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Multiple teams—engineering, design, production and marketing—contribute to building and launching new products and services. Timely launch of new products is not possible without effective collaboration between these teams.
Product roadmap software helps plan, communicate and manage tasks between teams in every stage of product development life cycle. It allows teams to update details about product vision, features, goals, releases and user inputs.
There are many product roadmap solutions on the market offering different features that are suited for specific types of products or services.
This Buyer's Guide offers an overview of key features, benefits and other considerations that you must be aware of when shopping for product roadmap software.
In this guide, we'll cover:
What Is Product Roadmap Software?
Product roadmap software enables businesses to manage their product life cycle as well as communicate the product's goals and progress to team members, management and other stakeholders.
Product roadmap solutions provide an overview of the different phases of a product in development. They also allow product managers to track multiple products at once. It provides details such as product features, timelines, goals, budget allocation and task status indicators.
This software facilitates collaboration between internal and external stakeholders for crowdsourcing ideas and getting user feedback. Internal roadmaps make it possible for executives, engineers and sales teams to discuss features, strategy and releases, while external roadmaps incorporate customer inputs around user experience and benefits.
Product managers can also use these tools to assign resources to different phases of product development and track progress.
Common Features of Product Roadmap Software
Product roadmap solutions facilitate collaboration between multiple teams that share a common goal.
Product roadmap software solutions typically offer the following capabilities, though capabilities may vary from platform to platform.
|Collaboration||Share and review roadmaps with internal as well as external stakeholders, add comments and chat live with team members to discuss ideas and issues.|
|Product portfolio support||Create roadmaps for multiple products, assign product life cycle tasks to different teams and track progress from a single interface with color coding to indicate status.|
|Workflow management||Add custom workflows or modify the existing workflows for multiple products including records for product features, releases, requirements, initiatives and goals.|
|Task management||Create task lists by dragging and dropping items; prioritize tasks and track progress using customized time frames for every month, quarter or sprint.|
|Planning boards||Create product planning boards where teams can share ideas, discuss new initiatives and prioritize product features for upcoming launches.|
|Template management||Predefined visual roadmap templates help create product launch plans, diagrams, marketing plans, release plans and product development timelines.|
|Reporting and analytics||Create and share reports with charts, graphs, pivot tables and lists by combining various roadmap views for data analysis.|
|Third-party integrations||Open APIs and built-in integrations enable data sharing with other project management, bug tracking and document sharing platforms.|
What Type of Buyer Are You?
The complexity of product roadmap software varies depending on the number of products that it can help manage and the features offered.
Here we discuss some common types of product roadmap software buyers and the functionalities they require.
Small and midsize businesses (SMBs). Small and midsize businesses usually have a single product manager and do not have multiple products in the pipeline at once. Therefore, they require basic versions of product roadmap software that support one or two product roadmaps. Required features include collaboration, release planning, crowdsourcing ideas and task management.
Large enterprises. Large enterprises will have to simultaneously manage multiple products in different stages of their life cycles. As a result, they need tools with advanced capabilities to add multiple product owners and manage product portfolios and several roadmaps. Another key criteria that large enterprises must look for is the ability to integrate the product roadmap software with other tools for CRM, marketing or collaboration that they already use.
Benefits of Product Roadmap Software
Product roadmap software helps businesses track and collaborate throughout the different stages of product development, from idea generation to product release.
Some key benefits of product roadmap software include:
Visibility of entire product life cycle. Multiple teams are involved in each stage of product life cycle management. Product roadmap software provides a common platform to help all teams communicate and collaborate on the different tasks involved. It also helps you to track task status, tickets and updates.
Access and edit product roadmap from anywhere. Most product roadmap solutions are deployed on the cloud and enable you to edit them from your mobile devices as well. This especially helps when you work with geographically distributed teams. Product roadmap solutions also allow you to quickly color code roadmap components, track to-dos, search backlogs, update resources, create features and add new initiatives.
Gather user feedback. External roadmaps allow you to share product development details with your consumers and collect user feedback through comments. This ensures that the product is in sync with customer needs and expectations.
Ability to create agile product roadmaps. It is cumbersome to make iterations in product development when using manual methods or spreadsheets. On the other hand, product roadmap software allows you to make necessary modifications to your product plan during any stage of product development. You can quickly make changes to different tasks, communicate new developments across the team and modify the entire resource planning process.
Most product roadmap software tools offer similar features with customizable templates, workflows, visualizations and task lists.
In addition to the core features, here we discuss two other criteria you should look at when purchasing a roadmap software:
Breadth of third-party integrations. Building a great product involves collecting data, employee inputs and user opinions from multiple sources. When purchasing product roadmap software, ensure that it integrates with all of your existing collaboration, CRM, project management, social media and other applications. Also, look for software solutions that offer APIs to connect to third-party applications.
Availability of mobile apps. Product managers are busy and must connect with many stakeholders, often located in different geographies. Product roadmap software with a native mobile app allows you to check status, track progress, make changes to tasks and send messages on the go. Look for solutions with mobile apps that work on all leading platforms: iOS, Android and Windows.
Your Guide to Top Product Roadmap Software, May 2021
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