What is a feature roadmap?
A feature-Less roadmap (FLR) serves as a strategic blueprint. Solution managers can use feature-less roadmaps to develop a product that answers customer problems while also supporting the company’s larger aims.
In contrast to a feature-rich roadmap, which visualizes plans for a product’s creation or development, a feature-less roadmap does not include any nitty-gritty information about feature requirements.
Every roadmap aims to define where the product is heading — and how it will get there — to achieve its name. Roadmaps typically do this by using discrete tasks, stories, or milestones that reflect specific features that will be integrated into the final product or service.
The Importance of A Feature Roadmap
Since most product roadmaps are feature-focused, it’s no surprise that development teams frequently lose sight of why they are producing a product in the first place. You might use it to boost customer satisfaction, educate new users, and make the product mobile-friendly and compliant with regulations.
Example for a Feature Roadmap
It’s often simpler to grasp an idea when you have some instances, so let’s look at a number of them. The following are examples of road map themes:
● “The consumer wants to make a vacation reservation.”
● The customer wants to use our app and another app without signing in twice, says the developer.
● “Users desire to spend less time manually entering information into forms.”
● “New users want to be able to begin using the app as soon as possible.”
With these examples in mind, it’s clear to understand how a product roadmap represents the how of the product development process. In contrast, a feature-less roadmap illustrates the why of the product development process.
Product roadmap vs. Feature roadmap
First of all, we need to Ask – What is the difference between a product roadmap and a feature-less roadmap?
The concept of the product roadmap is undoubtedly recognizable to anyone who works on a product team in some capacity – whether as an owner, manager or any other position.
When it comes to development teams, a product roadmap can be a handy tool; it keeps everyone on track and ensures that you’re checking every box to guarantee that your goals are met.
But what happens when a strategy isn’t written in stone from the beginning?
In this case, it is the feature-free roadmap that takes center stage. By removing all specific items from the roadmap, you’re left with a series of themes that, in most cases, are reflective of the user experience in some way.
When should a corporation consider using a feature-free roadmap as a strategy?
It is vital to remember that the feature-less roadmap does not exist to take the place of the product roadmap in terms of functionality. As an alternative, it acts as a guide to guarantee that the product is tackling the appropriate problems appropriately.
Of course, features are still the focus of product managers’ daily work, so the feature-less roadmap is intended to highlight where each feature should be positioned in the development journey and how it contributes to the overall purpose of the product.
As a result, feature-free roadmaps can provide value to a project from the very beginning.
Once constructed, your feature-free roadmap will act as the authoritative source of information for the entire strategy. Product owners and managers will be able to explain to stakeholders exactly why they are working on a given feature during progress updates, which will save time. That is buy-in made simple, which is something that all project managers and business owners will enjoy.
How to create a roadmap that is devoid of features
Adopting a theme-based, feature-less roadmap is not always a quick or straightforward process, but it is well worth the time and effort put in at the beginning. You will motivate your product team, reassure your key stakeholders, and guarantee that the user experience is at the forefront of all development decisions. So, how do you go about making it happen?
Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on creating a roadmap without any features.
Step 1: Take action back and analyze your firm’s strategic objectives.
In creating a new feature-free roadmap, it is good to consider whether your product goals align with your firm’s strategic objectives.
If the two are slightly out of sync, it won’t be long before you deal with dissatisfied customers and a disappointed executive team. This is an unwise combo. As a first step, take a step back from the development process and list all of your company’s strategic objectives.
Some of these objectives can include earning a certain amount of income for the year, increasing the number of users by a specific percentage from the previous year, entering the mobile market, etc.
Step 2: Go over each strategic step and ensure it aligns with the overall concept.
As you move forward with your feature-less roadmap, it is time to develop a distinct theme for each step. Your team will continue down the roadmap from one piece to the next, bringing features and upgrades aligned with the organization’s goals as you and your team progress down the roadmap.
For clarity, let’s look at another example to illustrate the procedure. Consider the strategic objective of “increasing our presence in the mobile market.” That’s a significant objective, but themes can help you break it down into smaller pieces.
In this example, the themes for your feature-less roadmap might be as follows:
● “Customers can access the service and complete purchases.”
The ability to receive push notifications for order status changes is available to customers.
● “Customers will be able to access their accounts more quickly and from any location.”
Seems straightforward. That is because it is.
If you’re wondering where the features come into play, there are a couple of possibilities to consider. Either keep track of feature development on a separate product roadmap led by your feature-less themes or tag features to specific themes directly. Whatever the case, it’s important to remember that it is themed, not characteristics, that determine the direction and flow.