"Roadmapping is anti-agile. Instead, we should only have priorities."— Ant Murphy (@ant_murphy) May 17, 2023
This was a response to my product roadmaps article - discuss!
Are roadmaps anti-agile?
My response: Product Roadmaps can be agile or not, it depends on how you use them.
The idea behind a roadmap is to deliver predictability to the business, but how does that work with also being able to respond to changes?
1. Update it regularly#
Once a year is too slow, and leaves no wiggle room for new insights or priorities throughout the year. But updating it too often makes it hard to use instead. I've seen quarterly updates work well for a 50 people company. Shorter for a smaller or younger company, longer for a bigger or more slow moving one.
2. Schedule broad areas/problems, not features#
Features change more often than problems, so putting problem areas in the roadmap works better for both delivering some predictability and leaving space for learning. The clearer you can be with what effect you are looking for, the more empowered the team can be in solving the problem.
3. Don’t make everything time bound#
If every item in the roadmap is time bound, then updating it regularly will be though. Put a time frame on the nearest items, that you know more about, so the business can plan. But don't worry about the ones longer in the future.
That's it, three quick tips to work with agile roadmaps. Sounds easy? It's not.