Resources > Articles

Roadmapping Your Way to Internal Transparency

Post Author
  • Janna Bastow is co-founder of ProdPad. She also organizes ProductTank and Mind The Product, a global community of product managers. Janna often starts and stops conversations with the question: “What problem are you trying to solve?” Contact Janna at janna@prodpad.com. Learn more about ProdPad at www.prodpad.com.

roadmapping your way to internal transparency

roadmapping your way to internal transparency

 

Internal transparency allows teams to work faster and with the confidence that they’re contributing to their company’s high-level goals. To achieve internal transparency you need to keep three steps in mind.

The first step is to establish a product canvas with your executive team. The second is to work with your teams to identify priorities. And the third is to prioritize and share your product roadmap. In this post, we’ll be covering the first step. For steps two and three, read the full article in the latest issue of Pragmatic Marketer.

To establish a product canvas, take the many versions and beliefs about what your product is and why it exists and pick just one.

Who are you building for? What are you working towards in the short term? Long term? What’s your vision? How are you and your approach different from competitors? What sets you apart?

If the answers are clear to all, great. But what if your executive team is split on these details? What if they’re undecided? This is where the product canvas comes in. A product canvas is a one-page document that outlines key product elements and business goals:

  • Vision—What does our company do? Where do we want to be in five years?
  • Description—How do people describe the product? What’s the official verbiage/pitch to use?
  • User Personas—Who are we building for? Who are our target customers and target users?
  • Objectives/KPIs—What do our customers want? What do we as a business want?

The canvas forms the basis of your product strategy and acts as a guide for product decisions downstream. Typically, it’s created once and reviewed every few months to ensure it still describes the product effectively.

This is high-level stuff that needs to be a collaborative effort.  So, bring your executive team to the table to work it out with you. This serves the dual purpose of gaining their support and buy-in.

First, provide each person with a blank copy of the product canvas and have them independently fill it out. Next, ask each person to share their answers. Unless you have created a product canvas before, chances are that everyone will produce a different set of answers. And that’s fine. The goal of this meeting (or series of meetings) is to disagree and reconcile discrepancies.

If someone believes the target user persona is X but no one else agrees, you need to discuss that discrepancy. This is something that will determine the direction of your product, so figure it out and make a firm decision. You don’t want to butt heads later in the product development process when the stakes are much higher.

When you are done, freely share the completed canvas with the team. Print out copies and stick them up on the walls around the office as a reference point. You can use it to defend your product decisions, and your colleagues can use it to challenge them.

The product canvas should serve as a single source of truth. If you can’t trace your priorities directly back to it, you’re on the wrong track.

To learn about the other two steps that will help you achieve internal transparency, read the full article by Janna Bastow in the Product Roadmaps issue of Pragmatic Marketer.

Author

  • Janna Bastow is co-founder of ProdPad. She also organizes ProductTank and Mind The Product, a global community of product managers. Janna often starts and stops conversations with the question: “What problem are you trying to solve?” Contact Janna at janna@prodpad.com. Learn more about ProdPad at www.prodpad.com.

Author:

Other Resources in this Series

Most Recent

interview
Article

The Eight Rules of Successful Win/Loss Analysis

Extracted from “The Reality of Perception: Aligning Your Buyer and Seller Process”
Successful Win/Loss Analysis
Article

Types of Data Needed for a Successful Win/Loss Analysis

It’s also essential to incorporate both quantitative data and qualitative data into your analysis. Let’s dive into the best practices for conducting a successful win/loss analysis.
PRIME Your Competencies
Article

What are Distinctive Competencies

PRIME can help identify strengths and weaknesses. Use it to focus organizational strategies as well as providing a focus for your career.
three white paper airplanes and one red paper airplane to showcase distinctive competencies
Article

Win/Loss: A Tool Used to Identify Your Company's Distinctive Competencies

Knowing which of your distinctive competencies are being recognized by the marketplace allows you to adjust your marketing and sales strategies.
Man holding elbow with tennis racket in hand
Article

[Distinctive Competency] What Companies Can Learn from the Tennis Elbow Queen

Focusing on an extremely specific segment of an industry can be a highly successful distinctive competency. Here are the lessons that companies can learn from the Tennis Elbow Queen.

OTHER ArticleS

interview
Article

The Eight Rules of Successful Win/Loss Analysis

Extracted from “The Reality of Perception: Aligning Your Buyer and Seller Process”
Successful Win/Loss Analysis
Article

Types of Data Needed for a Successful Win/Loss Analysis

It’s also essential to incorporate both quantitative data and qualitative data into your analysis. Let’s dive into the best practices for conducting a successful win/loss analysis.

Sign up to stay up to date on the latest industry best practices.

Sign up to received invites to upcoming webinars, updates on our recent podcast episodes and the latest on industry best practices.

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.

Subscribe

Subscribe

Training on Your Schedule

Fill out the form today and our sales team will help you schedule your private Pragmatic training today.