I’ve been a product manager for the better part of 15 years now. The early days were spent mostly on agency style builds – clients who needed work done and didn’t know how to approach strategy (or execution for that matter). Later, I did various stints at high growth startups like Red Tricycle, Upside Business Travel, and now Sandboxx – along with dozens of advisor and consulting gigs. In almost every situation after looking at the product roadmap, we’ve had to essentially restart the strategy, as each lacked key elements needed to scale and to bring teams together to ensure the right products and features were built at the right time. And most importantly – align the business around a clear and actionable short, mid and long term strategy. As such, I established a product framework that I consistently use over and over for products I’m involved in helping craft.
The key elements I’ve determined needed to go into a model are:
- Long term vision – this is where you define the high level goals of the company. For example, mine are:
- Vision pathway – from a 10,000 foot view, how do you get to your vision?
- Vision Scorecard – how do you rate your progress towards your vision? What’s the current status of each theme?
- Vision Critical Path Hypothesis – what hypothesis do we need to prove to support our long term vision?
- Revenue goals & metrics supporting (including a growth, revenue & retention key metric)
- Themes, Metrics, Features & Experiments – these are the tactical ideas we have to support the themes and vision
- Quarterly Roadmap Plan – this is the plan with some key ideas and experiments mapped out in time buckets – the further out you go, the less clear the roadmap is
There’s obviously a lot that goes into a plan, but if you’d like a digestible and usable format that I’ve used, I put together a PDF you may enjoy.
Drop your name and email below and I’ll send over a PDF with the format immediately.
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