MBA893 Do You Need a Product Road Map?

The product is never perfect. Smart entrepreneurs realize that in order for a business to grow, the product has to grow with it. But what if you could direct (or at least guide) the evolution of your product? What if you could time that evolution, and set goals for certain improvements? What if you could see the development of your product in the future, as you move your business forward into it?

Enter the Product Roadmap.

Increasingly popular as an organizational, motivational, and even marketing tool, the Product Roadmap can be applied to any kind of product (even a service). It is what it sounds like: a visual representation of the planned development of a product. You literally map out your own goals for your product, from the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) to the top-of-the-line game-changer you ultimately strive to create.

By aligning what your product could be with feasible timelines, you can turn possibilities into an actionable plan. These Product Roadmaps can be internal, strictly used to keep you and your team focused on your long-term product development goals. Or, they can be publicized, doubling as a marketing tool that lets your audience in on the process— even soliciting their opinions on what your product should do.

But for all its usefulness, is a Product Roadmap right for your business?

That’s what today’s podcast can help you determine. Today we discuss what a Product Roadmap is, how to develop one, and when it’s most applicable and helpful. With this lesson, you’ll learn exactly when Product Roadmaps are most effective.

We speak from experience. From our clothing line to The $100 MBA to our webinar software service, WebinarNinja, we’ve built plenty of products: some with roadmaps, and some without. We know their value, and their limitations. Our experience using Product Roadmaps can give you exactly the insight you need to determine whether it’s a good fit for you. In the right situation, the return on investment can be substantial.

A Product Roadmap can be an efficient repository for all your product ideas, even the most ambitious ones. It can allow you to branch out creatively, fearlessly saying “yes” to everything, and creating an action plan to make things happen. It can help you understand your own product better, and effectively prioritize all the development possibilities.

By establishing goals, deadlines, and expectations, a well-crafted Product Roadmap can keep your team’s work aligned with your overall mission. It can keep that work in context, from here to wherever you want to be.

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