Product Roadmap Presentation Guide

Product Management
October 3, 2022
Share

Typically, a roadmap involves support from two groups: stakeholders and executors. The first group is concerned with results. This implies that you must convince the stakeholders of your vision and demonstrate how your planned roadmap aligns with the organization's objectives. The second group (executors) desires a clear understanding of the project's direction and the activities they will need to take.

The product roadmap presentation assists everyone in the team to understand the product's vision, mission, and objective. Consequently, product presentation is crucial because it maintains everything aligned and keeps both teams informed of what is happening inside the team and where the product is headed. A product road map presentation gives stakeholders a clear image of the product to better comprehend it. 

This guide will acknowledge you about what a product roadmap presentation is, why it is important, and the elements needed for a successful product roadmap presentation 

What is a Product Roadmap Presentation?

A product roadmap presentation is an exercise in communication and alignment where an ongoing series of meetings or updates explains the product's plan and direction to the stakeholder. 

The product roadmap presentation highlights your product development strategy. A product roadmap presentation demonstrates what you want to develop, why you believe your consumers will value it, and how it connects with your organization's overall strategy. 

Why is the Product Roadmap Presentation Important?

A well-presented visual product roadmap is essential for showcasing your product plan. 

Here are a few reasons why: 

Stakeholder buy-in:

A structured product roadmap presentation with facts and data is the best way to increase the stakeholder buy-in you need for your product strategy. Stakeholders care less about what you think than what you've shown, and a product roadmap presentation is the best way to show them why the approach makes sense. With the help of a product roadmap presentation, they are convinced that the product has been entrusted to a product team that uses logic, statistics, and discipline when considering how to distribute the company's resources for optimum impact. 

Big reason for stakeholders to want more:

A roadmap presentation elicits an array of favorable emotions from stakeholders. It excites them about the future of the product, both in terms of how it will assist the business in achieving its objectives and how it will fulfill and delight customers. They are well-informed on the logic behind the strategic decisions that led to the development of the roadmap, as well as the qualitative and quantitative evidence they may use for future comparisons. 

Avoids last-minute feedback from stakeholders:

A product roadmap presentation is more of a proposal that allows everyone on the team inside and outside to vote on and provide feedback on the concepts you wish to pursue. When the product roadmap is presented, it does not mean everything is fixed in stone. With your team's, clients', and stakeholders' input and suggestions, the likelihood of never-ending roadmap errors decreases, and last-minute feedback is less. 

No wastage of resources:

Product roadmap presentation provides stakeholders and every other audience with a clear picture of a product, preventing unanticipated circumstances that could result in wasted work. Due to the fact that all strategic planning is already displayed visually, product managers can focus on the most important duties while keeping in mind all the valuable information required to enhance the growth of the product. 

Proper alignment: 

Product roadmap presentations provide a consensus on the product's vision and objectives. Everything in your product roadmap presentation, including the initiatives, legend, and other elements, is aligned with the product objectives. The presentation of the product road map aids in establishing team alignment and verifying the plan. 

Lastly, the chaos and mess by different and multiple messages is sorted out via roadmap presentations.

Overall, product roadmap presentations ensure that everyone on the team (inside and out) stays on track with the product's vision and objective, hence increasing buy-in for the best roadmap approach. 

What are the Elements of Successful Product Roadmap Presentation?

The product roadmap presentation is the result of a well-thought-out process for making a product strategy plan. It helps product managers communicate well with all the team members and the stakeholders. Now you know how important roadmap presentations are and how they help you get cross-functional teams on the same page. Let's look at what makes a good roadmap presentation. 

This is generally included in a product strategy roadmap: 

Goal 

Your presentation should have a direction, much as the product roadmap indicates the direction that the product will take. The best goals are those that are specific, clear, and measurable. They should also have a set duration, usually 3-12 months, in line with the budgetary planning cycles. Make a goal and distribute it so that you can give your audience a preview of what to expect and ensure that they don't stray from its purpose. 

The example below is of a clear visual purpose of a company's product roadmap presentation. 

GOAL

METRIC

Top-rated fitness cycling app within 12 months

#1 rated in iOS and Android marketplaces

Double revenue year over year

+$50M revenue

Largest partner ecosystem

+50 partners

Vision 

Display your product plans within the context of the larger product strategy and the direction in which the product is heading. The presentation of your roadmap establishes a connection between the work and the strategy and explains all the mandatory questions like – why, when, how behind the plan. Think about incorporating high-level information about the product vision like the goals, user personas, competitors, market demand, and how to generate good ROI. Although this is not the final vision, it provides a beginning point for building a product roadmap, allowing for future planning. To put it another way, this is a description of the final product that you hope to give. 

Strategy

This is the scenario you're creating for your product in the first place. Internal and external stakeholders must know the project's ultimate business aim. Present how this product will assist the company and fit into the overall goal that has already been established. 

Audience 

Make each product roadmap presentation you give tailored to the audience's specific needs. It's possible that executives care about product strategy differently from sales and that sales care about product strategy differently from engineers. 

The most important information should be the focus of your roadmap presentations. You should present your roadmap in greater detail for an all-hands meeting or a wider audience. Do not detail every feature on your roadmap unless your audience asks explicitly for that information to be provided. Focus on how your product strategy wll support organizational goals and correspond with your product's vision. 

Feedback 

A product manager is required to present a product roadmap to both the internal and external audiences in order to collect feedback from those groups. You need to make sure that the questions and comments are given sufficient time to be addressed, and you also need to make a note of any feedback that you get so that you may use it in the future. 

Clarity

When presenting a roadmap to stakeholders, it is critical to zero in on the information that is most pertinent to the situation. Determine which product roadmap items are most important to the appropriate users and plan ahead.

How to Present Product Roadmaps? 

The product roadmap presentation framework is 3-staged – Things to do BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER roadmap presentations.

Things to do before presenting a product roadmap

Preparation is key to making the best use of your presentation. Consider how you will communicate and align with the applied strategies prior to constructing your product roadmap. 

Ensure your roadmap matches the business goals – 

Your roadmap should be based on your company's overall strategy and goals.

Check to see if the goals and vision of your product align with those of the business. Show how your objectives connect with those of the company. If your roadmap doesn't match the business's direction, you won't win over important stakeholders. 

Get stakeholder buy-in –

You may be aware of stakeholders' goals but individual meetings are essential before presenting your roadmap. This commitment is required for high-stakes leadership roadmap presentations. Regardless of how formal or informal your roadmap presentation will be, make sure everyone is aware of it in advance so there are no uncertainties. Early meetings help you anticipate presentation criticism and issues. 

Consider how your roadmap affects stakeholders and your organization, keep an eye and ear on the pain points. Before presenting your roadmap, win over stakeholders, this will help you and your presentation aligned. If you have 1:1 buy-in, you're more likely to align a large set of stakeholders. 

Understand product influence and stakeholder interests –

A clear understanding will improve your communication and map your stakeholders. The interest and influence matrix can help you decide whom to share your plan with and how. Consider who will be in the room to ensure buy-in. But before choosing your guests, consult your stakeholder map, have a brief conversation with the individuals, and gain feedback and alignment. 

Things to consider during the product roadmap presentation

Once you have effectively strategized the product’s goal and comprehended the stakeholders' interests and views, it is time to assess what changes or edits are necessary to make the roadmap more appealing. Communicate to fulfill the final needs of a stakeholder –

Always use basic, unambiguous language and avoid jargon when communicating with the stakeholders. Accessible language improves product plan communication especially when aligning several stakeholders.

  •  If you're speaking to distant leadership, be concise and direct in audience-specific messaging. 
  • Be open about your trade-offs so stakeholders understand your team's decisions. 
  • Provide context to stakeholders so they can see their role. 
  • Address your stakeholders' needs; you may have found these through stakeholder interviews or meetings. 

Filter your route by "epics" or results. You can show relevant ones to departments or practices. 

Q/A (questions/answers) is a must –

A roadmap presentation helps stakeholders validate your roadmap. Allow participants to ask questions and comment. Alignment isn't unilateral but about negotiating different viewpoints. Make sure your audience (stakeholders) feels heard and understood, but don't respond to every critique. 

Things to consider after the product roadmap presentation

Remember product roadmap presentation is an ongoing process. Providing and sharing a roadmap is not just enough as it is just a part of stakeholder management. There are many other things to keep in mind after the product roadmap presentation is disclosed to the stakeholders and the investors, such as –

Make your roadmap public

Share your roadmap publicly to maintain alignment by putting it somewhere, people can see it often. This will allow the audience to keep a check and track changes on the roadmap. By making it accessible outside of meetings, it becomes easy to share roadmap updates and revisions with others (majorly the stakeholders). Updatations can be done regularly via communication tools like Google Meet, Zoom, Slack, or Loom. 

Prioritize feedback

Plan your roadmap feedback by following up on the feedback on the presentation. To make it efficient, create a forum where stakeholders can submit continuous roadmap feedback. Make sure to manage expectations for how feedback will be assessed and acted upon. 

Get stakeholder input on your presentation –

Getting the necessary feedback from the stakeholders and the guests invited for a roadmap presentation will increase your roadmap's communication. There's probably an opportunity for improvement in how you've presented product roadmaps for years. A roadmap presentation helps align stakeholders and secure buy-in to deliver. 

Best Practices to Follow During Product Roadmap Presentations

At the end of the day, it all comes down to your presentation, even if you have a great roadmap design. If your investors are on the fence about your new company, a road map will sway their decision one way or the other. This is why your presentation is so crucial; even if you have a solid idea, your investors will likely lose interest if you don't offer it understandably. 

Fortunately, you're about to discover the most crucial considerations to remember if you want to ace your roadmap presentation.

Let's get started! 

Tell a story

To create an interesting presentation, presenters must convey a story. The strategies for developing a mobile application may not be engaging, but the speakers can address that. Include as many visual experiences as possible as you document your product's journey. Each presentation point should contain an element that demonstrates how it relates to the audience. Use graphs, timelines, storyboards, and other visuals to illustrate your objective. 

Use your story, no matter what it is, to keep your audience interested and to get them behind the plan. 

Communicate clearly 

Roadmaps should explain your high-level strategy, but stakeholders need particular specifics and timelines. Your executives will want to know how your present projects are progressing, how you're allocating resources, and how the projects' status might change if resources are shifted.

Your stakeholders demand new features and will ask when you'll release them.

  • Include each initiative's "% complete" on your roadmap.
  • Include each initiative's status on your roadmap.
  • Your billing page redesign may be 60% complete, and your new account management system 30%.

By sharing this information on the roadmap, you may stimulate crucial dialogues about how the initiatives are interdependent and what can be done to relocate resources or reprioritise projects. As needed, walk stakeholders through the details.

Use a tagging or color-coding system to layer information about each initiative's status without cluttering your roadmap. Differentiate planned, approved, in-development, and completed initiatives with color schemes or tags. Filter your roadmaps by completion state so stakeholders can see where things stand. 

Save early roadmaps and the early versions of your roadmaps. You can track completed, delayed, pushed back, or canceled initiatives by archiving historical roadmaps. You can use this information to see how your approach has evolved and, if anything goes wrong, to identify and rectify your decisions. 

Focus on impact and outcomes

Putting projects on your roadmap into thematic buckets is a great way to set priorities and a great way to help people understand what's going on. Using theme-based roadmaps, one of the most effective methods to communicate a memorable and meaningful story about your product. This is because themes are focused on the big picture. Instead of giving a long list of everything your product is working on, you can use themes to show the bigger picture and make it easier to sell your product strategy. 

Visually appealing

People only remember a small amount of what they hear, so it's important to use visual aids to keep your audience's attention and remember your key points. Your visuals should add to what you say verbally and make it more transparent, not give out new information. Don't use slides with many words that are hard to understand because they take away from the speaker.

Don't use too many words 

Initiative titles and descriptions should be short and prominent and easy to read. Remember that adding more text makes things less likely to be read.

Colour schemes should be used 

to demonstrate how projects fit into wider strategic goals and how they interact with one another. Include a legend to explain what the colors imply, and use colors that are distinct enough to stand out. 

Show the order of the projects visually 

Does a particular group of updates fit into a particular theme? Some projects are part of one release, while others are part of another? Make a picture of these connections by putting projects into containers or swimlanes. 

How do you Present a Roadmap to Executives?

Executives expect you to be an expert on your product. In addition, they anticipate you to be well-prepared and to speak for your consumers and the company. Therefore, your product management plans should demonstrate your product, market, and customer expertise. Remember that the ultimate objective of everyone in the room is to deliver value to consumers and the organization. Have faith that your contribution is important to this process. And even better, demonstrate its value at every opportunity. 

Remember that their main goal is to find out if the company is going in the right direction and putting its attention on the right things. What they care about the most is high-level objectives, plans and progress, and plan validation. They are least interested in technical details, complex data, and detailed timelines. 

So, here’s how to present the product roadmap to executives –

  • Start with high-level objectives and estimated completion dates.
  • Utilize simple statistics to demonstrate why these objectives exist (customer requests, etc)
  • Describe the anticipated outcome of these objectives (in simple words and numbers)
  • Describe briefly the progress made toward these objectives 

Executives are not heavily involved in the daily operations of your business. They probably have a multitude of side businesses. This means that individuals cannot devote time to topics that are irrelevant to them. Concentrate on the broad direction and high-level objectives, and keep it concise. 

How to Present a Product Roadmap to the Board

If your company has a Board of Directors (BOD) that helps run the business, they might be interested in where the product is going. But this group is more likely than the others to see your ongoing decisions about your product as a series of investments. And, like any other investment, yours should pay off well in the long run. 

As the Product team's leader, you are responsible for creating a depiction of the product roadmap that provides the required detail. There are many ways to organize your product investments to get the best short-term and long-term results, but it can be hard to explain this plan to "The Board." 

What drove this decision

The Product team has defined high-level themes to help decision-making when revising our roadmap. But these are usually better for filtering and prioritizing work than for pointing out specific product projects. 

Board members would not have the patience or product-level understanding to sit through a lengthy presentation on our product plan, complete with epics and stories. Furthermore, being close can make it challenging to get a solid feel of the overall product direction.

Use broad strokes for this specific audience, and explain the investments made and the expected ROI.

This method explains a high-level product roadmap as a series of investments that extend the current business and provide feasible future choices. 

Plan of attack

The 3 Horizons approach can assist you in organizing your thoughts so that you can continue to benefit from present client prospects while planning for favorable market conditions. 

Horizon #1

The model's first horizon indicates how 70% of the company’s investment should go towards existing technology the business is already using and an established market the business already serves. This places you as a product manager in the strongest position to defend your current business. Hence, giving you the perk to capitalize the company's new and existing resources. 

Horizon #2

In the second horizon, a product manager can describe how 20% of the product investment will be used to address an existing market that the business does not already serve using existing technology.. Adopting established technology reduces your company's risk when it seeks to service customers in a new market.

Horizon #3

The model's final horizon highlights the last 10% of the investment, where you target new technology intending to enter a new market. Aiming for the third horizon is undoubtedly more difficult, which explains the proportional amount of this collection of investments.

The impact

You will discover that your product roadmap has numerous audiences, each with different expectations - and levels of engagement.

Conclusion,

Any product roadmap presentation aims to reach a specific group of people. However, creating many unique presentations might take a considerable amount of time.

A product road mapping tool can help you streamline product planning and feature specification. To produce your roadmap presentation, you may need to combine data from numerous sources, such as documents, spreadsheets, other presentations, and design tools. Sharing product roadmap plans with a specific target audience is more manageable with software designed for product management.

The most important thing to remember while creating a roadmap presentation is to keep your audience and goals in mind. You'll be able to describe your roadmap's features and expected completion dates more precisely. What the product does for your business and your customers will also be explained in detail in your pitch.

Zeda.io Roadmaps is a product development platform that allows you to create and share visual blueprints for your product strategy.

Like the article? Share it with your friends!

Join 5000+ product managers

Subscribe to get our weekly product newsletter and helpful resources right into your inbox.