Question: Should every product — even internal products — have a product roadmap?
I work in the IT dept of a financial institution. As such, we don’t build a lot of software in-house. We are more of a system integrator. But we want to have product roadmaps for many of our systems that support our business. But we have so many systems ranging from small 6-user systems to large enterprise wide system such as our CRM system. We can’t have product roadmaps for every little system out there.
What are some of the guidelines to determine whether a product roadmap is required for an application?
Answer from Gopal Shenoy of Product Management Tips: You need to figure out what systems play a role in your mission critical applications. Then for these systems, ask for product roadmaps so that you have advanced notice on what new functionality or change in behavior in existing functionality is being planned by the vendor. This will allow you enough time to make sure the vendor knows about any unique ways that you use their systems that they may not be aware of.
The last thing a good vendor wants is to introduce regressions that is going to piss off one of their big customers – You. They should appreciate your input since it is being given well before they have started cementing their new code and release. After all, good vendor relationships are two way partnerships – you helping them and them helping you.