10 Key Principles You Must Know about SaaS Product Roadmaps

Your SaaS Product Roadmap is…

1. Not set in stone

In product management, you need to stay pragmatic. Sometimes you decide not to develop a certain feature because there’s no demand, or because you believe that it just isn’t the right product strategy to pursue.

2. Not about setting an ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)

Priorities change all the time.

3. Not a secret

One of the goals of a good SaaS product roadmap is to spark discussions and facilitate sharing the company and product vision with all the stakeholders so they can react to it.

4. Not a release plan or a Gantt chart

When you say a roadmap, most people will expect to see not just a representation of your plans but also a VISUAL representation of your plans, such as a Gantt chart.

Product roadmap vs release plan
Product roadmap vs Release plan

5. Not one of these two extremes.

6. Not including too many details.

A SaaS product roadmap needs to be a high-level overview. Trust us, no one needs to see code like this from the development team on your product roadmap.

7. Not about software bugs

Bugs happen. And as much as your team members will flag them to your attention and the development team will squash them, they remain a reality of all software development. But your roadmap shouldn’t be about them.

  • Your product is generally stable
  • The user experience is acceptable
  • Bugs aren’t getting in the way of customer success or causing customer churn
  • Core product functionality is unaffected
  • SaaS product management metrics — particularly those relating to customer satisfaction — do not show bugs and stability as major customer pain points

SaaS product roadmap principles

Here are some of the main reasons why having a product roadmap is critical to hitting your SaaS company’s product goals and business objectives:

8. Vision, strategy, and SaaS Product Roadmap

At a high level, your roadmap is what comes right from your strategy and takes its roots in your company’s vision.

9. Alignment and transparency in your SaaS product roadmap

Your product roadmap is meant to align teams and stakeholders on the where and how. But it can also help your SaaS business align with your customers’ expectations too.

10. Customers, stakeholders, and their role in your SaaS product roadmap

The customer is the ultimate boss when it comes to your product.

How to build a product roadmap — what’s important to showcase?

Now that we’ve talked about the fundamentals, let’s narrow things down a bit and talk about what should appear on your roadmap.

Strategic features

These are big features that can lead to strategic wins — often answers to new business or tech opportunities. They can open your product to a whole new market, or drastically change the way you position yourself within your native market.

New modules

Significant additions to your product that will add real value to your customers by themselves, sometimes regardless of the rest of your product.

Integrations

Especially important when it comes to SaaS. Your strategic technical partnership is something you want to clearly line up on your product roadmap. t.

Tactical core improvements

Tactical improvements are about some core products or functionalities that will make it easier for your user to get maximum value out of it. It isn’t related to bugs or quality.

Go one step further. Leverage users’ feedback to inform your SaaS product roadmap.

We crafted Prodcamp to help founders and everyone involved in product management.

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ProdCamp — public roadmaps and customer feedback management platform. Connect customer feedback to your #roadmap and focus on what matters. www.prodcamp.com