Welcome to the December edition of Maker Matters, a monthly digest about our Product Makers community.
Roadmaps are like the weather. 🌦
I was in a Reddit thread this week when this reply came up and it got me thinking.
In our Product Excellence eBook The Building Blocks of Excellent Product Roadmaps we note that a roadmap is a strategic communications tool, a statement of intent and direction (not just what you’re doing, but why you’re doing it) and it helps rally the whole organization around the key problems that need to be solved to achieve your product vision.
Simply put, it’s not just a picture, it’s an output of a whole bunch of work that happens before that including understanding user needs and determining what to build.
Maybe the person that made this comment perceives a roadmap to be a list of things that a team will deliver (it’s not). But maybe it was simply a reflection of the fact that everything in your roadmap will not play out in a logical and predictable way. Either way, while the weather may cause you to slow down or drive faster, take a different route, or pause and re-evaluate your journey, your product roadmap as you ship new things, should unlock new learnings and information. And based on those learnings you should re-evaluate your plans.
However, if it’s changing not because of those learnings, that’s a sure sign of a team not sharing the business context and user insights behind each decision, not connecting the rationale, not effectively communicating the tough trade-offs that have had to be made, and not making the right efforts to get buy-in from others.
As we close out 2021 this month, I invite you to think about your roadmap for 2021 and the year ahead in 2022.
What did you learn and how did you change course?
Is your roadmap still bringing you closer to achieving your product vision?
And how can you ensure you remain focussed on your desired outcomes, rather than obsessing over features?
In November we welcomed
And over November we also welcomed 228 new folks to our community and climbed past 2600+ Product Makers. Thank you everyone for joining and helping us grow this community. If you haven’t already, come make an introduction and get engaged by posting a new topic, joining an existing discussion or group and sharing your thoughts.
You also find a new option in our community profile to indicate which region of the world you’re located in (APAC, EMEA, LATAM, NA). Take a moment to update your profile so we can get to know you better.
Over the remainder of this month, we’ll be taking a break on events and getting ready for 2022 (we’re cooking up some exciting new programs and events), while also leaving each of you some well-deserved space to get in a break and recharge your batteries before the new year. 🔋
Come back in January though, as we get things going with two great events:
January 12 - Ethan Beute will be talking with us about Human-Centered Communication (his new best-selling book) and how best to generate attention, build trust, and create engagement when communicating. This is an important topic for anyone working cross-functionally and especially important as a skill for product managers. Register for free
January 20 - Jeff Gothelf, co-author of Lean UX, will be doing a live AMA covering how you can increase collaboration, improve outcomes, streamline your feedback process, reduce time-to-market, and strengthen your user research and deliver products that matter for your business and users. Register for free and bring your questions for this fantastic session.
And if you’re interested in sharing some of your product wisdom and experiences with our community, check out our article on how to become a speaker.
In case you missed it, we had a great event on November 17, with Petra Wille, Product Coach and author of the book Strong Product People. Check out the recap topic along with the recording and slides and let us know what you think. And do check out the many great sessions from our Product Excellence Summit this past October if you haven’t yet watched.
Great questions and conversations to check out
- What’s in your Q4 product reading list?
- How’d you get your start in product and what do you love?
- The best product management podcasts
- Customer discovery in a B2B company
- How do product marketers track competitor analysis in Productboard
- How often do you update your roadmap?
And if you use Productboard, check out our weekly Workflow Wednesday series for great short video-based tips on how to get the most from Productboard. And a shout out to
Productboard product updates
In November our featured maker was Anna Li. You can check out Anna’s profile. If you’re interested in being a Featured Maker, read our how-to guide and let us know.
Did you know?
You can quickly flag spammy topics or questionable content to our community team with a single click. Learn how to report or flag inappropriate content.
And last, but not least, a shoutout to our top community members this past month. Your conversions, questions, and contributions are appreciated! 🎉