Ever feel like the roadmaps you make in Excel or Powerpoint are out-of-date the moment you finalize them? Are colleagues always stopping by for status updates? Do they understand what's coming next, let alone where you'll be in six months?
As product managers, we've long envisioned a dynamically updating roadmap that we can use to communicate the plan and rally everyone around where the product is headed and why.
Meet the Roadmap board.
The Roadmap board is an interactive visualization of your plans that you can share with colleagues across the organization. Here you can create different roadmaps for different audiences and they'll all automatically remain up-to-date.
Configure your Roadmap
Each roadmap can be configured to group features by when they'll be released or their current status. New timeline roadmaps can be enabled by admins in Labs (see below).
To get started, select Add new roadmap.
Then choose which type of roadmap you'd like to create:
Features by release roadmaps
Grouping by release is helpful for communicating when features may be available. The way you name releases is up to you, and can be adapted to fit your team's conventions.
Features by status roadmaps
Grouping by status is helpful for seeing what phase a feature is in today: New idea? Under consideration? Candidate? In discovery? In delivery? Ready for launch?
Status values are customizable and can be updated by an admin in workspace settings.
New Timeline roadmaps (now available to try in Labs)
Timeline roadmaps are helpful for visualizing when you might tackle various objectives or work on features that will be part of more granular releases. Backwards-plan from date-based milestones like analyst briefings, marketing launches, or industry events.
Of course, in an Agile environment you expect to adapt your plan as you learn along the way. That means it's best to avoid setting expectations with stakeholders around when exactly a feature will be delivered when that's subject to change. This also gives your team the leeway they need to ensure they're learning and adapting as they progress, so they can deliver the right feature even if at a later date than originally planned.
As long as you set the right expectations with anyone who has access to date-based roadmaps or use them primarily for planning, they're an invaluable tool, especially in complex environments where certain deadlines must be met, teams must be coordinated, and resources allocated.
Learn more about these two new types of timeline roadmaps, now available to enable in Labs:
Whether you group features by release or status, you can add additional swimlanes to display your features by Objective or by Hierarchy.
For a simpler roadmap you can leave features arranged as a Flat list.
When you're using your roadmap for planning purposes, it can be helpful to display additional values on roadmap cards, like effort, owner, and priority.
You can also decide whether to show hidden cards or underlying subfeatures.
Hidden cards are those that have been manually hidden (by selecting the eye icon beside a product, component, feature, or subfeature.) When a card has been hidden, it won't be visible to any contributor/viewerer viewing the roadmap but it will still be visible to other makers. It will also be visible to you unless you choose to hide it with this setting (e.g. if you're doing a live Roadmap presentation via screenshare).
Create multiple roadmaps
Once you made some adjustments to a roadmap, such as changing how features are grouped or applying a filter, you'll see the option appear to save the roadmap. (You can also use the dropdown to save as a new roadmap.)
Just like saved views on the Features board, any updates that aren't saved will be treated as ad hoc changes and the roadmap will revert to the last saved version once you navigate away.
To create a new roadmap from scratch, select the current roadmap's name to access the main roadmaps dropdown, then select Add new roadmap.
Share your Roadmap with colleagues
You can opt to share a roadmap with other makers, contributors, and viewers.
When you invite colleagues from across your organization into productboard as contributors or viewers, they'll see whichever roadmaps have been shared with them. They won't see any roadmaps that are private or that have only been shared with makers.
Ensuring colleagues see updates you make to your roadmap
When you make a change to a roadmap, that change is visible only to you until you select Save. Until then, others will continue to see the last saved version of the roadmap.
Export your Roadmap to PDF using the print icon. You can also zoom to the desired resolution in your browser and take a high-resolution screenshot to add directly to an email, Slack channel, or presentation.
✅ Invite a test viewer
If you're an admin, invite a colleague into your workspace as a viewer to see what they'll be able to see and do on your roadmap.
Join an upcoming webinar!
Learn best practices around visualizing your roadmap and sharing it with colleagues across the organization. A member of team productboard will explain key concepts, share tips, and answer all your questions so you feel prepared to hit the ground running.
We've covered our auto-generated Roadmap, best for sharing plans with internal stakeholders. Now let's move on to the Portal, where you can get feedback on ideas and share high-level plans with colleagues as well as customers.