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Want More Business Value? Align Your Product and Technology Roadmaps.

Reading: Want More Business Value? Align Your Product and Technology Roadmaps.
Want More Business Value? Align Your Product and Technology Roadmaps.

When Product roadmaps are aligned with the business strategy, they’re a reference point for staying on track with the direction and priorities of the product, how it’s progressing over time—and how that tracks against your overall business goals. 

Then there’s the Technology roadmap, which can be an important element for the success of a Product roadmap. 

But if the Technology team is working in isolation off of their own roadmap that doesn’t refer back to the same strategic goals of the Product roadmap, or the Product roadmap is built without a check-in with Technology partners, the result is a misalignment that can block the organization from reaching its goals and achieving more business value. 

In this blog, we’ll explore how getting better outcomes and more business value is possible with aligned Technology and Product roadmaps. 

Disconnected Why, How, and What 

Commonly, we see Product and Technology operating off of their own roadmaps with their own goals and planned outcomes without alignment. Why does this happen? A few possible reasons. When people are in different parts of the organizations, they get used to doing things a certain way with each department having a particular way they run, a set of things they value, skillsets they bring to the table, and tactics they use to succeed. So they’re just used to doing it the way they do it. Maybe the Product Manager feels confident about how much they understand their customers and market and didn’t even think of the value of partnering with Tech for feedback on the roadmap. 

Or maybe it’s just that the organization isn’t designed in a way that encourages these two teams to align at this point in the process. But organizations with Product and Technical leads that act as copilots by design, especially when it comes to roadmap alignment, will drive the most possible business value. 

When Product and Technology roadmaps aren’t aligned, the Technology team is usually updating software systems, platforms, and layers without regard for any business outcomes. They are only responding to what’s happening now and not at all looking toward what’s actually coming next

Often Product Managers also develop their roadmaps largely around features without consulting their Technology partners about what to do to actually create value from the features. So the Why and the What is understood on the Product side, but it isn’t put together with the How on the Technology side. When Technology doesn’t get included in this conversation, they end up on an island not knowing what they don’t know and choosing what to invest in without a connection to strategic goals and business value. 

As a result, they may not actually have the technology to support the outcomes Product is aiming toward, or they end up investing in the wrong technology altogether. This opens the possibility for issues with accuracy, speed, and uptime, making the product quality suffer and outcomes less predictable. So instead of producing more revenue, the organization ends up spending money on some of the wrong things. Roadmaps should enable business value, not diminish it. 

Communication is Key 

Communication and transparency are key for ensuring both Technology and Product are moving in parallel toward the same strategic goals. The idea is that Product works along with Technology to share what is needed and why, so that Technology can then find a way to deliver on those with strategically aligned features. Taking the time to overlay the Technology roadmap with the Product roadmap can help accomplish this. 

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