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What? Don’t Include Features in Your Product Roadmap?

ProductPlan makes a strong case for excluding features from your product roadmap. Instead, develop your roadmap using strategic themes. Features are better positioned in your backlog as the way to achieve your roadmap themes and goals.

Victoria Fitoussi, content marketing manager at ProductPlan, explains why features fail in the article “10 Ways a Feature-Less Roadmap Helps Your Product Strategy.” The first thing to realize is that you can’t make a good prioritization based on features because they don’t directly address the who, why, and when value for your customers/consumers. Features should be traced to your goals and themes for execution when the theme is prioritized and moved into “ready” in your roadmap. Features are very important, just not the right container for solid decision making.

Keeping your roadmap focused on goals, strategy, and themes aligns to the “Vision” area of our Build a Better Product Owner capability model capability model. Within your vision, your market analysis and business alignment help sequence the desired outcomes in your product roadmap. The KPIs and financial management from “Value Realization” validate that the intended value from your roadmap was achieved, which then enhances your market research to improve the next roadmap update. This is a value estimate and validation cycle that should make roadmap planning and approval more effective.

Learn more about the “10 Ways a Feature-Less Roadmap Helps Your Product Strategy.”

Our Take

  • Roadmaps need to be aligned to the value to your customers/users, enterprise goals, and operational strategy.
  • Trace roadmap items to features, epics, or stories in your backlog.
  • Using product management tools like ProductPlan can dramatically simplify roadmap and backlog management as well as traceability between them.

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