No matter what type of business you’re in, having set goals and objectives in mind massively increases your chances of success. What’s more, writing these ambitions down, and making them accessible to teammates, means you’re far more likely to accomplish them than if you kept them bottled up in your brain.
But knowing where you want to go is only part of the picture. Sure, you may have a vision of what success looks like… but do you know how you’re going to get there?
Enter: the product roadmap.
What Is A Product Roadmap?
Whether you’re a large organization with multiple growth opportunities, or a startup focusing on bringing one product to market, a product roadmap is an invaluable tool.
Why? Because not only does building a roadmap challenge you to consider all the potential steps required, but it can act as one centralized point of contact for your team to collaborate.
Put simply: a roadmap is the shared blueprint for your vision, including the goals to achieve that vision.
Often, those involved in building product roadmaps on Trello label task cards based on priority or use the sort order within a list to determine importance by card position.
At this point, they can encounter a big problem. Prioritizing is hard—product teams have limited resources and it’s tricky to work out what the order of priority should be for different projects.
Whilst product roadmaps can provide tremendous value, all too often the priorities set are based purely on the intuition and ‘common sense’ of one or two team members.
Unfortunately, this can result in even the most seasoned product managers making the wrong calls. According to Gartner research, every year between $300 and $600 billion dollars invested in IT deployments in North America are wasted due to ineffective prioritization.
To make smarter decisions when prioritizing projects on your roadmap, you need a more structured and inclusive approach. One that enables your team to analyze each feature and project against the metrics that matter to your business such as customer value, development effort, or strategic fit.
Luckily, by integrating Trello with the airfocus Power-Up, you can gain better insights and make those smart decisions on behalf of your company and customers.
How To Use The airfocus Power-Up To Create A Superior Product Roadmap
The airfocus Priorities and Roadmaps Power-Up was made to help you build an effective product roadmap in Trello using simple but powerful prioritization techniques. By introducing a rating system, the airfocus Power-Up takes your decision-making from intuitive to strategically-sound.
Let’s use this simplified product roadmap board as an example:
As you can see, the example board above contains five lists, each representing a status in the feature development lifecycle: from ‘Ideas’, to ‘Future’, and right through to ‘Done’.
So how do we take this board to the next level?
To make this roadmap more effective, we need to define — yep, you guessed it! — the priority of each card, so we know which features should take precedence over others.
1. Pick A Prioritization Model
Once you’ve set up and configured the Power-Up, it’s time to tailor the prioritization system to your project’s needs.
This is where airfocus’ easy-to-use scoring system comes in. In the example below, you’ll see that we’ve used customer value, strategic fit, and development effort as analysis criteria. How much value does each feature deliver to target users? How strong is the feature’s strategic fit with the business as a whole? And how resource-heavy will it be to build?
Whilst many users are happy to use these analysis criteria, you can also set different ones based on your preferences and situation. You can learn more about how to set up and configure the airfocus Power-Up here.
Now, ideally your product roadmapping process will be one that’s collaborative, involving several members of your team.
Here’s how this new and fun tool works:
- Each team member can rate items on their smartphone, without being influenced by what others say and think about the rating.
- Once everyone is done rating, you’ll be able to immediately see differences in opinions and get the chance to sort them out.
Another way to include your teammates—and even your users—in the voting process is through integrating the free Trello Voting Power-Up with the airfocus Power-Up. This allows your stakeholders to vote up projects and features, giving them a real-time say in the decision-making process. It then seamlessly connects those votes with your airfocus prioritization system.
2. Use The Results Of Your Scoring Process To Prioritize What To Do
You’ll find that by scoring each project against each metric, the must-haves will naturally start to rise to the top, leaving non-essential products or features with lower scores.
Once you’ve gathered all the ratings you’re looking for, you’ll be more than ready to make some strategic decisions.
Simply use the prioritization chart to see a visualization of your priorities. From here, you can decide what to do, what not to do, change an item’s status, and pull together a revised project timeline.
3. Share Your Roadmap And Get Everyone Aligned
A plan only works if everyone in your team knows about it! So remember not to keep all your hard work to yourself.
Sharing your updated product roadmap is crucial to get buy-in and align your team. Which means you’ll want to visualize it in a way that everyone understands. airfocus enables this, allowing you to create roadmaps that are visually appealing, updated in real-time, and easily accessible to all members. So why not display your priority scores right on your Trello cards?
Oh, and if it’s important for you to show everyone a timeline, airfocus can easily translate your roadmap into a Gantt chart, too:
Build A Product Roadmap That Better Reflects Your Priorities
Product roadmaps based purely on the intuition of one or two people should be a thing of the past. But the reality is that many businesses continue to follow this suboptimal approach.
Get ahead of your competition by integrating airfocus and Trello. Doing so will ensure that you build the features that matter most, and ultimately enable you to achieve product excellence.
Your team will be better aligned and equipped to tackle priority work, without having to read through outdated workspaces or strategy slides. And if you decide to share a public roadmap, your wider stakeholders will gain an unrivaled visual perspective on what’s happening in your business and where it’s going.
If you’re not sure whether your product roadmap accurately reflects your businesses’ true priorities, check out the airfocus Priorities and Roadmaps Power-Up for yourself.
Note: This is a paid service add-on to Trello with options available in Starter and Team packages.
Good or bad, we'd love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello) or write in to firstname.lastname@example.org.