How do I build a roadmap?

Once you think you understand what customers want and how much effort it will take, you’re ready to start sketching out your roadmap.

Start by drawing three columns and label them with time horizons. We like to use time horizons of “Current,” “Near Term,” and “Future” - but use whatever terms you are most comfortable with.

The important thing here is that you don’t stick to dates, or rather, not make any promises on delivery dates. Remember, priorities will change - you can’t help that!

Each card you place on your roadmap represents a theme, something like “Redesign Onboarding.” Sounds like a pretty large theme, right? That’s why each card holds ideas - each of which represents an individual task with specs and details for your dev team can then take on and work on without getting overwhelmed.

If this theme is something that you’re working on now, put the card under Current. If it’s an upcoming priority, put it under Near-Term. Your time horizon reflects your priorities.

This is still a high-level overview of all your overall tasks. (Although “Current” column cards should definitely contain more info, as it’s stuff you have defined and are working on now!)

As priorities change or as cards are completed, each card can be moved up and down horizontally and vertically to determine its priority. Remember, the placement of these cards are (and should be) hugely subject to change based on the results of continual experiments and testing.

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