How often do you need to update the MVP roadmap?

A Product Roadmap is a valuable artifact that outlines a company’s direction, product vision, priorities, and product development progress. A roadmap is a blueprint for how a team will achieve short and long-term product development goals. In this article, we will consider why creating an MVP product roadmap is important for a project and how often it’s reasonable to update the roadmap. 

Why does a product need a separate roadmap and what is its purpose?

The product is the absolute result of the work of the entire team. In an ideal world, this is the final destination of all the efforts and resources of the company. The product is the moment of truth because only the product has a perceived value in the eyes of the buyer that he will pay for.

Best of all, when this value far exceeds the resources spent. In this case, the business will continue to grow, and the team will understand that all the efforts made earlier were correct.

How can you use a product roadmap?

To apply the roadmap for practical purposes, it is especially important to pay attention to two stages:

  • research/development of the map and finding a good way (the process of creating the road map itself);
  • direct use of the road map as a guideline when moving towards the goal.

The effect of both stages will bring many benefits to the team and the company, regardless of the field of activity.

Developing a roadmap and determining the right path to a goal is a special art. You need to understand what will be displayed on the roadmap and what will not, and determine the level of detail (scale of the roadmap, planning period, etc.)

Typically, at different stages, your roadmap:

  • allows you to describe how the team is going to achieve its goal;
  • explains what a goal is;
  • can be a conditional document that allows taking into account the interests of all stakeholders;
  • can be used as an answer to the client’s question: “When will you do this?”.

How to define the goal of a good product roadmap?

Goals need to be set precisely, which is quite difficult. There are many stories when poorly formulated goals could lead to the death of a business. 

Why is it difficult to set goals? The problem of precise causality, prioritization, and choice makes this process difficult. Compromise language harms good goals. They are confusing and the team interprets them differently. All this leads to the fact that the goals are not met.

As an example, consider the most typical goal for a young team: “launch a new product.”

It is unlikely that the ultimate goal of the team is the product itself. They want it to be needed and used by people. To achieve this goal, you need to “launch the product”. Thus, the “product” has become a tool to achieve the goal, but what is the true goal?

The point is that launching a product is a very abstract goal. It is often impossible to understand how this is related to the commercial result. The business result is the result of well-defined factors such as good sales revenue and cost levels. And if we want to articulate the goal precisely, we need to specify the commercial outcome factors that will be affected by the launch of the product. 

What exactly will lead to commercial success?

Let’s look at the factors that have a direct impact on the commercial success of a product and can easily be reformulated into a precise goal:

  1. The ability of the product to solve user problems
  2. Growth in the number of users who are aware of the product’s capabilities
  3. High user activity when using the product (for example, activity in the application)

Based on this logic, we can argue that the goal is to increase user activity in the application. Such a goal sounds more specific and it looks like it can affect commercial success.

How to evaluate the quality of a roadmap?

To understand how often you need to make changes to the roadmap, you should figure out how to evaluate the quality of the roadmap.

1. Define goals and milestones along the way:

To start creating a product roadmap, formulate your vision for the product and describe the actual commercial situation (you can use SWOT and a KANO diagram for this).

A good product roadmap is usually developed over several quarters or months. It is almost pointless to develop a roadmap for a year, as the world is changing too quickly.

2. Define the problems to be solved

The difference between the desired state and the current state can be determined based on problems. Identify the issues and the solution of which will have the greatest impact on the product’s business goals.

3. Discussing and testing goals against stakeholder expectations

The product must solve the client’s problems, be interesting for investment, and have a clear and understandable development strategy. Roadmap approval should be a regular and ongoing event. It should start from the early days of roadmapping and strategic planning.

4. Formalize objectives: define indicators of success and values for all goals and activities

The language of numbers is the universal language of business. By following a good roadmap, the team will know exactly if everything is going according to plan and if the goals have been achieved. This requires KPIs – clear and precise criteria for success. KPIs answer the question: was the goal achieved / were your actions successful?

When do you need to update the MVP roadmap?

The roadmap is usually updated every few weeks or quarterly. It is worth updating the roadmap when there is a change in goals or the team reaches important milestones in the creation of the product, and not when it is necessary to make minor adjustments to daily work.

Final thoughts

Developing a good product roadmap is not easy. It should be clear from the very beginning of trying to define the main goal. If you need help developing an MVP, it’s best to contact professionals, such as Gearheart. The company has vast experience in planning and creating MVPs for different companies before launching to the market.

Product Development vs. Product Design: 6 Tips

Technology is constantly evolving and changing the way we live, interact, and do business. Currently, we’re in a stage of intense product development. This is because technology has evolved so much that it has started to change the way we interact with other people and has infiltrated our everyday lives. Now, we can order groceries before they go bad or find a date from the same city as us without ever leaving home. However, this level of technology may soon become overwhelming for some people. In fact, there’s been a rise in anxiety among teens who are worried about their future in this digital world.

Product development is the process of creating a new product, while product design is about designing that product. Product development is focused on what needs to be done to create the best possible version of the product in order for it to be profitable. For example, if you are in charge of developing a new breakfast cereal, you may have to figure out what ingredients to use and how much sugar they should contain. This is because these decisions will impact the cost of producing the cereal and consumer demand for it. On the other hand, product design involves determining how healthy the cereal should be or whether it should include protein. These decisions are less about profitability and more about meeting customer preferences or dietary needs.

All product development is a type of design. However, not all product design can be considered product development. Product developers must understand the needs of the customer and the market in order to develop successful products that will sell. A product designer, on the other hand, might just be designing for themselves or their team. Designers are also often more focused on aesthetics than they are on functionality or user experience considerations.

Here are some major differences between product development and product design to help you compare them in a much better way.

Product Development

Product development is the process of converting an idea for a product into a physical product that can be manufactured. As an idea takes shape, it becomes progressively more detailed until it can be used to manufacture the product or service. Product development may involve design engineering, manufacturing, marketing research, branding, and other activities.

Product development starts with identifying business needs and wants. There are two basic types of products: new products that are being developed for the first time and improved products that have been on the market before. New products are something that your company has never done before; these usually involve significant research and testing before they come to market. On the other hand, improved products are those, which your company has already developed in the past and which your company is upgrading, modifying and improving in one way or the other.

Product development goes through certain stages such as:

  • Generating the Idea

The initial concept, or product concept, for a new product must be defined in order to move the product idea through the product development process. Whether it is an ecommerce website or a smartphone, an idea for a new product can be generated from several different sources. It can come from customer surveys, market research, technical staff testing, market research, and brainstorming sessions.

In the early stages of concept development, early consumer or end-user research is often used to refine and simplify the product concept. It’s important to do customer interviews to understand how customers would use the product and how they would use it compared to alternatives. You might ask different questions than you would normally ask customers, depending on what you already know about them and what you need to learn.

  • Developing the Concept

The concept provides the product owner with an overall picture of how the product will work. This will typically require identifying areas of the business that will need to be changed to incorporate the product. There may also be areas of the business that will not need to change but will need to be modified to accommodate the new product.

  • Business Analysis

Business analysis starts with identifying the need or wants for a product or service and identifying the customers who are likely to purchase it. You need to be able to forecast demand to understand how much the product will cost you to manufacture and how much profit you can expect to earn by selling it.

  • Product Development

The time spent on product development often comes down to determining the product architecture, development cycle, process and the role of each development stage in the development process. Product management is the study of how to develop products efficiently and cost effectively. Product management determines a product’s architecture, processes and schedule.

  • Product Testing

Your product development organization must first determine whether your product is of the new, improved or improved and improved category. Sometimes, it will be difficult to differentiate between the three, particularly if your product is something that your company already has successfully sold. If this is the case, it might be advantageous to focus your product development efforts on something completely new. If, however, you are aiming at improving a product or service that your company already has, then it might be worth experimenting with improving it, as this is a potentially more attractive market for your company.

  • Launching in the Market

Laying the foundation and conducting market research is the initial stage in the product development process. Once the product has been designed, the next step is to launch it in the market and then monitor the product’s progress through the process of improvement.

Product Design

As far as product design is concerned, all the designing activities included in the product development, which relate to the overall feel and experience of the product is considered as product design. This may include the kind of materials being used in the product, the shape and size of the product along with the weight. Basically, it is all about designing the product, keeping the customers in mind and determining, which designs are suitable for the target audience.