April 19, 2022

Product Road-mapping Mistakes and How to Avoid Them?

For successful product development, an effective roadmap needs to be designed first. The roadmap makes it easy for project managers to define the trajectory of a product and communicate progress and goals to find out the final budget and deadline.

Even after being such an important part of software development, why do product teams commit mistakes while implementing the same roadmap? Road-mapping is not as easy as it may sound. Even after years of experience, the product team fails to create a successful roadmap.

As a product roadmap defines how a product will look in the end, it’s a source of inspiration, motivation and shared ownership. The roadmap is only successful when the whole team is able to follow it and turn it into reality.

Mistakes and their solutions in road-mapping

Product Road Mapping
We have found out the common mistakes done by businesses in road mapping along with their solution to deal with instantly.

01. Making estimations of Scope and Time

Businesses find it helpful to fix the date of project completion on roadmaps, but it’s not actually helpful. Putting such date and time parameters will pressurize you to complete the project on time by sacrificing the quality of the product.

Pushing the project completion date can affect the end results and even stress your employees to finish the project on time.
Firstly, stop fixing dates and scope. And to be on track, replace dates with themes; decide the theme as per Quarter and set your priorities.
If it mandates deciding product deadlines, then apply looser “time horizons”. Instead of mentioning a particular date, divide the timeline into horizons like the Near Future horizon – the work for future deliveries (few days or months) or Far Future (months) closest time of product deployment.

Using milestones as goals is one of the best ways to define product deadlines. Like at which time you will complete the certain task before the first review or UI design finalization.

Just, avoid giving any fixed date. If you don’t complete the project on time, it will raise the question of your credibility.

02. Focusing only on Solutions and Not Problems

While designing a roadmap, we mostly end up finding the solutions without understanding the user problem. Sometimes, while focusing on solutions, teams end up forgetting the actual problem. And when development starts, the whole process might go wrong as it’s not relevant to the original problem. Understand the problem first; instead of focusing on the solution only.
A problem roadmap should focus more on the problems rather than solutions. To focus on the problem, follow the below steps: Phase1. Research and find out the problem and build an MVP to use in-market tests. Phase 2. Validate the solutions, testing and iterating ideas. Focus on building a problem roadmap.
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03. Focusing on Future Soup

All the businesses know what their end products will look like and how they must be working. Product Managers need to hear the suggestions of all the relevant stakeholders and incorporate them into the roadmap. But, if you consider everyone’s solution, the roadmap will turn into a feature soup then being the assisting guide to the project. Including unrealistic features or detailed information on the road, the mapping will lead to disaster and in the end, stakeholders have to drop some features.
Avoid stuffing the roadmap with features. If you find it challenging to say no to stakeholders, host a workshop, where you gather everyone’s suggestions and filter out the best features as per the user’s requirement.

04. Poor communication with the team

Lack of communication among the team members results in the worst possible problems. If a team is working on any app development, then it’s essential for both the Product Manager and Product developer to communicate with each other. Both PM and PD speak a different language and while creating a roadmap, they need to sit together to make the process realistic instead of a pool of expectations.
Being a Project Manager, it’s your responsibility to involve the team members in designing the roadmap. Every team member working on a product has their own vision and futuristic approach. Introduce Agile development practices for frequent communication among team members.

05. No Response to Feedback

If you are providing too many details in the roadmap, these changes can become inevitable in the final product. These changes can affect the quality of the final product and stakeholders might pressurise you to deliver all the mentioned features of the roadmap in the final product.
Whatever may be the reasons, the failure to respond to the feedback of your client or stakeholders can result in diverting the primary objective of that product and it will no longer serve the solution to the user’s problem.
Don’t include too much detail in the roadmap and leave the margin of changes for the future, if required. Make sure, it’s not difficult for you to make the changes later as per the user’s demand and stakeholder expectations.
Software Development


Hence, it is not a big deal if you can’t create a successful roadmap, but it is necessary to learn from your mistakes and avoid common blunders. Some small mistakes happen while designing a roadmap that can negatively affect the software development process. Hope you will avoid the above mistakes and follow the given solution to create a roadmap that will help you to turn the mere idea into reality.


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