In the dynamic realm of product management, public roadmaps have emerged as a powerful tool, driving both strategic vision and customer engagement. These transparent plans offer a glimpse into the future trajectory of a product, charting the course of upcoming enhancements and additions.
They aren’t confined to internal use; instead, they are shared with customers, stakeholders, and the general public to facilitate open communication and transparency. As the digital world continues to champion customer-centric approaches, businesses worldwide are recognizing the value of these public roadmaps.
This comprehensive guide dives deep into top-notch examples of public product roadmaps, revealing how they can offer valuable insights and serve as a roadmap to success for your business.
By the end of this guide, you will have a clear understanding of why these roadmaps are essential, what they should include, and how to create one that benefits your business and customers alike.
What is a Public Product Roadmap?
A public product roadmap is an open document that outlines the strategic direction and planned development of a product.
This roadmap is shared with customers, stakeholders, and the general public. It typically details upcoming features, improvements, and innovations that the product development team intends to implement over a specific timeframe.
Why should you have a Public Product Roadmap?
Transparency and Trust
Public product roadmaps build transparency by giving customers and stakeholders a clear vision of the product’s future. This transparency fosters trust, which is integral for customer retention and loyalty.
A public roadmap encourages user engagement. It offers a platform where users can provide feedback and suggestions, fostering a sense of community and involvement.
Public roadmaps ensure strategic alignment across the organization. They enable all team members to understand the product’s direction, which helps to streamline efforts and improve efficiency.
What should a Public Product Roadmap look like?
A public product roadmap should be clear, concise, and visually engaging. Here are some critical components:
Include timeframes to give users an idea of when to expect new features or improvements. But, remember to manage expectations, as dates can change due to unforeseen circumstances.
Features and Updates
Clearly list and describe the features or updates planned. This provides users with a concrete understanding of what to expect in the future.
Use status indicators (e.g., ‘In Progress’, ‘Completed’, or ‘Upcoming’) to keep users updated about the progress of each feature.
Make the roadmap visually appealing. Use colors, graphics, or icons to make the information easy to digest.
10 Amazing Public Product Roadmap Examples
Trello, a popular project management tool, is well-known for its transparency and uses a public roadmap to maintain it. The Trello Development Roadmap is a perfect example of a public roadmap that is both intuitive and comprehensive.
Key Features of Trello’s Roadmap
- Visual Card-based Layout
- Clear labeling of cards for ‘Up Next’, ‘In Progress’, and ‘Live’ stages
- Use of color codes for different categories
Lessons from Trello’s Roadmap
Trello’s public roadmap is a model of simplicity and clarity. It shows how a visually pleasing and easy-to-understand roadmap can help manage customer expectations effectively.
GitLab, an open-source DevOps platform, uses a highly detailed public product roadmap. Their roadmap provides transparency and allows users to understand the development progress of different features.
Key Features of GitLab’s Roadmap
- Detailed Information about each feature
- Update Frequency
- Use of labels and milestones
Lessons from GitLab’s Roadmap
GitLab demonstrates that transparency can build trust among its user base. Its detailed roadmap allows users to see what’s coming up, which helps GitLab retain and engage users.
Buffer, a social media management platform, has a public roadmap that highlights its commitment to transparency and user engagement.
Key Features of Buffer’s Roadmap
- Clear Visual Design
- Trello-based Roadmap
- Prioritization of Features
- Links to Public Discussion Threads
Lessons from Buffer’s Roadmap
Buffer’s roadmap stands as an example of how roadmaps can facilitate dialogue with users. The links to public discussions on each feature promote user engagement and foster a community feeling.
Firefox: User-Focused Roadmapping
Firefox, a well-known web browser, maintains an elaborate public roadmap. It demonstrates the browser’s dedication to user satisfaction and continuous innovation.
Key Features of Firefox’s Roadmap
- Detailed Information about Updates
- Regular Revision
- Prioritization of Features
Lessons from Firefox’s Roadmap
Firefox’s public roadmap shows how a roadmap can be used as a tool to showcase commitment to user satisfaction and continuous improvement.
Docker, a platform for developing, shipping, and running applications, uses an engaging public roadmap.
Key Features of Docker’s Roadmap
- GitHub-based Roadmap
- Open for Community Feedback
- Clear Labeling of Different Stages
Lessons from Docker’s Roadmap
Docker’s roadmap exemplifies how user feedback can be integrated into product development. It promotes active user engagement and fosters a sense of community.
Microsoft, a tech giant, has various public roadmaps for their wide range of products. One of the standout roadmaps is the Microsoft 365 roadmap.
Key Features of Microsoft 365’s Roadmap
- Filter Options for Different Products and Services
- Clear Status Indicators
- Detailed Description of Updates
Lessons from Microsoft 365’s Roadmap
Microsoft 365’s roadmap illustrates how a multi-product company can effectively communicate product developments to its users. Its structured format helps users navigate and find information easily.
Asana, a popular project management platform, showcases a public product roadmap that emphasizes its dedication to transparency and continual product development.
Key Features of Asana’s Roadmap
- Detailed depiction of progress stages (Planning, Development, Testing)
- Provides a comprehensive view of the lifecycle of each feature
- Regular updates to keep users informed
Lessons from Asana’s Roadmap
Asana’s roadmap underscores the benefits of showcasing the development process, keeping customers involved and informed about product advancements.
Monzo, a digital mobile-only bank, uses a public roadmap to share its development plans. It’s a testament to its customer-first approach and commitment to transparent banking.
Key Features of Monzo’s Roadmap
- Breakdown of new features and updates into ‘Near Term’, ‘Medium Term’, and ‘Long Term’
- Detailed descriptions of planned changes
- Community voting on proposed features
Lessons from Monzo’s Roadmap
Monzo’s roadmap demonstrates how public roadmaps in financial technology can be used to increase trust and promote a customer-centric approach.
Shopify, a leading e-commerce platform, maintains a public roadmap that serves as a model for transparent communication and forward-thinking planning.
Key Features of Shopify’s Roadmap
- Clear division of features into ‘Recently Shipped’, ‘In Development’, and ‘Coming Soon’
- Detailed insight into each feature, with links to relevant documentation
- Community interaction with the Shopify team for queries and suggestions
Lessons from Shopify’s Roadmap
Shopify’s roadmap is a prime example of how roadmaps can facilitate open communication between the product team and the user base, promoting better understanding and collaboration.
Slack, a collaboration hub for work, maintains an up-to-date public roadmap on Trello. Their roadmap provides transparency into their product development process.
Key Features of Slack’s Roadmap
- Use of the Trello platform for easy access and navigation
- Clear labeling of stages (Planned, In Progress, Completed)
- Inclusion of comprehensive descriptions and updates on each card
Lessons from Slack’s Roadmap
Slack’s roadmap showcases how a well-organized and transparent roadmap can keep users informed about upcoming features, fostering a sense of anticipation and excitement.
How to build a public roadmap?
Creating a public product roadmap is a powerful strategy for communicating your product’s planned direction to your audience. This step-by-step guide can help you craft an effective roadmap for your Software as a Service (SaaS) company using Saasfe:
1. Establish Your Vision and Strategy
The first step in building your roadmap is defining your product’s vision and strategy. A platform like Saasfe lets you create a customized domain for your roadmap, allowing users to see how specific roadmap details align with the overall product vision.
2. Select a Public Roadmap Tool
Start by choosing a public roadmap tool suitable for your needs. Options like Saasfe offer powerful features, integration capabilities, ease of use, and competitive pricing.
Saasfe empowers SaaS companies by facilitating the collection of customer feedback and showcasing a public product roadmap. With Saasfe, you can transparently share your team’s projects while harnessing the power of a customer feedback management solution and a release notes tool.
3. Create User Feedback Boards
With Saasfe, you can establish various feedback boards to gather ideas, bug reports, and feature requests. The platform also offers a comprehensive admin portal for collecting feedback from different channels, including emails, slack, intercom channels, and website survey responses.
To bridge the gap between your product and customers, Saasfe offers a feedback widget and a customizable product roadmap. You can integrate your feedback board directly with your product and collect user feedback while showcasing product development progress.
4. Prioritize & Update Statuses of Roadmap Items
Using Saasfe’s robust features, you can analyze, prioritize, and update the statuses of roadmap items based on their importance.
Engage your customers with an accessible product roadmap, share upcoming features, collect valuable feedback, and keep stakeholders in the loop.
5. Engage with User Feedback
Saasfe provides users with the ability to vote and comment on roadmap items. These user interactions can be used as a rich source of feedback and can help refine your roadmap.
You can also extend invites to specific users or teammates to privately gather internal feedback and create your product roadmap accordingly.
6. Publish Your Product Roadmap and Share
Once you are satisfied with your roadmap, you can publish it with Saasfe. This platform allows you to either generate a shareable link or host the roadmap on your custom domain.
7. Showcase Progress & Announce Updates
Regularly updating your product roadmap reflects your product’s progress, the feedback received, and any changes in your strategy.
Saasfe offers a changelog solution to announce new releases and updates to users. By completing the feedback cycle in one place, Saasfe ensures that your roadmap is not just a static document but a dynamic plan that evolves over time.
Is a public roadmap right for your company?
Whether a public roadmap is suitable for your company depends on several factors. If your product relies heavily on user feedback and community engagement, a public roadmap could be beneficial. It’s also a good fit if you aim to promote transparency and build trust among your users.
However, if your product development is subject to frequent changes or is influenced by factors you can’t disclose publicly (such as negotiations with third parties or confidential business strategies), a public roadmap may not be the best choice.
In conclusion, a public product roadmap is a powerful tool for engaging users, building trust, and aligning strategic objectives. Whether it’s the right choice depends on your specific business model and circumstances.