Someone once said to me “I can tell how much we’ve done this year by looking at the product releases on our blog.”
I definitely had my work cut out for me.
Executive stakeholders often want to see a roadmap plotting out the course over the next year.
As product managers, we grudgingly go through the exercise of filling up a roadmap – laying out projects side by side over the course of the year. We know full well it doesn’t feel right but maybe aren’t sure why.
Well, there are two problems with this. It damages culture and, it never gives you the opportunity to really operate in a Lean build-measure-learn cycle.
To address this you need to focus on outcomes, not output. But, how do we enact change when an organization is focused on output?
Start with this, for each product you are working on, identify the key drivers that will make it a success. Then, ask the executive stakeholders what they think the key drivers are. If you or the other stakeholders don’t know, that’s red flag. Get in the habit of leading with KPIs and talking to the org about aligning the outcomes of the features with the goals of the business.
You can read more thoughts on transitioning from output based roadmaps to outcome based roadmaps below.