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Agile Roadmap: what it is, importance, and how to create a successful one

  • Methodologies

Digital product development is a complex process that requires agility and efficiency to meet market demands. In this sense, the use of agile methodologies has proven to be essential in ensuring project success. Agile Roadmap, in particular, is a powerful tool that allows for the creation of a flexible and adaptable roadmap for product development.

With Agile Roadmap, companies can monitor product or project evolution closely, adjusting it based on market and user needs. Popular in software development, enable collaborative and agile project teams to deliver value efficiently.

In this article, we will explore how Agile Roadmap can help your company develop digital products in an agile, effective, and efficient manner, as well as provide tips for effectively applying it to your project.

What is Agile Roadmap?

Agile Roadmap is an agile approach that aims to create a flexible and adaptable roadmap for product and project development. This methodology aims to deliver value in short periods of time, allowing development teams to work collaboratively and efficiently. It is presented as a visual representation that describes the main goals, delivery milestones, and objectives of an agile product or project, providing an overview of the strategy over time. This artifact is created during planning and is regularly updated as a valued practice in the agile culture.

How to build an Agile Roadmap?

Now that you have learned a bit about Agile Roadmap, it’s time to learn how to build one correctly.

Before creating a product roadmap, it is necessary to gather as much information as possible about market trends, business value, and any existing limitations.

There are some questions we can ask regarding the steps of building an Agile Roadmap:

  • Which projects are of higher importance?
  • What is our delivery plan for each project or product?
  • Which date requires the team to achieve specific goals?
  • Does the program need to involve other teams or internal systems?
  • Which initiatives are being worked on by which teams?
  • Can previous teams still appear on the schedules due to enough space?
  • Can we maintain our current agile teams as they are?
  • What are the goals and objectives of the project/product?
  • Are deliveries sequenced and prioritized?
  • Do we have estimates or projections about deliveries?
  • What are the essential business milestones and progress and value control milestones?
  • With the information at hand, you just need to structure this delivery plan in a visual tool.

When to Use an Agile Roadmap?

An Agile roadmap should be used whenever it is necessary to create or evolve communications about project or product strategies and developments. It is also a powerful tool for leveraging engagement and effective communication throughout the entire context.

This methodology can be used to show how your product changes over time and how you believe it will succeed. Keep your roadmap clear, simple, and measurable so that people can understand and agree with it. Implementing an Agile roadmap can increase the efficiency of communicating desired results and the product vision to the consumer.

How to Use the Agile Roadmap?

It is important to gather all the planning work stages into a roadmap to gain context. This can be done by creating product backlogs with sections for epics and smaller sections labeled as requirements or user stories. Once completed, the development team can make more informed decisions without jeopardizing future work.

For example, let’s say the development team adds a lot of user information to your website. If they find out that customers are not interested in a certain feature, should they continue working on it? This is a difficult question to answer. Before making any decisions, it is necessary to understand the reasons why people are not interested in that product feature, highlighting the importance of continuous testing to collect important data for the entire process.

With this in mind, it is correct to say that by using the Agile roadmap, the development team gains an important capability for project creation: the ability to backtrack and acquire more knowledge before taking a crucial step. This is arguably the most valuable aspect of the concept, as it allows the team to develop new features based on new knowledge requirements and market changes.

Some signs that indicate that the use of the agile roadmap process is not going as planned are:

  • Focus only on the present, ignoring future planning;
  • The roadmap is constantly updated or rarely updated (both extremes are detrimental to the project);
  • Detailed requirements are weighing down the roadmap.

To make the importance of using it properly clearer, it is important to act so that it helps stakeholders to:

  • Maintain focus on goals, objectives, and priorities;
  • Plan and prioritize deliveries effectively;
  • Communicate with internal and external stakeholders appropriately about progress, goals achieved, etc.

How to evolve the Agile Roadmap?

As we have seen, the Agile Roadmap provides great value in terms of having proper communication of value deliveries and respective goals, as well as applying various modern practices that are means to achieve that value, such as transparency of information, visual management approach, easy accessibility and centralization of information for all stakeholders, among other practices.

Best practices

  • Review delivery prioritization: ensure highest value deliveries are executed first based on customer and market needs.
  • Foster culture of continuous improvement: consistently improve planning, construction process, communication, and management of the agile roadmap.
  • Communicate agile roadmap frequently: keep stakeholders updated and solicit feedback.
  • Adaptations: regularly update the agile roadmap to maintain an updated view and a valuable tool.
  • Measure metrics, indicators, and results: extract data to support management and value deliveries.
  • Clear and assertive communication: ensure agile roadmap conveys information effectively without clutter or confusion.

With these best practices, we increase the possibility of having a great tool and valuable practice to truly assist in product and project management through the agile roadmap.

Although the use of the agile roadmap brings several benefits to the development team and project owners, some points can become concerning over time and deserve attention.

Some risks that development with the agile roadmap can entail

  • Although the great benefit of this roadmap is its flexibility, frequent updates in different directions on the roadmap can cause the team to lose confidence in the leader’s ability to make strategic decisions.
  • If the roadmap does not change frequently, the product may not be able to meet the accumulated demand before its release.
  • Compromising long-term efforts in favor of short-term results leads to excessive focus on short-term success. Teams struggle with large projects due to the perceived difficulty of the work, which leads them to break down projects into smaller increments.

If you’re looking for a way to develop digital products efficiently and effectively, Objective’s agile consulting can help your company. With the help of experts in agile methodologies, you can create a simple and measurable Agile Roadmap for product development. Contact Objective now to learn more about how we can help your company evolve in business.

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