All project plans surrounding a software product roadmap need to start out by looking at what your goals are going to be. In particular, they should be focusing on what your target markets and product lines are going to be in the short-term. Here I’ll show you a basic process for designing and planning out roadmaps which are goal-oriented.
The product manager has the main task of putting together new product ideas and putting them into roadmaps. New concepts or ideas can come from many different areas inside and outside the company. These can include new feature requests, strategies and your business development plan, new customer segments, cutting-edge technologies, etc.
In order to categorize all of the as ideas it is worth separating them by market initially. The reason for doing this is to enable you to define a product for each specific market. You can then start to establish the return on investment for producing a product in each market (i.e. based on market size, ROI, competition, etc.). This filtering process is done more so to weed out which markets are going to be non-profitable.
Your software product roadmap can then focus in on one or two individual markets and a small selection of product lines. In particular, you should be able to set out what your short-term goals are for the product lines which incorporate some of the core ideas.
Long-term goals for product lines can also be added but will change a great deal over time. They may also reflect if you have included a base of product concepts in your architecture which allow you to reuse components or functionality in variations of the product lines.
The software product roadmap should then be reviewed internally by as many employees as possible. Feedback should be tracked and any changes logged and communicated. The product manager will however still have to cyclically go through this process of idea evaluation and market analysis in order to continually update the roadmap.