Making a product roadmap is not an easy task. But to present and nail the product roadmap when you have varying audiences and opinions is an important skill you must acquire.
A product manager’s best product roadmap presentation can tell a compelling story.
It will lead the audience to know what the team is planning on building, the direction the product is headed in, and eventually, how it connects with your business goals.
This article will guide you through the entire process of product roadmap presentation and the ways you can nail it!
What Is a Product Roadmap Presentation?
The product roadmap presentation is one of the most crucial meetings the product manager hosts.
The roadmap presentation can get the executives on board. Otherwise, the product manager is asked to build better plans and struggles to get approval.
The product manager would undoubtedly want to deliver an excellent product roadmap presentation.
How To Prepare for a Product Roadmap Presentation?
Your product roadmap is just words painted on a paper until you give a presentation or conduct a meeting to validate it in some form from internal stakeholders.
To have an excellent product roadmap presentation, you must prepare well before the actual game.
Below are the three areas you can prepare and learn to better your product roadmap presentation.
Connect Product Vision and Company Vision
Suppose your product roadmap states that you will build product features A, B, and C. Then, you must know how these features will align with your organization’s overall goal.
Therefore while preparing your product roadmap presentation, keep in mind to provide a detailed high-level strategy.
If not, you’ll get too many unnecessary questions, and everyone will take what they find advantageous.
While making the product roadmap presentation outline, don’t use too many buzzwords. Engineering teams must understand what you are trying to communicate about the product.
Thoroughly Know Your Stakeholders
Getting to know your stakeholders after the product roadmap is a marketing strategy. You must understand your stakeholders’ motivations, purpose, and so on.
Have an Inside Out Knowledge of Resources Available at Your Disposal
Your stakeholders will always ask you what isn’t the work moving on faster?. Therefore you must be aware of the available resources at your disposal.
Articulate the resources you will require to finish a task and the tradeoffs that might come up.
You can also present the history of the work and the time it had taken in the past. This way, everyone is aware of how long the work might take to complete.
Include the Why
No team will give you a product without understanding the why behind it. Show the data and convince your audience with a why by using user personas.
Know the Commitments
Don’t just put a feature on the product roadmap just because the higher authorities need it. See the realistic commitments and then put them there. Also, set realistic plans, and have a clear plan of action before you give your product roadmap presentation.
When you prepare for your product roadmap presentation, gather all information that will benefit the teams and stakeholders.
A product roadmap guides everyone. Hence don’t pressure things into it. If certain aspects are yet not apparent, be open about it with teams.
How to present a product roadmap?
Below are some pointers you may benefit from before presenting a product roadmap.
Set an Agenda for Your Product Roadmap Presentation
Keep these three things in mind:
- Keep your presentation short
- Involve very few people
- Set an agenda
Send out the details of the meeting beforehand via email to your attendees. Right from the beginning of your product roadmap presentation, set three things clear:
- What you will be presenting to your audience
- What your audience can expect from you
- What you expect from your audience
Be Confident About Everything You Don’t Know
You have control over your product roadmap and its presentation. Do not rush, keep eye contact throughout, take pauses in between sentences, and speak with calm.
Don’t feel sorry if you don’t know enough about your product. As a product manager, it is not necessary to have a full-fledged understanding of your product, especially not when you are just starting,
Be open about feedback; that is where you will learn a lot about your product.
Talk About Issues
When you present your product roadmap to your audience, you are mainly there to give product direction and vision and solve issues.
Start your product roadmap presentation with a gist of your product canvas. Then you can move on to the product roadmap and give a more detailed description of the product strategy.
You can use color-coded flags to convey your product strategy. You can easily present your high-level priorities this way.
You must discuss the features at the end of your presentation. And that is mainly because everyone in the team will have a say on what features we should build and how.
But because you began your presentation with what problem you want to solve, you can now narrow down the features accordingly.
Keep the Conversation Flowing
Now that you have given your product roadmap presentation, it doesn’t mean your duties are over, and everyone must follow the rules you have set.
You may ask your team members, clients, and stakeholders to give you feedback and improvement suggestions to incorporate.
Provide a single channel for further discussion and let everyone give you valuable insights into your product roadmap.
Finally, let everyone know their time is valued and their presence made a difference to your presentation. Thank your audience for the learning and feedback.
A good product manager will wait until the end to answer any queries and clear any misunderstandings or doubts your colleagues and teams may have.
What Mistakes Do Teams Commonly Make While Presenting Product Roadmap?
Deviating From the Point and Getting Too Technical
It’s a sales pitch which means you should stick to the product goals, product benefits, and product differentiation aspects in your product roadmap presentation.
You may discuss all the technicalities during the product training session for your customers.
Not Understanding the Needs of the Audience
One main reason product roadmap presentations fail is that they target product managers and product marketers.
You must understand that product roadmap presentation is evaluated by customers, end-users, and product managers.
They will look at your product from a technical perspective and make decisions based on their product knowledge and customer experience.
They all want to visualize how the product benefits them in different ways.
Presenting the Roadmap With Low Confidence and Zeal
Many product managers are not confident when presenting their product, either features or benefits.
You need to look beyond your product and show how it will meet the audience’s needs. Instead, focus on your product’s road map and convince them about what they can achieve with your product.
Making Unrealistic Plants and Deadlines
A product manager’s responsibility is to make a product roadmap and product roadmap presentation with realistic deadlines, features, and benefits.
Product managers should avoid setting up unrealistic product roadmapping or product planning until they have done their research and know what the market wants and how to create a product that will meet those needs.
If your product does not meet the deadlines or goals, it might lead to the failure of your product.
This evaluation will show that your product is weak compared with others.
Facing Only the Screen and Talking
When you talk to the screen and talk, you are likely to make your product review a boring one.
Most product managers are not aware of presentation etiquette.
When they present roadmap PowerPoint, product managers should always keep engaged with their audience and respond to their questions on time.
It is advised to product managers that they must face only one side of the screen instead of facing from both sides.
Not Showing Product Roadmap Powerpoint Slides
Product managers should always show product roadmap PowerPoint slides to their audience.
Otherwise, it will be a waste of time if product managers present the product roadmap without giving any visuals of their product.
In addition, product managers must also provide all the opportunities for questions and answers to come out from their audiences.
If product managers do not provide product roadmap PowerPoint slides, their audience will always have unanswered questions.
Not Adding Product Details in Product Roadmap Slides
Product managers must add product details to their product roadmap PowerPoint slides. If they present the product roadmap, it becomes hard for audiences to understand what they are seeing.
These are the pitfalls in the product roadmap presentation. Here are our top 5 ways to nail your product roadmap presentation.
What Are the Top 5 Ways To Nail Product Roadmap Presentation?
Present Clearly Without Complicating Stuff
Nothing can be more frustrating for product managers than presenting a product roadmap in a way that the audience will find it difficult to understand what they are seeing.
Product managers need to make sure that they are presenting the product roadmap clearly with proper use of slides and diagrams.
Doing this will help the audience understand the product roadmap better.
Present Object, Vision, and Context Properly
Most product managers focus on specific product features without presenting product vision and product context.
Product managers should make sure that they are presenting the product roadmap. And they must communicate the product vision properly along with the product context.
Doing this is essential because product managers need to keep their audiences fully aware of why they are introducing given product features.
If you are a product manager and present a product roadmap in a product team meeting, product steering committee, or product board meeting, make sure that the audience is fully aware of the product vision and product context.
Omit Unnecessary Slides
Sometimes product managers put too much information on their product roadmap presentation.
Therefore it becomes difficult for audiences to understand the core crux of the product roadmap slide.
Suppose product managers keep their product roadmap crisp and straightforward. It will help them gain the trust of product team members, product board members, and product stakeholders.
Focus On “Why,” Not Just “What”
While creating a product roadmap presentation, the product manager should focus more on why they are putting given features in upcoming releases instead of just putting features.
Product management is more about product vision and context than product roadmap detail slides.
Why is the product manager focusing on a given feature area?
What are the factors that are driving this product decision?
These are a few questions that product managers need to answer for their product teams, product stakeholders, and product board members before putting up a detailed explanation of the product roadmap.
Product managers must understand that a product roadmap is not just a product feature list or product backlog.
The product manager’s role is to provide product context and product strategy along with product roadmaps.
The product team, product stakeholders, and product board members must understand this to align their efforts toward achieving common product goals.
Develop Practical and Realistic Plans
The deadlines and the strategies laid down in the product roadmap should be realistic. The product manager should develop a product roadmap so that the product team can deliver products successfully.
The product manager should avoid being over-ambitious in the product roadmap, which would fail to meet product deadlines and miss product targets.
Doing so will ensure customers’ wants and product managers can deliver the product on time.
A well-made product roadmap serves as an essential foundation for your product. That is why it is necessary to communicate and present it with eloquence and insight to your team.
It would help if product managers did not forget that a product roadmap is like ‘the product constitution,’ which guides the product development and ensures product success.
That is why the product roadmap presentation is essential.