Trying a New Product Roadmap: Short-term, Next, Later Maybe
Sharing an evolving roadmap structure that I’m trying out this quarter.
This quarter is my second full quarter on the job as a growth Product Manager at a killer Startup. I look over SEO landing pages while also managing an SEO operations team. Last quarter, I built out a very simple strategy to get started and blend with the activities I’d inherited. This time around, I set some time aside to build on that initial attempt going into the new quarter. I’ve laid out a new Vision and a more robust strategy, and some new ways to illustrate that strategy and tell the story. There is still more to do, but we are making good progress.
Short-term, Next, Later Maybe Roadmap
My high-level roadmap last quarter used the familiar Now, Next, Later structure. Some changes I am trying out this quarter:
1. Change “Now” to “Short-term”
“Now” is already out of date. I like the added flexibility here, but it is also more accurate and easier to keep over time.
2. Change “Later” to “Later Maybe”
I see this tweak as a way to add some inspiration and make these items less committal. Typically, “Later” is the furthest outlook in an everyday Now/Next/Later roadmap. I came up with the idea, however, to use “Later Maybe” instead. I hope to use this as an inspirational category to help people see the possibilities down the road. These aren’t things we commit to; instead, they help illustrate the opportunities ahead of us as we progress toward our near-term plans.
3. Legend with Strategic Themes
Our strategic themes were mostly the same as before, but I did flesh them out some more, better defining what each theme means and elaborating on how we prioritize within these themes. With more confidence in these problem-based themes, I felt it was an excellent time to emphasize them more. This way, our entire roadmap also plays back our strategic goals.