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INSPIRED, 2nd Edition by Marty Cagan

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CHAPTER 60Weaning an Organization Off Roadmaps

Many product teams want to move off product roadmaps, but their organizations are old school, addicted to the outdated quarterly product roadmap. As a result, they don't see how to transition their organizations forward.

Here's what I advocate in this case: Plan to continue with your existing roadmap process for six to 12 months. However, starting immediately, every time you reference a product roadmap item, or discuss it in a presentation or meeting, be sure to include a reminder of the actual business outcome that feature is intended to help.

If the feature you're working on is to add PayPal as a payment method, and the reason is to increase conversion, then be sure to always show the current conversion rate and the result you're hoping to achieve. Most important, after the feature goes live, be sure to highlight the impact on that conversion rate.

If the impact was good, celebrate it. If the impact was not what was hoped, then emphasize to everyone that, while you did ship the feature, the result was not successful. Point out specifically what was learned, but explain that you have other ideas for ways to get the desired result.

The goal is that over time (it can take as long as a year), the organization moves its focus from specific features launching on specific dates to business results.

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