Chapter 3. Gathering Inputs

What you’ll learn in this chapter

What the different stages are in a product’s life cycle

How to gather inputs from the market and business environment

How to gather input from your customers

How to gather input from your stakeholders

Before you run off and make a roadmap, you’ll need to spend some time gathering inputs.

The goal of gathering inputs is to make sure you have all of the relevant information and context you need to make good product decisions.

Without a constant refresh of that context, you’ll risk making too many assumptions and mistakes. As part of this process you’ll likely have lots of discussions and negotiations with your stakeholders.

Understand Where Your Product Is in Its Life Cycle

In the same way that a roadmap is relevant for all types of products, it’s also useful at different stages in the life of a product. As we see it, there are five primary phases of a product’s life cycle:

  • New

  • Growth

  • Expansion

  • Harvesting

  • End of life

New Product Phase

In many cases we associate the new product state with startups, but there are a number of established companies putting time and resources into innovation and expansion in the new product realm. Your roadmap in this phase of the life cycle should be used to outline and drive the creation of the first version of your product.

With a new product, you are venturing into uncharted territory. This means you will have to make a lot of assumptions, and then rapidly prototype and test to get validation ...

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