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Acing Multiple Products on the Same Roadmap: a Product Manager's Guide

Every product manager knows the significance of a product roadmap in guiding the strategic direction of a product. It serves as a visual summary that maps out the vision and direction of the product over time.

But what happens when you have multiple products to manage? When should you fit multiple products on the same roadmap, and how do you go about it? This article will delve into managing multiple product roadmaps, providing detailed explanations and handy tips for veteran product managers.

When to Fit Multiple Products on the Same Roadmap

The decision to fit multiple products on the same roadmap often depends on the degree of interdependence between the products. If the products are closely related or share resources, it may be beneficial to have them on the same roadmap. For instance, in a tech company like “TechBros”, there might be several products under development, like a new mobile app, a web app, and a software update.

These products are interdependent and might share development and marketing resources. In such a scenario, it would be beneficial for “TechBros” to fit the products on the same roadmap to ensure a synchronized launch and efficient resource allocation.

Managing Multiple Products on the Same Roadmap

Managing multiple products on the same roadmap can be a daunting task, but it’s not impossible. The key is to prioritize and align the products according to the overall business objectives.

Start by defining the strategic objectives for each product. This could be increasing market share, entering a new market, or improving customer satisfaction. Next, prioritize the products based on these strategic objectives. Products that align closely with the business objectives should be given higher priority.

Once the products are prioritized, it’s time to align them on the roadmap. This involves identifying dependencies and overlaps between the products. For example, if the mobile app and the web app in “TechBros” are being developed by the same team, it’s crucial to align their development schedules to avoid resource conflicts.

Tackling Multiple Roadmaps

While managing multiple products on the same roadmap is one approach, sometimes, it might be necessary to manage multiple roadmaps. This could be the case when the products are not interdependent or when they cater to different markets or customer segments.

In such cases, it’s crucial to maintain a clear overview of all the roadmaps. A high-level roadmap that outlines the key milestones and timelines for each product can be helpful. This high-level roadmap can then be broken down into individual roadmaps for each product, detailing the specific tasks and activities.

Consolidating Multiple Roadmaps

Consolidating multiple roadmaps into a single, comprehensive roadmap can be a challenging yet rewarding task. It provides a unified view of all the products, making it easier to identify overlaps and dependencies.

Start by identifying the common elements between the roadmaps. This could be shared resources, similar milestones, or common strategic objectives. Next, align these common elements on the consolidated roadmap.

For instance, in “TechBros”, the mobile app and the web app might have a common milestone of user testing. This can be aligned on the consolidated roadmap to ensure that the testing is coordinated and the feedback is shared across the products.

Once the common elements are aligned, fill in the unique elements for each product. This could be specific tasks, activities, or milestones that are unique to a particular product.

Wrapping Things Up

In conclusion, managing multiple product roadmaps is a complex task that requires strategic planning and careful coordination. Whether you choose to fit multiple products on the same roadmap or manage multiple roadmaps, the key is to align the products with the overall business objectives and to maintain a clear overview of all the products.

And remember, a roadmap is a dynamic tool that should be updated and revised as the products and the market evolve.

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