Mission defines your intent. Vision is the outcome you seek. Values Are Beliefs and Ideals

These three inform your product roadmap.

Mission that’s often overlooked is that it has to reflect what you do for someone else. That someone else is typically not your shareholders, but your customers

A solid vision statement will address these three aspects:

The target customer—the who?
The benefit or need(s) addressed—the why?
What makes it unique—how is it different?


To create a product vision, the authors suggest starting with Geoffrey Moore’s “Value Proposition template" (also known as the “Elevator Pitch template") from his book, Crossing the Chasm (HarperBusiness).

We have adapted it slightly for use in product roadmapping.

Value Proposition Template

For: [target customer]
Who: [target customer’s needs]
The: [product name]
Is a: [product category]
That: [product benefit/reason to buy]
Unlike: [competitors]
Our product:


“When done well, the product vision is one of our most effective recruiting tools, and it serves to motivate the people on your teams to come to work every day. Strong technology people are drawn to an inspiring vision; they want to work on something meaningful."Marty Cagan, founder of Silicon Valley Product Group and author of Inspired

“a major platform player like Salesforce and Hubspot" (Contactually).

Guidelines on OKRs as they apply to product roadmapping:
Everything on the roadmap must be tied to at least one of your objectives.
Stick to a manageable number of objectives; from our experience and research, fewer than five seems to be most effective.
Focus on outcomes, not output.

Product roadmap should focus on outcomes over output.



Output
Why?
Theme (Outcome)
HTML5 redesign
Works better on mobile
Make mobile experience as good as desktop




Uncovering Customer Needs Through Themes

Roadmaps should be about expressing those customer needs. Therefore, most items on your roadmap will derive from a job the customer needs to accomplish or a problem the customer must solve.

Jim Kalbach’s book, is a fantastic source for understanding how to properly explore, understand, and map journeys and experiences.

Summary
Uncovering user needs is an incredibly important part of product roadmapping because your product exists to make the customer’s life better. Thus, most of the items on the roadmap should be focused on serving the customer.

User journey maps can be used to outline a user’s path through the problem space. A close inspection of those maps will help you clarify the customer’s needs. Once you’ve validated the needs, you can add them to your roadmap as key themes or subthemes to address. Those themes and subthemes can then be vetted and supported by job stories or user stories. Buttressing your themes with job stories helps you cross-check and validate their importance to the customer and the value in solving for them.

Finally, make sure every theme or subtheme on your roadmap is linked to a strategic objective and contributes to the overall goals of your product.One key point we’d like to reiterate: stick to needs when defining themes and subthemes. You will be very tempted, believe us, to start brainstorming solutions or sketching ideas. Avoid this temptation! Stay focused on the needs at this stage. Defining solutions will come next, and developing them will be a whole lot more fun and effective when you’re confident about why they need to be implemented.