Product Owners are are responsible for Product Backlog management, stakeholder management and forecasting. Therefore, a variety of tools and techniques are used to:
One of the key tools used by Product Owners is the product roadmap.
A product roadmap is a high-level, strategic plan, that describes the likely development of the product (or the service) over the next period of time.
The roadmap should support the products’ purpose and vision and it helps the Product Owner to keep their stakeholders aligned. The roadmap also makes it easier to coordinate the development of different products and it fosters transparency in order to manage both customer and stakeholder expectations.
Many Product Owners are focused mostly on developing features for digital products, and therefore many of roadmaps are also dominated by the functionality forecast for delivery over tne next 3-6 months. The default stance, therefore for many Product Owners is to list features for (a) the next 3-months, then (b) the following 6-months, then (c) the year beyond that.
This focus on features, though, has its pros and cons.
Facilitates a lot of focus on the goals you want to achieve as a Product Owner, much more than the actual work to be done (the features).
Easy to understand due to the tempral nature of "now" and "next".
Puts the focus on the conext of use of the product.
This model focuses on objectives over time that wil assist in achieving the Product Goal.
Since agile is also about “Simplicity – maximizing the work not done” (Agile Manifesto Principle #10), this format with only a small amount of space forces Product Owners to think deeply about the top three most valuable features for a release.
In addition, in a single glance, stakeholders see an overview of the products’ development over the next upcoming releases – an important factor for managing stakeholders!
Be aware that when some people see a date they will feel that this is a commitment or promise instead of a forecast. Be mindful to update the roadmap when ever forecasts change, a pivot is needed, or unforeseen events impact what should now be delivered over time.
This model’s focus is on features clustered by a rough time scale.
Storymaps were popularised by Jeff Patton who relates the storymap as a two-dimensional Product Backlog.
Adapted from: Schuurman, R. (2017) Tips for agile product roadmaps and product roadmap examples. Online at: https://www.scrum.org/resources/blog/tips-agile-product-roadmaps-product-roadmap-examples
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