Building Product Road maps

Anup MarwadiSoftwareLeave a Comment

Product Development is an art form that can only be mastered by meticulous planning, repeated iteration and tracking key performance indicators along the development lifecycle.

While this sounds simple, Planning in so many ways it is the single most complex phase of the Software Development process. The Software Industry took a while to mature and settle on a process that ‘just works’. This process is called SCRUM, and it really works. If you’re a doubter, you’ll just have to take our word for it.

A few years ago, we settled on using Value Driven Development (VDD) here at HyperTrends. We still get side-tracked by over zealous customers, but we really think that VDD aka SCRUM is the only way to build successful products while minimizing the risks involved.

A large part of the Software Development process involves building a product roadmap that not only captures all of the elements of the system to be developed, but also prioritizes these elements in a fashion that provides you the biggest bang for the buck. With careful planning and iteration, these product roadmaps can actually be tailored on a bi-weekly basis (assuming 2-week development sprints) to continue delivering value based on feedback obtained by actual users and stakeholders.

In many cases, VDD shortens the product roadmap and projects get done ahead of schedule with more features that are directly used by customers as opposed to features that were dreamt up by management or product managers. This sort of development approach is radical, and radical approaches work very well.

We strongly believe in Value Driven Development (VDD). It is one of our core offerings as a company. Simply put, our main objective is to deliver immediate value to our customers when we build their software. A large part of this process involves fully understanding not only the product to be built, but also our customer’s vision and a whole gamut of key elements such as KPIs, User Acquisition Costs/Strategies, Growth Metrics just to name a few. These items form a large part of our “Discovery Process”.

A large part of this discovery process involves building a Software product road map. This is a fun and creative process where we really get down to the finest details of the product with our customers. Each and every idea is noted down and categorized into short/long term buckets and corresponding user stories are created. Key stakeholders are invited to prioritize these features and a detailed road map is created. The most important/value providing features are prioritized after discussions with the customer and Development Sprints are established only after everyone involved has bought in on the process.

 

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