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The Dirty Dozen 
Roadmap Roadblocks 
Roadmapping 312 
Bruce McCarthy 
Founder & Chief Product Person, Reqqs 
www.reqqs.com
Bruce McCarthy
What is a Roadmap?
A good roadmap 
inspires
It keeps you on 
course when 
storm clouds 
threaten
“Is this more important than what’s 
already on the roadmap?”
The Dirty Dozen 
1. Being Too Agile 
2. Prioritizing on Gut 
3. Over- or Underestimating 
4. No Strategic Goals 
5. Inside...
1. Being Too Agile
“Plans are worthless, but 
planning is everything.” 
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957
2. Prioritizing on Gut
Value / Effort 
= Priority
3. Over- or Underestimating
4. No Strategic Goals
Ask yourself: 
“Why are we 
doing this product 
in the first place?”
Deriving Product Goals from 
Company Goals 
Improve 
Student 
Outcomes 
Serve 
Sm-Md 
Districts 
Improve 
Customer 
Satisf...
5. Inside-out Thinking
A roadmap 
demonstrates your 
commitment to 
solving problems 
for a specific 
market
6. Trying Too Hard to Please
Roadmaps are 
not a popularity 
contest
7. Focusing on Features
Keep Things Simple 
Fewer steps in the check-in, check-out 
process 
Streamlined workflow 
High-level, few words
Keep Things Simple 
Quicker access to your data 
A list of access points 
and time stats 
Consolidate details
Keep Things Simple 
Support millions of colors 
Match your branding 
Make the benefit obvious
8. No Buffer
9. Playing Catch-up
1. Be a category 
of one 
Analyze your losses 
Scare yourself
10. Not Getting Buy-in
Shuttle diplomacy
Eng 
UX 
Marketing 
Services 
Sales 
HR 
Finance 
BD 
Customers 
Partners 
Analysts 
Your Boss 
C-Suite 
Other 
Tech PMs 
...
11. Being Too Secretive
12. One Size Fits All
Roadmaps should 
come in flavors for 
different markets, 
but all made from 
the same basic 
ingredients
13. No Story
Your roadmap 
should tell the 
story of how you 
will make people 
(and yourself) 
successful
The Dirty Dozen 
13. No story 
1. Being Too Agile 
2. Prioritizing on Gut 
3. Over- or Underestimating 
4. No Strategic Go...
Product X is focused on solving 
problem Y best for market Z 
H1‘14 H2’14 2015 2016 
Benefit A 
Likely Feature 1 
Likely F...
The Wombat Garden Hose is focused 
on perfecting the landscapes of 
affluent Americans 
H1‘14 H2’14 2015 2016 
Indestruct-...
Discussion & Feedback
I Help Product People 
Team coaching via UpUp Labs 
Tools: Reqqs - the smart roadmap tool 
for product people 
Blog: Produ...
The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks
The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks
The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks
The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks
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The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

You’re about to show the product roadmap you’ve slaved over to your executives, your key customers or your sales team. What could possibly go wrong?

In the presentation voted most informative at ProductCamp DC 2014, Bruce McCarthy, Chief Product Person at UpUp Labs, Vice President and Chief Evangelist for the BPMA, and popular speaker, explores the myriad mistakes product people make when developing product roadmaps.

He outlines what happens when you:

* Focus on features
* Try too hard to please
* Don't get buy-in
* Prioritize on gut
* Fail to tell a story

Voted most informative presentation at ProductCamp DC 2014, here Bruce tells you what you can do to avoid the dirty dozen roadmap roadblocks.

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The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

  1. 1. The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks Roadmapping 312 Bruce McCarthy Founder & Chief Product Person, Reqqs www.reqqs.com
  2. 2. Bruce McCarthy
  3. 3. What is a Roadmap?
  4. 4. A good roadmap inspires
  5. 5. It keeps you on course when storm clouds threaten
  6. 6. “Is this more important than what’s already on the roadmap?”
  7. 7. The Dirty Dozen 1. Being Too Agile 2. Prioritizing on Gut 3. Over- or Underestimating 4. No Strategic Goals 5. Inside-out Thinking 6. Trying Too Hard to Please 7. Focusing on Features 8. No Buffer 9. Playing Catch-up 10. Not Getting Buy-in 11. Being Too Secretive 12. One Size Fits All
  8. 8. 1. Being Too Agile
  9. 9. “Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957
  10. 10. 2. Prioritizing on Gut
  11. 11. Value / Effort = Priority
  12. 12. 3. Over- or Underestimating
  13. 13. 4. No Strategic Goals
  14. 14. Ask yourself: “Why are we doing this product in the first place?”
  15. 15. Deriving Product Goals from Company Goals Improve Student Outcomes Serve Sm-Md Districts Improve Customer Satisfaction Increase New Wins Improve Engagemen t X X X Measure Usage X X Show Results X X X X
  16. 16. 5. Inside-out Thinking
  17. 17. A roadmap demonstrates your commitment to solving problems for a specific market
  18. 18. 6. Trying Too Hard to Please
  19. 19. Roadmaps are not a popularity contest
  20. 20. 7. Focusing on Features
  21. 21. Keep Things Simple Fewer steps in the check-in, check-out process Streamlined workflow High-level, few words
  22. 22. Keep Things Simple Quicker access to your data A list of access points and time stats Consolidate details
  23. 23. Keep Things Simple Support millions of colors Match your branding Make the benefit obvious
  24. 24. 8. No Buffer
  25. 25. 9. Playing Catch-up
  26. 26. 1. Be a category of one Analyze your losses Scare yourself
  27. 27. 10. Not Getting Buy-in
  28. 28. Shuttle diplomacy
  29. 29. Eng UX Marketing Services Sales HR Finance BD Customers Partners Analysts Your Boss C-Suite Other Tech PMs Lead Legal Architects
  30. 30. 11. Being Too Secretive
  31. 31. 12. One Size Fits All
  32. 32. Roadmaps should come in flavors for different markets, but all made from the same basic ingredients
  33. 33. 13. No Story
  34. 34. Your roadmap should tell the story of how you will make people (and yourself) successful
  35. 35. The Dirty Dozen 13. No story 1. Being Too Agile 2. Prioritizing on Gut 3. Over- or Underestimating 4. No Strategic Goals 5. Inside-out Thinking 6. Trying Too Hard to Please 7. Focusing on Features 8. No Buffer 9. Playing Catch-up 10. Not Getting Buy-in 11. Being Too Secretive 12. One Size Fits All
  36. 36. Product X is focused on solving problem Y best for market Z H1‘14 H2’14 2015 2016 Benefit A Likely Feature 1 Likely Feature 2 Likely Feature 3 Benefit B Benefit D Benefit E, Phase II Benefit C Benefit E, Phase I Benefit F Weaselly Safe Harbor Statement
  37. 37. The Wombat Garden Hose is focused on perfecting the landscapes of affluent Americans H1‘14 H2’14 2015 2016 Indestruct-ible hose 20’ length Easy connections No-kink armor Delicate Flower Management Putting Green Evenness for Lawns Infinite Extensibility Severe Weather Handling Extended Reach Permanent Installations Weaselly Safe Harbor Statement
  38. 38. Discussion & Feedback
  39. 39. I Help Product People Team coaching via UpUp Labs Tools: Reqqs - the smart roadmap tool for product people Blog: ProductPowers.com Slideshare.net/bmmccarthy Twitter: @d8a_driven Email: bruce@reqqs.com Want to chat?: sohelpful.me/brucemccarthy

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