A cross-functional team’s guide to roadmapping
Wednesday, November 2021, at 8:30 AM
Roadmaps have traditionally been seen as the job of product management. But a shift is afoot -- from UX and engineering being downstream “customers” of the roadmap -- to being active co-creators (and in some cases, key owners) of the roadmap.
This shift presents an amazing opportunity for UX to take on a more strategic role, and to impact the direction of the product on a more fundamental level. It also presents a formidable challenge: navigating these often archaic artifacts, and the processes that surround creating them.
The primary goal of this workshop is to build roadmapping fluency. But there’s a twist. We don’t want to perpetuate the roadmapping antipatterns that may be in place in your organization (and in the industry as a whole).What do UX-friendly roadmaps look like, and how can we actually advance the roadmapping craft? How can UX lead?
Some topics we’ll cover include:
- The basics: the job of roadmaps
- Roadmaps as a designed thing -- a communication device
- Roadmaps vs. backlogs vs. release plans
- Preserving a sense of the complete experience
- Moving beyond prescriptive feature-based roadmaps
- Aligning the roadmap around UX-friendly metrics
- Communicating the need for research (and uncertainty in general)
- Business lingo: talking in “bets”, risk, and upside
In short, I hope attendees will leave much more confident about becoming active participants in the roadmapping process. I am very excited to be facilitating this activity. I’m obsessed by the communication challenges that roadmaps present, and inspired by the idea of applying design to the problem.
John Cutler is keenly focused on user experience and evidence-driven product development. He mixes and matches various methodologies — jobs-to-be-done, Lean UX, Lean Startup, customer development, and design thinking — to help teams deliver lasting outcomes for their customers.
\“Team tetris and the feature factory will only take you so far. Cross-functional teams desire so much more, and my passion is helping them get there. It’s a win/win for the front-line teams, the business, and the customer and user.\”
John currently works as a product evangelist at Amplitude. As a former UX researcher at AppFolio, a product manager at Zendesk, Pendo.io, AdKeeper and RichFX, a startup founder, and a product team coach, John has a perspective that spans individual roles, domains, and products.
His viral enthusiasm has been heard through speaking/teaching engagements at Front, Oredev, Mind The Product, Agile 2015, Heart of Agile Philadelphia (2016), and various ProductCamps (Vancouver, Los Angeles, Raleigh NC) and MeetUps (Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, New York). John’s talk on Feature Factories was voted one of the Top 10 Product Talks of 2017.
In 2018, Mixing in some less-than-typical experiences — driving rickshaws in NYC, and touring the US with “five other weird creative people in a van playing music” — John blogs prolifically about collaboration, product development, diversity, UX research, lean startup, and user experience. Some notable posts include The Evolving Product Manager Role, Persona(s) Non Grata, 12 Signs You’re Working in a Feature Factory, and Stop Setting Up Product Roadmaps To Fail.
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