Just start this post with a few questions: Is your product (#Noproject) roadmap working? How much time and effort you take to update it but it's still far away from reality?

If your roadmap is still well and value can be created to the end user, this post is not for you. This post also does not share how to have a good roadmap, just show some common issues when you build a roadmap to make your plan is useless.
Some common problems of the roadmap

Look back to the way we created a roadmap. We used to focus on WHAT and HOW we aimed to deliver or release. It's focused more on deliverables, and commitment only, but an important thing is left behind: WHY we do it?

  • Without a big picture: User inputs Data, Market Research, Company Vision... How can you have a roadmap without that Data and Company Vision? Lacking vision likes developer does the plan to deliver value in darkness, likes team can't shoot without a goal. Image above is a bit sharing about how company vision is shared and connected by the team. 
  • Scrum team spent the time to estimate, research, analyze user data to order the priority value which they will deliver but they don't communicate it to other stakeholders. On the other side, lacking collaboration from other departments about their plans in a roadmap also lead to misalignment. any stakeholders have interested in plans also need to relate to your roadmap, and that needs collaboration.
  • Roadmap focuses to deliver commitment of functions without values. Some of the traps when building a roadmap with a short-term benefit and don't have the plan to validate and build up product value.

E.g: Sales team think they need to deliver fast some functions to win that customer, and it becomes a commitment. It can help you to win this customer, but by focusing on the commitment to have a solution for the single problem of a single customer can limit the creativity of your team. They can't analyze data to deliver the most value that market needs. So we need to consider what is important we need to focus. I don't say you always have to refuse the needs from some kind of customers. But you need to consider to review and see if it is a long term value and it meet with a vision/market segment or not.

"Product is how we deliver the value to organization's customers."

Conclusion: Product roadmap needs to have a company vision and have a plan on how to deliver that vision to the customer to validate. It also needto be updated and transparent to all stakeholders to make sure about the alignment and collaboration.

Remember, any roadmap is lacking of collaboration and shared vision (why) can be a useless roadmap.

PS: How to maximize the value of the product will be detailed in the next post.