We’ve spoken at length about product roadmaps here at ScrumGenius, but we’ve never gone in depth about the different types of roadmap templates available. Each of them focus on different aspects of your product, and that means some may be better suited for your unique company than others.
Keep reading out more about product roadmaps and see examples of the key types of roadmaps available to you.
What is A Product Roadmap?
Roadmaps are a visual document used to organize all future updates and features, generally by status (e.g. completed, in progress, up next). While you can keep an internal roadmap to help keep your team on track, many companies create public roadmaps to help their users stay informed of upcoming changes to their product.
Roadmaps generally have several common key features. Here are some of the most important ones to include.
This is what you want your product to become in the future and what you are actively working towards. This is one of the most important parts of any product and its roadmap.
Your product strategy is the steps and tasks you will need to undertake in order to meet your product vision. This is necessary in order to achieve that vision.
Your roadmap will need to have rough dates or time frames where parts of work will be completed by in order to stay aligned with your product strategy and achieve your goals.
Features are smaller chunks or parts of your product that will help you achieve your product vision. This can be anything from a sign-in method to an integration and much more.
Lastly, you’ll need to have specific goals to keep in mind as you work towards achieving your product vision. These can be metrics of completion or user base or anything else.
Types of Product Roadmaps (and Examples)
There are many different types of roadmaps available, and you need to choose the format that best fits your product and company.
Most roadmaps will fall into one of three categories: customer-focused, company-focused and delivery-focused. Deciding your key audience for your roadmap, whether that be your public users, your own internal company, or your shareholders, will often help determine which category fits best for you.
We’ll go over each type of product roadmap and give you an example of how best to use it.
These roadmaps will be tailored specifically towards your customers and their needs and concerns. Let’s discuss different types and examples of these roadmaps.
Now-next-later roadmaps prioritize and sort tasks and features by status: currently in progress, up next, and later. This allows customers to easily see what updates they can expect in the near future and what will be coming down the pipeline later on.
Often, the detail you give for each feature will depend on its status bucket. Items in the “now” bucket will have more detail as they are the ones currently being worked on. In contrast, items in the “later” bucket will likely be more high-level with fewer details.
Now-next-later roadmaps are great for teams that operate at a fast-pace and may need to update their roadmap frequently. They’re also great for easily disseminating information to large audiences.
Example: UserVitals’ customizable roadmaps are based on a Now-Next-Later template. This means roadmap items, chosen from individual pieces of feedback grouped together into Stories, are sorted by status: completed, in progress and up next.
Learn more about UserVitals’ all-in-one feedback management, changelog and roadmap platform today.
Feature-based roadmaps center around a specific feature and its sub-tasks and timelines. While this means even greater focus and detail, giving your users even greater insight into your product, these roadmaps have their drawbacks. Their scope is still very small and they fail to consider high-level details. Furthermore, the features you choose for your roadmap may have to change or be discarded completely as more feedback comes in for your product.
Example: RoadMunk’s feature-based roadmap template focuses on organizing tasks by overarching feature alongside a rough timeline. This gives you a general view of what needs to be done to achieve those goals without adding too much detail.
Company-focused roadmaps are--you guessed it--meant for internal use within your own company. These can be great for keeping everyone, including higher ups and superiors, up to date with your product and working together to achieve the same goal. Let’s go over some types of company-focused roadmaps and their examples.
Goal-oriented roadmaps focus on the overarching goals you want to achieve with your product. This can be anything from increasing engagement to simplifying a feature.
These roadmaps organize and group all your information around those goals, meaning they stay high-level while still providing detail on your goals.
Example: Roman Pichler’s GO Product Roadmap organizes goals by timeline, important features and successful metrics. This allows you to detail how your goals will be met, when they’ll be met, and what steps you need to take in order to achieve them.
Release Timeline Roadmaps
Release timeline roadmaps allow you to plan out your future releases with clear time-frames. You can sort between the next release, monthly update, etc.
These timelines can be great for showing higher-ups and shareholders what your longer-term plans are for your product, as they showcase higher-level information while still providing a feasible way to achieve your goals.
Example: ProductBoard’s Release Timeline roadmap template helps you sort your roadmap by consecutive releases, meaning you can easily convey when work needs to be done to your company and higher-ups. It’s a great lower-maintenance option for keeping people in the loop.
Strategy roadmaps are higher-level overviews of your product information and how your company plans to achieve their goals. It’s great for presenting your product vision and strategy to higher-ups and executives and boosting internal cohesion within your different product teams. This allows everyone to stay up-to-date on your product without getting into all the nitty-gritty details.
Example: Jibility’s strategy roadmap template helps you describe what needs to be done in order to reach your goals and why.
Delivery-focused roadmaps are often best for keeping shareholders up-to-date on your product’s strategy and vision, but they can also be great for specific types of teams. Let’s go over some of the best delivery-focused roadmap types and their examples.
Kanban roadmaps can be a great delivery-focused roadmap type for development teams. Within these roadmaps, tasks or initiatives are often sorted into categories such as backlog, up next, in progress and completed work.
Kanban allows product teams to communicate and collaborate on future plans without fixed dates. This means showcasing your workflow and features you’re planning to focus on without putting strict deadlines on your team, making it another great option for presenting your product to shareholders.
Example: Kanbanize’s Kanban roadmap template helps you create a roadmap from your Kanban board based on timeline. Items are sorted by date and then further by priority.
Sprint roadmaps are another great delivery-focused option. With this method, you’ll group work (features, tasks, goals, etc.) by sprint.
Many product teams use agile sprint plans to organize and manage their work so everyone stays on track, so using a sprint roadmap may be a natural option. It’s also most frequently used for internal roadmaps or development teams.
Example: ProductPlan’s Sprint/Agile Roadmap template helps users stay flexible to their sprint’s changing needs as well as any changes to the backlog. Like the Kanban board, it’s organized by timeline (though based on a shorter time period) and then further organized by things like teams or goals.
Features Timeline Roadmaps
A Features Timeline roadmap focuses on your output by setting time frames for individual features instead of things like goals or status. This is another great option for internal development teams.
Example: Azure Devops uses a features timeline release notes format. This helps viewers easily find updates for specific features and access information easier.