A product roadmap is a visual tool to summarize a product offering over time. A roadmap is most often used internally, for example, when working on project planning. However, there are times when a product roadmap needs to be reviewed with entities outside your company, for example, when pitching a future version of a product with a prospective customer. Be extra careful when reviewing what is primarily an internal tool with people outside your company. Here are five best practices for sharing product roadmaps externally.
- Remove all sensitive data such as features that are not being disclosed, project cost information, staff names, and competitor references.
- Include a prominent disclaimer to note that the roadmap is not a commitment and is subject to change. It is critical that external parties are aware that while the roadmap is an expression of intent, it is not a committed plan. Setting the right expectations is critical to avoiding disappointment if a plan changes in the future.
- Use project code names to obfuscate the product or brand name in case the roadmap ends up in the hands of competitors or others outside of the intended audience.
- Consider creating two versions: The version that is presented and a “leave behind” version that further removes sensitive data. Sometimes it’s acceptable to present certain information verbally but leave that undocumented.
- Use a secure .PDF or another non-changeable format. If sharing the roadmap under a non-disclosure agreement, note that and include the name of the external partner on the roadmap.
Read more about roadmaps and other key product management topics in my book, Mastering Product Management: A Step-By-Step Guide, available now in paperback and eBook.