Now that we've got some strong product teams, we need to answer this fundamental question: What should our product team work on?
For most companies (especially those described in Chapter 6, “The Root Causes of Failed Product Efforts”), that's not a question the teams have to worry much about because they are usually handed down the things to work on in the form of a product roadmap.
One of the key themes of this book is focusing on outcome and not output. Realize that typical product roadmaps are all about output. Yet, good teams are asked to deliver business results.
Most of the product world has the same definition for product roadmap, but there are a few variations. I define product roadmap as a prioritized list of features and projects your team has been asked to work on. These product roadmaps are usually done on a quarterly basis, but sometimes they are a rolling three months, and some companies do annual roadmaps.
In some cases, product roadmaps come down from management (usually referred to as a stakeholder‐driven roadmap) and sometimes the roadmap comes from the product manager. They don't usually include little things like bugs and optimizations, but they do normally contain the requested features, projects, and big, multi‐team efforts often called initiatives. And they typically include due dates or at least time frames for when each item is expected to be delivered.
Management knows that many parts of the company need things from the product ...