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Product Development Roadmaps – The Fast Facts and Why You Need Them

NPD…Are you an established business-to-business (B2B) company that is interested in using innovation to your advantage to get ahead?

…Are you just getting started with your own in-house research and development (R&D) projects?

Not sure where to start?

…Here’s one very important thing we want to share with you: use more Product Development Roadmaps!

What is a product development roadmap?

A roadmap is an instrumental tool in new product development (NPD). It helps you stay organised while you research, test, and develop a new product. It’s also the best way to communicate your vision for the project clearly and concisely. You can use a roadmap to attract new collaborators or investors and even showcase to your customers the hard work you put into making the plan a success.

If you can demonstrate your product plan in a clear and transparent way, you might just be able to win over more investors and purchasers.

When you create a product development roadmap, you:

  • Define the needs of the business and how the new offering meets them;
  • Show, in a visual way, the list of features and requirements for a new product or service;
  • Prioritise the list of features so that customers and collaborators know what’s on your company’s horizon;
  • Put estimates on the amount of time required for each phase of the project; and,
  • Demonstrate to your teams and departments how much collaboration and cross-team development will need to happen.

To complete a product development roadmap, you need to engage more than just your R&D departments. A “full-suite” approach is needed here: numerous internal departments and managers and even external providers and collaborators. The roadmap will guide the work of many people, so getting insight from the various sources who will experience the project development cycles first-hand is very important.

The benefits of a product development roadmap

With a product development roadmap, you manage many expectations. For starters, your stakeholders and internal teams can clearly see the short, medium, and long-term objectives for your company improvements.

Second, if the roadmap were to be made public, you show customers what they can expect for the release and improvement schedules of their favourite products or services. For products such as software releases, the roadmap is a powerful communication tool to provide a well-documented schedule of when collaborators or clients can expect new releases and improvements.

Finally, the product development roadmap is the ultimate prioritisation tool. With it, your teams get to visualise all the components and requirements involved in launching a new product or service. Being able to see them all side-by-side (at the beginning of the project) creates lots of meaningful debate and dialogue between your managers, product owners, and staff members.

Ultimately, the end product is better off if the development process is flexible. This agility in development is based on the priorities that are illustrated with the help of the roadmap.

Product development roadmap – the easy way

If you want to start using roadmaps for your projects (and you should, after all), there are a few places you could start. You could assemble a list of questions and guidelines from various free resources out there. You could also download some templates and plop in some of your very own thoughts into the free-to-use spreadsheets.

However, what’s missing from these processes is a level of certainty that your product roadmap is done correctly.

That’s where an experienced innovation service provider, like Innovolo, can lend a hand.

With one of our innovation-as-a-service program options, you get a chance to accelerate your in-house R&D teams. With the help of a team of innovation experts, your product roadmapping can be guided from start to finish.

Innovolo will work with your managers, marketing teams, engineers, and other departments to gather the necessary information to put together a top-notch product development roadmap from scratch. The nice part is that you can worry about your company’s operations while Innovolo does the heavy lifting to put together a thoroughly beneficial roadmap for you to use. Your custom-fit roadmap will include the following components, and more:

  1. An overall vision for the new product development;
  2. An understanding of the upcoming functionalities;
  3. Descriptions of the technical components;
  4. Descriptions of the responsible team members at every phase;
  5. An accurate timeline, with meaningful and attainable release dates;
  6. Possible iterations and pivot points, if necessary; and,
  7. Milestones that connect with your business activities and contribute to your overall objectives.

With an Innovolo-guided roadmap exercise, you can get all this for a low monthly fee through our Innovation-as-a-Service exclusive offerings.

We see it time and time again – development teams get distracted by fancy features and poor product planning. Don’t let your business fall into this trap!

Contact us for a new way of doing roadmaps that will meet the needs of your business. Read about us at www.innovolo.co.uk.

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