What is a Product Roadmap?

A product roadmap serves as a comprehensive and visually engaging overview of your product's essential elements: its trajectory, priorities, and advancement over a specific timeframe. Think of it as an actionable plan that outlines both short and long-term objectives for your product, along with the strategies for achieving those goals. In essence, it acts as a blueprint for executing your product strategy.

The roadmap not only highlights what your team is building but also explains the reasons behind each initiative. Every item on your roadmap should be explicitly connected to your product strategy, enabling you to maintain focus on project goals and facilitate progress within your team. The product roadmap also exhibits responsiveness to change by allowing updates that reflect customer feedback gathered during the product development phase.

As a central point of reference, the product roadmap ensures alignment among all key stakeholders regarding the product's evolution over time. Agile teams frequently rely on product roadmaps to provide guidance and context for their day-to-day work. In 2023, the Agile way of working was truly adopted and many companies trained their teams in this direction. Therefore, product roadmaps will also be popular this year. 

The key goals of a product roadmap

  • Communication and Alignment: The roadmap serves as a tool to effectively communicate the product strategy, direction, and priorities to all stakeholders, including team members, executives, and customers. It ensures that everyone involved is on the same page and understands the product's vision and goals.
  • Strategy Execution: The roadmap outlines the steps and initiatives required to execute the product strategy. It helps to prioritize features, define milestones, and allocate resources effectively, ensuring that the team stays focused on delivering value and achieving the desired outcomes.
  • Planning and Prioritization: A product roadmap allows for strategic planning and prioritization of initiatives and features. It helps to identify and prioritize customer needs, market opportunities, and business objectives, enabling the team to make informed decisions about what to build and when.
  • Progress Tracking: The roadmap provides a visual representation of the product's progress over time. It allows stakeholders to track the status of ongoing projects, milestones, and key deliverables, providing transparency and accountability within the team.
  • Customer-Centricity: A well-defined product roadmap ensures that customer needs and feedback are incorporated into the product development process. By regularly updating the roadmap based on customer insights and market trends, the team can deliver a product that aligns with user expectations and maximizes customer satisfaction.
  • Being a Guiding Document to Execute The Strategy: A well-designed roadmap provides a clear and actionable plan for translating the product strategy into tangible outcomes. It serves as a roadmap for the team to follow in order to achieve the desired goals and objectives. By outlining the necessary initiatives, features, and milestones, the product roadmap guides the team in making informed decisions and prioritizing their work. It helps in resource allocation, setting timelines, and defining the necessary steps to bring the product strategy to life.
  • Adaptability and Flexibility: The roadmap should be flexible and responsive to changes in market conditions, customer preferences, or internal factors. It allows for adjustments and iterations, enabling the team to adapt the product strategy and roadmap as needed to address new opportunities or challenges.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: The roadmap serves as a tool to engage and manage expectations of stakeholders, including executives, investors, customers, and partners. It provides a clear roadmap vision, timeline, and progress updates, fostering trust and collaboration among stakeholders.


Who is in charge of the Product Roadmap?

The ownership and responsibility for the product roadmap can vary from one organization to another. In most cases, the product manager or product management team takes charge of managing and owning the roadmap. They play a vital role in overseeing the strategic direction and development of the product.

The product manager collaborates with different stakeholders, including executives, marketing teams, development teams, and customer support, to gather insights, align goals, and prioritize features. Together with cross-functional teams, they define the roadmap's priorities, timeline, and milestones based on market trends, customer needs, and business objectives.

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Although the product manager usually takes the lead in owning the roadmap, it's important to recognize that developing and maintaining a product roadmap is a collaborative effort. It requires input and involvement from multiple stakeholders to ensure that all perspectives and priorities are taken into account.

Larger companies may have specialized teams for product strategy or planning that collaborate closely with product managers to develop and maintain the roadmap. To ensure that the roadmap is in line with the broader business plan, executives and other important decision-makers may also offer advice and oversight.

Those who have the expertise and power to make strategic decisions about the product's direction and features are ultimately responsible for the product roadmap. This duty typically falls within the purview of product management, with cooperation and input from numerous stakeholders from around the business.

Different Types of Product Roadmap

The product roadmap can be approached in a variety of ways, depending on who will be using it. This is vital to keep in mind. Examples of roadmaps that might be shown to various stakeholders, along with what should be on them, are provided below:

Internal Roadmap for the Development Team:

This type of roadmap provides detailed information for the development team, focusing on prioritized customer value or benefits, planned release dates, and key milestones. It centers around features, releases, and sprints, particularly in Agile teams. It helps the team align their work and track progress at the feature or epic level.

Internal Roadmap for Executives:

This roadmap showcases how the development team's work contributes to high-level, cross-company objectives such as growth, market penetration, customer satisfaction, and market position. It emphasizes monthly or quarterly divisions to highlight progress over specific timeframes and enables executives to understand the alignment between product development and strategic goals.

Internal Roadmap for Sales:

This roadmap targets sales teams and focuses on new features and customer value to make the product appealing to potential clients. It often groups features/items into themes for a more coherent view. While it highlights the benefits, it's important to avoid providing fixed deadlines, as circumstances can change, and overcommitment to unrealistic timelines should be avoided.

External Roadmap:

An external roadmap is aimed at customers and aims to generate excitement about upcoming releases. It should be visually engaging and easy to comprehend, offering a high-level overview of new features while addressing any identified issues or concerns. This type of roadmap demonstrates how customer feedback is being addressed and assures them of the product's continuous improvement.

Marketing Roadmap:

This roadmap focuses on marketing initiatives and campaigns related to the product. It outlines the marketing strategy, key messages, target audience, and planned activities to promote the product effectively.

Technology Roadmap:

A technology roadmap aligns the product roadmap with the organization's technological capabilities and future advancements. It highlights the integration of new technologies, infrastructure updates, or architectural improvements necessary for the product's success.


Creating good product roadmaps is of utmost importance for several reasons.

  • A well-crafted roadmap serves as a strategic blueprint that aligns stakeholders and teams towards a shared vision. It provides clarity on the product's direction, priorities, and goals, ensuring everyone is on the same page. 
  • A roadmap enables effective planning and resource allocation, allowing teams to prioritize features, set realistic timelines, and allocate resources efficiently. It helps in avoiding scope creep and ensures that the team focuses on delivering the most valuable outcomes. 
  • A good roadmap promotes transparency and communication both within the organization and with external stakeholders. It fosters trust by showcasing a clear product strategy and progress updates, enhancing collaboration and engagement. 
  • A roadmap aids in adapting to changes in the market and customer needs. It enables flexibility and allows for adjustments to the product strategy based on feedback and evolving requirements. Ultimately, a well-structured and communicated roadmap helps maximize the chances of successful product delivery, customer satisfaction, and achieving business objectives.

How to Create an Effective Product Roadmap in 2023

Creating an effective product roadmap involves several key steps. Here are the key steps to guide you:

Define your product strategy: Begin by clearly defining your product strategy, including the vision, goals, target market, and competitive positioning. Align the roadmap with the overarching product strategy to ensure focus and coherence.

Gather inputs and insights: Gather inputs from various stakeholders, including customers, executives, sales, marketing, and development teams. Conduct market research, analyze customer feedback, and consider business objectives to inform your roadmap decisions.

Set clear objectives: Set definite, quantifiable goals for your roadmap. Decide on the important figures or metrics that will signify your product's success. These goals will help you set priorities and monitor your progress.

Prioritize initiatives and features: Based on your product strategy, customer needs, and business priorities, prioritize initiatives and features for inclusion in the roadmap. Consider the potential value, effort, and dependencies of each item to make informed decisions.

Define timelines and milestones: Establish timelines and milestones for your roadmap to provide a clear timeline for product development. Consider dependencies, resource availability, and any external factors that may impact your timeline.

Visualize the roadmap: Make visual representation of the product roadmap in a way that is simple to comprehend and share. Timelines, swimlanes, or other visual components can be used to show the progression of initiatives, goals, and planned releases.

Communicate and align: Share the roadmap with key stakeholders, including executives, team members, and customers. Clearly communicate the rationale behind your decisions, the expected outcomes, and how the roadmap aligns with the product strategy. Seek feedback and ensure alignment among all stakeholders.

Iterate and adapt: A product roadmap is not set in stone. Continuously gather feedback, monitor market changes, and reassess priorities. Be open to adjusting and refining the roadmap as needed to reflect new insights and evolving circumstances.

Keep it actionable and transparent: Ensure that the roadmap is actionable by breaking down initiatives into smaller, manageable tasks or epics. Make the roadmap easily accessible to all relevant team members and stakeholders, promoting transparency and collaboration.

Regularly review and update: Regularly review the roadmap's progress against objectives and milestones. Update the roadmap as new information becomes available or as market conditions change. Maintain its relevance and keep it aligned with the evolving needs of the product and the market.

What Should Be Included in a Product Roadmap?

A product roadmap should include key elements to effectively communicate the product's direction, priorities, and timeline. Here are the essential components to consider when creating a product roadmap:

  • Goals and Vision
  • Timeline
  • Initiatives or Themes
  • Features and Enhancements
  • Prioritization and Dependencies
  • Key Metrics and Success Criteria
  • Resource Allocation
  • Risks and Assumptions
  • Communication Plan
  • Feedback and Iteration

How to Learn More About Product Roadmaps

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