Great product roadmaps require the right trade-offs, well-thought-out prioritization, strong execution rigour and above all, success metrics. If used properly, it can be a very powerful tool, showing the direction the product is likely to grow in. So, how can you build a roadmap, and how do you know if it’s effective?
Director of Product at eBay
Sudha Mahajan is the Director of Product at eBay. She joined eBay seven months ago and has 16 years of industry experience with ten years in Ads and E-Commerce companies. Before joining eBay, she was the Head of Product for customer experiences at Flipkart and Director of Product for display ads at Yahoo!.
She holds a Master’s in Computer Science and an MBA in Marketing. She is passionate about solving customer problems and enjoys working on solutions that best meet their needs. She firmly believes in building products and teams for success.
Building a Great Roadmap
At our recent event, Sudha shared her insights on how a strong roadmap is a channel to success. She explained that while there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ model, there are specific techniques that can help you get results.
She discussed how you can learn to prioritize effectively according to your needs and build your teams with versatile talent. She also made a point about how important it is for Product Managers to say “no” and what to say it to.
In a nutshell:
- Templates and guidelines for roadmaps are available online for everyone, but how do you know your roadmap is good?
- Only one person in a team should have accountability.
- Do customer evaluation – talk to your customers, know who they are and listen to their problems.
- Market evaluation – collect data and do research. Analyze the data you collected and find gaps in the market.
- Explain to your customers, engineers, designers, and stakeholders what the benefits are, but speak their language.
- “The key is to measure. If it can’t be measured, don’t build it.”
- “Don’t build a perfect product and launch it. Build something, launch it and then iterate.”
- Basic product building principles.
- Build fast – Agile (move fast).
- Fail fast. RCA (learn from the mistakes, move forward).
- Define success. Measure and then measure some more!
- Iterate. Fix and move on.
- Basic product management principles:
- Challenge the status quo – ask questions.
- Be comfortable with being different – no one needs another similar product.
- Think before you act – build your scorecard.
- Learning to say “no” is crucial.
- What makes a good team?
- Build it strong.
- Build team culture.
Have any comments? Tweet us @ProductSchool
The Product Book has arrived! Learn how to become a great Product Manager. On sale for a limited time. Get your copy here http://bit.ly/TheProductBook.
We teach Product Management in 14 cities worldwide, including Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles and London. To learn more about our upcoming courses and how to apply, visit our course page.