As the name implies, product roadmaps serve as guides to successfully bring an idea from concept to market.
But unlike normal maps (or GPS systems), product roadmaps aren’t innately visual, and it takes work to put them into a format that communicates goals, deadlines, and everything else that goes into development.
This type of visualization is crucial for you and your team. It keeps everyone on the same page because it’s easy to understand at a glance. But figuring out how to capture all of this information and present it is a real challenge.
Templates can help immensely by providing pre-built frameworks, so all you have to do is plug in your information, rather than rack your brain trying to figure out how to communicate it.
Many templates are part of software platforms that allow you to continually convey strategies, ideas, and deliverables in a visual format — usually with timelines and task lists. Their licensing models allow you to easily share them and collaborate with colleagues.
Here are some of the best product roadmap templates to help you and your team achieve your goals.
1. Strategic roadmap template
A strategic roadmap is a big-picture framework that incorporates the overall mission and values of a product, even as it gets into the nitty-gritty of bringing the product to fruition. You can share this type of roadmap with the entire company so that every employee, team, and department can understand the benefits of what’s being created.
Roadmunk is an end-to-end roadmapping tool designed to help organizations create clear and shareable strategies that get their teams working in sync. The platform currently offers a free 14-day trial during which you can test the strategic roadmap template. This template makes it easy for users to lay out the different initiatives they’ll tackle, as well as the milestones they’ll achieve in the coming months, quarters, or years.
One of the key features of Roadmunk’s strategic roadmap template is the ease of pivoting between timeline and swimlane views. The timeline allows users to see the workflow for the entire organization that will lead to the launch of a particular product, while the swimlane view breaks the work down by department into task list format.
2. Portfolio roadmap template
Portfolio product roadmaps are great for organizations that manage multiple products at once. The roadmap conveys the overall strategy to teams working on each product and can highlight how all the work is connected.
A portfolio roadmap shows how work and milestones on one product can directly impact or lead to work on another product. It’s also a useful tool for identifying synergy between two or more projects.
For example, part of the roadmap for one product will involve the marketing rollout. The marketing strategy created for one product could be useful for the marketing of another product — or various attributes of one campaign could inspire attributes of another campaign, thus reducing overall work and the amount of duplicated labor across teams.
ProductPlan is a productivity app devoted to product strategy. A portfolio roadmap template is built into its platform so users of every level and from all departments can have a broad understanding of what the organization is working on.
The roadmap’s design gives users a high-level understanding of strategy and development objectives, and presents the information in a shareable format. Best of all, the app integrates with platforms like Trello so that workflow and tasks to execute the roadmap can be managed all in one place.
3. Feature roadmap template
Feature roadmaps are tailor-made for product managers to track the development and release of a product’s new features. This is more of a task-oriented roadmap than a strategic one, laying out feature releases as the big milestones, rather than big-picture accomplishments of the whole organization. The focus here is on work that adds value for users and doesn’t go into details on the various areas of an organization.
Roadmunk’s features roadmap template offers an agile framework to keep project managers abreast of a project’s status and all the individual team members on task.
This template breaks down features into different categories or benefits, such as scalability or consumer growth, and lays them out in multiple views. The timeline view provides an overall look at workflow and deadlines, while the swimlane view highlights the status of individual features in categories like backlog, in progress, and complete.
4. Release roadmap template
Release roadmaps enable project managers to provide updates for products they’ve already put on the market. These map out the addition of new features, improvements, and even major bug fixes. This type of roadmap takes more of a short term view (usually three to six months) since it’s about smaller and more immediate projects than something like an organizational mission.
Smartsheet is a cloud-based productivity service that allows organizations to manage work, all the way down to the nitty-gritty of the content individual users might be producing. The company offers a free release roadmap template on its platform, plus a free Excel file.
The template allows users to easily track the current status of different features of a release, as well as quickly get an understanding of the timeline and what needs to be done.
There are several platforms aside from those already mentioned that offer product roadmap templates — and you can update them continuously so that all users maintain an agile work environment. Some of the best platforms in the industry include Asana, monday.com, Airtable, and Productboard. What’s your favorite?