Jun 7th, 2024

How to Create a Product Roadmap? The 2024 Guide


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A product roadmap serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path your product will take to achieve success. It's a visual representation that communicates your product's vision, strategy, and goals to stakeholders and keeps everyone aligned on the journey. But how do you actually create this roadmap?

Before we delve into the specifics of crafting a product roadmap, let's solidify our understanding of what it truly is. 

What Is a Product Roadmap?

A product roadmap is a high-level visual plan that outlines the vision, direction, and priorities for a product over time. It acts like a shared document that communicates the "why" and "what" behind the development of a product, and also serves as a guiding strategy for executing the product vision.

Core Elements of a Product Roadmap

  • 1Purpose: It helps align different teams within an organization around the short-term and long-term goals for the product, and how they will be achieved.
  • 2Content: It typically includes information such as the product vision, strategic goals, features to be developed, timelines, and dependencies.
  • 3Types: There are different types of roadmaps depending on the audience, such as internal roadmaps for development teams or external roadmaps for customers.
  • 4Flexibility: Roadmaps are not set in stone and should be adaptable to changes in the market, customer feedback, and other factors.

Types of Product Roadmaps

Here are the different types of product roadmaps:

1. Feature-based roadmaps:

This is the most common type of product roadmap. It focuses on the individual features that will be added to the product over time. It typically includes a detailed breakdown of features, their priorities, and estimated release dates or timeframes.


  • Easy to understand and communicate to stakeholders.

  • Helps to prioritize and track progress on development tasks.


  • Can be too focused on features and not enough on the overall product vision and goals.

  • May not be flexible enough to adapt to changing market conditions or customer needs.

2. Goal-oriented roadmaps:

These roadmaps focus on the specific business and product goals that the product is trying to achieve. They typically list the goals, the initiatives that will be undertaken to achieve those goals, and the features that will be built as part of those initiatives.


  • Helps to ensure that the product is aligned with the overall business strategy.

  • Makes it clear how features contribute to achieving specific goals.


  • Can be more complex to create and maintain than feature-based roadmaps.

  • May require more buy-in from stakeholders who are not familiar with product development.

3. Theme-based roadmaps:

These roadmaps group features together into themes that represent a specific focus area for the product. This can be helpful for products that are complex or have a wide range of features.


  • Helps to communicate the overall product vision and strategy.

  • Makes it easier to see how different features fit together.


  • Can be more difficult to prioritize features within each theme.

  • May not be as clear as other types of roadmaps for stakeholders who are not familiar with the product.

4. Timeline-based roadmaps:

These roadmaps focus on the timeline for development and release of features. They typically show the dates or time frames when features are expected to be released.


  • Helps to communicate the expected timing of new features to stakeholders.

  • Can be helpful for tracking progress and identifying potential bottlenecks.


  • Can be difficult to keep up-to-date, especially if the development process is agile.

  • May not be as flexible as other types of roadmaps to adapt to changing priorities.

5. User story-based roadmaps:

These roadmaps focus on the user stories that will be implemented in the product. User stories are a way of describing the features of a product from the perspective of the user.


  • Helps to ensure that the product is focused on meeting the needs of users.

  • Can be a good way to communicate product requirements to the development team.


  • Can be time-consuming to create and maintain.

  • May not be appropriate for all types of products.

The best type of product roadmap for your product will depend on your specific needs and goals. It is important to choose a roadmap that is clear, concise, and easy to understand for all stakeholders.

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How to Create a Product Roadmap - 5 Essential Tips

  • 1Start with a clear vision and strategy: Define your product's long-term goals and how it aligns with your overall business objectives. This will guide your roadmap decisions and ensure that all features and initiatives contribute to the bigger picture.
  • 2Focus on customer needs: Understand your target audience and their pain points. Prioritize features that address their needs and solve their problems effectively. Gather feedback through surveys, user interviews, and other methods to ensure your roadmap is customer-centric.
  • 3Be flexible and adaptable: Market conditions and customer needs can change rapidly. Be prepared to adjust your roadmap as needed. Embrace an iterative development process and be willing to pivot when necessary based on new information or learnings.
  • 4Communicate effectively: Share your roadmap with all stakeholders, including your team, leadership, and customers. This transparency fosters collaboration, keeps everyone aligned with the product vision, and manages expectations.
  • 5Use visuals to communicate clearly: Utilize tools like Gantt charts or Kanban boards to visually represent your roadmap. This helps everyone understand the timeline, milestones, dependencies, and ownership of different initiatives.

Best Practices for Product Roadmap

Here are some best practices for creating and managing a product roadmap:

Before You Build:

  • 1Define the "why": Clearly articulate the product vision and goals. What problem are you solving, and for whom? This will guide your roadmap decisions.
  • 2Gather multiple perspectives: Get input from various stakeholders, including customers, sales, marketing, and development teams. This ensures a well-rounded understanding of needs and priorities.
  • 3Define themes: Group related initiatives into themes or epics to improve organization and communication.

Building and Managing Your Roadmap:

  • 1Prioritize ruthlessly: Not everything can fit on the roadmap. Use a prioritization framework like MoSCoW (Must-Have, Should-Have, Could-Have, Won't-Have) to focus on the most critical initiatives.
  • 2Choose the right tool: Consider using dedicated roadmap software for easy collaboration, updates, and different audience views.
  • 3Keep it informative and transparent: Clearly communicate the roadmap's purpose, contents, and timelines. Use visuals and concise language for easy understanding.
  • 4Maintain ownership: Assign clear ownership for each initiative on the roadmap for accountability and progress tracking.
  • 5Embrace flexibility: Be prepared to adapt the roadmap based on new information, changing priorities, or market feedback.


  • 1Focus on value, not features: Prioritize initiatives that deliver the most value to your users, not just adding bells and whistles.
  • 2Communicate regularly: Keep stakeholders informed about progress, changes, and any adjustments to the roadmap.
  • 3Don't overpromise: Be realistic about timelines and avoid setting unrealistic expectations.

Who is Responsible for Product Roadmap

While the product manager typically owns the product roadmap, its creation and maintenance involve collaboration across various teams and stakeholders. Here's a breakdown of the key players:

Primary Responsibility:

  • Product Manager: They lead the charge, gathering information from various sources: 
    • Market research: Understanding customer needs and trends.
    • User feedback: Incorporating insights from product usage.
    • Internal discussions: Collaborating with development, sales, and other teams.
  • They then translate this information into actionable items on the roadmap:

    • Prioritizing features based on impact, feasibility, and alignment with strategy.

    • Defining timelines and milestones for development.

    • Communicating the roadmap to stakeholders and ensuring everyone is aligned.

Collaborative Efforts:

  • Executive Team: They provide strategic direction and high-level goals for the product, which the product manager incorporates into the roadmap.

  • Development Team: They offer insights into technical feasibility, effort required, and potential dependencies, influencing timelines and feature prioritization.

  • Sales and Marketing Teams: They contribute their understanding of market needs and customer segments, helping prioritize features that resonate with the target audience.

  • Other Stakeholders: Depending on the organization, other departments like customer support or finance might also provide valuable input.

Overall, the product roadmap is a collaborative effort, but the product manager acts as the conductor, orchestrating the inputs, making final decisions, and ensuring the roadmap reflects a clear and achievable vision for the product's future.

Product Roadmap Templates

There are many different product roadmap templates available online, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The best template for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a template:

  • The type of roadmap you need: There are many different types of roadmaps, such as strategic roadmaps, feature roadmaps, and release roadmaps. Each type of roadmap serves a different purpose.

  • The level of detail you need: Some templates are very high-level, while others are more detailed. Choose a template that provides the level of detail you need to communicate your product vision effectively.

  • The tools you are using: Some templates are designed to be used with specific project management software. If you are already using a particular tool, you may want to choose a template that is compatible with it.

Here are a few resources where you can find free product roadmap templates:

Once you have chosen a template, you can customize it to fit your specific needs. Be sure to include the following information in your roadmap:

  • Timeline: The timeframe for your roadmap.

  • Goals: The key objectives that you want to achieve with your product.

  • Initiatives: The major projects that you will undertake to achieve your goals.

  • Features: The specific features that you will be adding to your product.

  • Milestones: The key dates and deadlines for your roadmap.

Your product roadmap should be a living document that is updated regularly as your product evolves.

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Final Thoughts

Creating an effective product roadmap is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning, strategic thinking, and collaboration across teams. By defining clear goals, understanding your audience, identifying key features, and creating a visual roadmap, you can chart a course for success. Embrace agility, iterate regularly, communicate openly, and monitor progress to ensure that your product roadmap remains aligned with evolving market dynamics and user needs. With a well-crafted roadmap guiding the way, your product journey is poised for success.


"A product roadmap is a living document that charts the course for your product's future. It should be flexible to adapt to new information and feedback, but remain focused on your core vision."


A product roadmap is a high-level plan that outlines the vision, goals, and direction of your product over time. It helps stakeholders understand what features are being built, why they're important, and when they'll be released. It's crucial for keeping everyone aligned, prioritizing initiatives, and ensuring your product stays on track.


While the specifics can vary, some common components include:

  • Product vision: A concise statement outlining the overall goal and aspirations for the product.

  • Goals and objectives: Specific, measurable targets that contribute to the product vision.

  • Initiatives and features: Key projects and functionalities planned for development.

  • Timeline: A timeframe for delivering initiatives and features, often with estimated release dates (though exact dates may be flexible).

  • Success metrics: Measurable indicators to track progress towards goals and the impact of features.

Prioritization often involves considering factors like:

  • Alignment with product vision and goals: Does the feature directly contribute to achieving your objectives?

  • User needs and market demands: Is there a strong demand for this feature from your target audience?

  • Impact and feasibility: How much value will the feature deliver, and how complex is it to develop?

  • Dependencies: Are there other features that need to be built first before this one can be implemented?


A product roadmap is a living document, not a set-in-stone plan. It should be reviewed and updated regularly, typically every quarter or whenever significant changes occur. This allows you to adapt to new information, feedback, and market trends.

Several online tools and software specifically cater to product roadmapping. These tools offer features like templates, visualization options, and collaboration functionalities, making the process more efficient and interactive.


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