Have you already heard the clumsy excuse “We don’t have any roadmaps, we’re agile!” 😯 ?
Roadmaps are great companions for agility. Learn how to answer those who would like you to believe the opposite, or disguise a lack of planning as agility.
⛔ Beware – controversial thoughts below this line. Read at your own peril (and reshare 🔁 if you have observed the same )
The belief that roadmaps are superfluous or anti-agile comes out of some misunderstanding (at best). More often they are just plain excuses to cover for a lack of vision or planning. Not a coincidence that these arguments often come from teams who’re unable to articulate their goals and strategy. They’re just lost.
Guess what… good PMs are not shy of showing a roadmap! Here is why:
🌐 Agility ≠ Lack of Planning: Agility is about adapting to change and delivering value quickly. This doesn’t mean forsaking planning altogether. Rather, it’s about balancing adaptability with a clear vision. Roadmaps ensure we’re not navigating in the dark.
📊Data-Driven Options: A roadmap helps define what this value should look like. Roadmaps can incorporate hypotheses and verifications based on data. Knowing what we’re trying to achieve (and by when) is a powerful reality check, enhancing the accuracy of our course corrections.
🧭 Vision and Direction: To put this with Eisenhower’s words “Planning is everything, the plan is nothing”: The fact that plans will change is no excuse for not having a plan! While we embrace agility’s flexibility, having a well-defined direction is crucial. Roadmaps offer that beacon to guide us.
🧠 Adapt the how, not the what: Agility allows us to pivot in the face of new information, market shifts, or customer feedback. Roadmaps, when crafted thoughtfully, help us pivot with intention and ensure this information is captured. They provide a structure that enables us to make informed adjustments while staying true to our goals.
🚀 Innovation with a North Star: Having a roadmap doesn’t mean we’re rigidly bound to it. Instead, it serves as a guiding star, inspiring us to innovate and explore new possibilities. Think of it as a framework to ignite creativity, not a set-in-stone rulebook.
🎯 Strategic Communication: Roadmaps foster transparency and alignment. Sharing a well-crafted roadmap showcases your organization’s vision and goals to stakeholders, customers, and the team themselves… enhancing trust and collaboration.
This being said, there are of course good and bad roadmaps. I will dedicate a post to this topic soon.
How do you integrate roadmaps and agility in your world? Share your thoughts below. 👇👇
#productmanagement #roadmaps #agile
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My name is Salva, I am a Product executive, helping tech companies discover, shape, and sell better Products. My work and writing are mainly about subscription models, product pricing, e-commerce/marketplaces, and creating top product organizations.
My superpower is to move between ambiguity (as in creativity, innovation, opportunity, and ‘thinking out of the box’) and structure (as in ‘getting things done’ and getting real impact).
I am firmly convinced that you can help others only if you have lived the same challenges: I have been lucky enough to practice product leadership in companies of different sizes and with different product maturity. Doing product right is hard: I felt the pain myself and developed my own methods to get to efficient product teams that produce meaningful work.