping

Monday, March 19, 2018
3:30 PM - 5:30 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 what/why/how/when/who questions about product roadmapping in the context of the caselet. We will be doing a hands-on exercise in class to simulate the roadmapping process.

Required Reading

  1. Caselet: SassCo’s First Roadmap, by Julia Austin for PM102

  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.

  6. Agile Estimating and Planning, by Mike Cohn. Presentation that covers the basics of agile planning and estimation.
     

Julia Austin, Senior Lecturer

Harvard Business School

Rock Center 115