For a company, creating a new product is exciting. It is a journey full of adventure and new things, of experiments, until the desired result is achieved. In the world of software development, there are several methodologies to build from a web page to an application, but in recent years Agile Product Development is what has most interested organizations due to the excellent results they have obtained.
We can start by remembering what Agile Development is all about: this Agile methodology is based on an iterative approach, which consists of dividing a project into several small parts and developing each one separately. When one part of the project is finished, the other part is started, and so on.
In the Agile methodology, characteristics such as the speed of development stand out, which is faster, flexibility, collaboration between teams, and feedback every time a task or a stage of the project is completed.
How can we define Agile Product Development?
Now that we have reviewed what Agile methodology means, now let's see what Agile Product Development is. Of course, it is about Agile development of software products, but it is much more than that. "Teams create products using short iterations that allow continuous feedback and rapid improvement", they expose in an article on the Maze technology portal.
This means that, when it comes to Agile Product Development, the development of the product is done in small parts, which can be quickly reviewed, correcting errors or making adjustments in time, without affecting the planning or estimates of the project. It is much easier to make adjustments in the early stages of the project than to reach the end and discover that the product does not work.
In the world of software delivery, Agile Product Development is a widely used modality since teamwork occurs more fluidly, communication is more direct and at the end of the road, product delivery is much faster and with fewer errors.
When working under the Agile Product Development modality, the Dedicated Development Team organizes tasks in sprints, with short development deadlines. These sprints can last one week or up to four weeks, it all depends on the tasks that need to be executed and the complexity of each one.
Steps to build an Agile Product Development roadmap
One of the great advantages that Managed Teams have is that they usually work closely together, just like a gear. This is very beneficial for Agile Product Development, a methodology in which it is essential to be synchronized as a team.
The first thing a Dedicated Software Development Team needs is a roadmap, a project roadmap to know how the idea of what is to be achieved is mapped, develop the strategy for the product and align all the elements to create the product that is planned. requires.
The Office of Technology of the U.S. General Services Administration proposes these three steps to develop an effective roadmap for the development of a software product, which we will talk about next.
1. Preliminary work needs to be completed
Define the product vision
“The first and most important step before developing an effective roadmap is to articulate the objective and communicate how the product will support the overall goals of the organization. A clearly defined product vision enables the team executing the project to understand the direction of the product and contribute to its realization and success”, detailed in this article.
We have a clear definition of the product when we have identified the objectives of the product, when we have related the value of the product to the company's strategies and when we have been able to define the public to which the product is directed.
Must address stakeholder needs
This roadmap is not simply planning tasks for planning them. Each of the stages reflected in this roadmap must respond to the needs or concerns of the interested parties. A good idea is to develop a priority scheme, to establish the priorities of the stakeholders with respect to the priorities of the project. This entire process must be carried out transparently, clearly communicating how the roadmap is being carried out and based on what values.
2. Develop goal-based roadmap
The roadmap must be based on the objectives of the product. In other words, each of the tasks in this roadmap must be associated with each objective of the project, so that the team is clear about the meaning of each task they are executing. By having a clear north and what you want to achieve, software development will be more accurate and effective.
3. Periodic review and adjustments are necessary
The creation of a roadmap is not a task that has a definitive end. Once the roadmap is ready, it can change over weeks or months, according to the possible changes that may arise during development. Revisions to this roadmap should be made periodically so that it is as up-to-date as possible and continues to respond to the needs and stages of the project.
The roadmap in Agile Product Development is vital since it strengthens organizational leadership, that is, leaders will have all the tasks and stages of the project organized in a single document, keeping control of operations. And for software developers it is a great tool as it allows them to have a general overview of all the work that is being done and what they want to achieve.
The Product Management expert, Roman Pichler, also offered other recommendations on his website when making a roadmap for your Agile Product Development:
Must be measurable
It is important that, in the roadmap, each objective is specific and measurable, in order to be able to analyze at the end of the development whether said objective could be achieved or not. The objectives must be realistic and feasible, attached to the reality of your project.
Should it have dates?
It is what Pichler recommends since the dates serve to guide the Dedicated Development Team and that the development of the project is fulfilled within the established periods.
Keep it realistic
Atlassian insists in an article on its website that this roadmap must be kept as realistic as possible. The software development team must be confident that they will be able to execute this roadmap from start to finish. “Make sure you do a reality check upfront with the team and play through what-if scenarios. You need to have answers, a clear plan of action, and concise consideration of "how it can be done" before asking for everyone's commitment”, the company recommended.
Think big, start small
No matter how many illusions you have about the software product you have in mind to develop, the best thing you can do is stick to reality, see where your team is standing and visualize where they want to go in the future.
“You have to be aware of where the skills of a product and a team are today compared to where you want them to be. It's great to break into new fields, which may require new team skills or a move away from existing technology, but don't just write dreams of where you'd like to be in a year. Instead, think about how to realistically get there. Acquiring talent takes time, adopting new technologies takes time,” Atlassian experts noted.
Best practices for creating the roadmap in Agile Product Development
If you do not have experience creating roadmaps or if you want to improve this process in your company, Atlassian shared on its website some of the best practices of making a roadmap:
The world of Agile Product Development is exciting. Creating a product from scratch is a unique experience since the creative and design part is mixed with technology and business. These are just the first steps to start the development of a software product in the most effective way.