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Product Roadmaps for Startups

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This article is written by Taylor Wescoatt, Expert in Residence at Seedcamp. Taylor’s background spans 20 years of Product and UX having held key positions at successful startups like Seatwave and CitySearch, and larger brands like eBay and Time Out. This is the accompanying summary of two articles on Roadmaps for Startups; The Vision Roadmap for Startups, and The Behavioural Roadmap for Startups.

Congratulations! You’re starting a business, you’ve got a great vision, and a bit of traction. You’re growing, there are a million things to do. How do you decide what to focus on first? Everyone’s asking for different things. You need a Roadmap.

The roadmap explained

Typically Roadmaps are typically gantt-chart style diagrams of ‘what we’re going to build’. I’ve put together a lot of these “Feature-led Roadmaps”, and while the final product of long labour is usually appreciated, its pretty much out of date the moment it’s printed. This is confusing for everyone. Features are simply an abstraction between the Business and the needs of your User.

roadmaps.for.startups

A simple diagram to visualise the steps from your vision to creating your MVP (click to enlarge)

In this series I share a model of roadmapping for Startups specifically. The goal is to get everyone aligned on what is being built and why.

We begin with translating your Vision into a Vision Roadmap full of staged Propositions, or ‘how a segment sees your brand at a given time’.

Each Proposition can then be translated into a full User Journey of Behaviours necessary to achieve that Proposition. Focusing on key Behaviours and only then starting to brainstorm features leads to a far more aligned, well thought through, and persistent plan that a startup can go build Minimum Viable Product tests against in order to validate your thinking and drive your business forward.

If you use these techniques, you’ll find as most startups do that you’ve got a renewed, refined, more accessible plan for delivering your vision.

Good luck!

Read the articles:

  1. The Vision Roadmap for Startups
  2. The Behavioural Roadmap for Startups

Listen to the podcasts:

View the supporting slides:

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