Small Business Enterprise Centre shares importance of Product Roadmap

June 23, 2022   ·   0 Comments

Your product or service is a key component in determining the success of your business. While you may start out with one product, or a small offering of products or services, over time they are likely to change and expand.

Great companies are always evolving to stay relevant and competitive; often doing so because the owner is acting on feedback from customers, responding to a great new idea or technology, or to ensure that the business remains competitive and current.

A product or service strategy roadmap can help small business owners lay out a feasible plan to reach goals. These roadmaps do not always include the original offering. Sometimes your product or service roadmap provides completely new offerings or categories that are complementary to an existing product line. 

According to, a product roadmap is a guiding strategic document that maps out the vision and direction for your product offering over time — it communicates the “why” and “what” behind what you are building. The article, “The Ultimate Guide to Product Roadmaps” outlines that the goals of a product roadmap:

  • Describe the vision and strategy
  • Provide a guiding document for executing the strategy
  • Get internal stakeholders in alignment
  • Facilitate discussion of options and scenario planning
  • Help communicate with external stakeholders, including customers

As products and services evolve, they inevitably become more complex. Consumer expectations increase with each new offering and pressure exists to continue expanding and integrating additional elements into products and services. In turn, these additional features will help to attract additional customers.

How do you plan what goes into a product roadmap? 

Roadmaps are the result of thorough analysis, consideration, and deliberation. Once you have set strategies and goals, keep the roadmap clear of any undeserving inclusions by applying a few filters:

  • Does the product or service have actual value to users?
  • Is there evidence of that value? Well-documented facts should support this claim, and metrics should be driving feature decisions.
  • Does it fit with your business model? There are lots of great ideas, but roadmaps are the culmination of prioritization and scheduling realities. Small businesses can have limited resources and it is prudent to be mindful of how many products or services you are able to provide at any given time.

Business owners must also weigh the benefits of short-term wins versus making progress towards long-term goals. Any good roadmap will include a combination of both items. This ensures incremental gains are being seen regularly without losing sight of the work required to advance the overall product strategy.

 When communicating a product roadmap to customer groups, the focus should be entirely on the product’s benefits to them. Customers love to provide input into the feature set of your products and often when you integrate these recommendations into future product offerings, customer loyalty is enhanced. Key strategic partners — from technology providers to distributors, will also need to understand future product goals in order to align their activities with the owner’s plans for the product.

A product roadmap encapsulates how the product strategy becomes a reality and it is an essential tool for all businesses, large or small. The document clearly identifies the products that are available today, the products that will be developed in the future, feature sets, and targeted release dates. Internally, the roadmap is useful for pinpointing the exact components required for manufacturing and production. Externally, it provides customers with a glimpse into the future and provides guidance on what will be coming.

More information on developing a product roadmap is available at

Mark Jamieson is the Co-ordinator of the Orangeville & Area Small Business Enterprise Centre. He can be reached at, 519-941-0440 Ext. 2270 or via cell phone at 519-942-6334.

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