whiteboards, sticky notes, and brainstorms within a team are the fun part. there are a handful of projects, everyone talks at lunch, and you don’t have the runway to plan more than a few months ahead. between 20 people and 1,000 people is the sweet spot for a light-weight approach to product roadmaps. the alignment from okrs is great, but the measurement overhead is overkill for companies changing quickly and the quarterly cycle is too inflexible. this bucket has the most debate, because #now projects are usually already underway so this is the area where the next few months of work get set. it’s a useful place to park ideas the team is passionate about. you can also leave the ideas much less specific than in #now and #next; you just want to plant seeds to revisit later. it is then easy to frame team efforts around feature level goals that build up into the company-wide metrics.
before we tried this planning process for the first time, teams had ideas strewn across planning docs and research findings, posted on whiteboards, and littered in asana projects. this lets people feel heard about ideas they are passionate about, while the team can be clear and ruthless about what they take on. once the roadmap was in good shape, they brought it in for a review session with the ceo and the heads of engineering, design and product. we are big fans of asana, which takes a fairly unstructured approach to tooling for project management. some of the benefits include: structure and communication processes are taxes companies pay as they grow bigger. creating a prioritized roadmap was something everyone did, but no one had an approach they loved. finding something simple and common across teams was a win. we are hiring talented engineers, product managers, and designers. visit slack.com/jobs to find out more, or email me directly at nweiss @ slack-corp .
you’re probably familiar with the idea of a product roadmap when it comes to software. the problem is that the worlds of technology and business evolve rapidly, which makes it hard or impossible to correctly guess what specific features are needed 3 years down the road. this is why the nimble ams team takes a different approach to product roadmaps – an approach we refer to as our “now – next – later roadmap”, or nnl roadmap. for example, in the spring ’19 release of nimble ams, we are getting ready to release our new recurring payments capabilities. it includes the business challenges that nimble ams plans to address in the next release of the product.
we also use this time to develop our okrs, or objectives and key results, that will help ensure the next release will truly help our customers and not sit on a ‘feature shelf’. we think more broadly about what problems our customers will be facing in the next 1 to 3 years. for example, we are exploring how nimble ams can help empower associations to be ai-first and take advantage of the advances in artificial intelligence (ai) with everything they do from the very first planning stages. by working with a product roadmap that’s flexible enough to tweak along the way, the nimble ams team can correct its course whenever necessary to hit the mark for customers’ needs. community brands®, nimble ams™ and respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of community brands holdco, llc and its affiliates.
#now and #next are effectively the goals for the quarter, and #later is the longer term roadmap. now-next-later roadmap template. communicate your priorities over broad timeframes with an emphasis on the near- this is why the nimble ams team takes a different approach to product roadmaps – an approach we, now next later planning, now next later planning, now, next, later roadmap jira, now next later autism, now, next, later framework.
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