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Have you found a good framework to communicate your product roadmap to customers?

We're trying to strike a balance of communicating high priority initiatives without getting caught up in exactly timelines.
7 Answers
Gregg Miller
Gregg Miller
PandaDoc VP of Product Marketing & BrandFebruary 11

In a prior role (B2B) the team found it helpful to set expectations with customers on what communication to expect from us. Product hosted a quarterly roadmap review where they would share the big boulders they were planning on shipping in the next 6-9 months with *rough* quarterly estimates on timing -- definitely better to not commit to an exact date and thus disappoint your customers if that date slips. This was mostly a knowledge share from our company to our audience, but there was time for Q&A as well. 

Whether or not the above works for you, be mindful of (a) not spamming your customers with every tiny roadmap item but instead focusing on the big features/products/themes and (b) delivering only the most important messaging points and sparing them the detail since there's only so much customers can absorb from us.

1312 Views
Robin Pam
Robin Pam
Stripe Product Marketing LeadFebruary 25

Our amazing product team maintains a public facing product roadmap. And by “public facing”, we mean a slide deck that is presented to customers and prospects only in 1:1 meetings by a salesperson or customer success manager. It gets a major overhaul once a year, and small updates 1-3x/quarter based on new information. The key is to set the expectation that priorities will likely change more than 3 months out, and stay relatively high level in the categories.

They currently present the roadmap in terms of:

  • Under consideration: Backlog items that may or may not happen, but will be updated once a month or so
  • In development: Features actively being worked on by engineers, could take up to 6 months to be generally available
  • Launched: Things that are new in the past 6-12 months to show velocity
1372 Views
Grace Kuo
Grace Kuo
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Product MarketingMarch 5

Give customers high level visibility, set expectations, but show them you value their feedback!

1. Roadmap: Build a deck that gets CUSTOMERS excited! Show them that (hopefully) the things they've been asking for is coming. Give them a high level understanding on strategy and focus.

2. Messaging: Give your CS or Sales team messaging to use when customers ask for specific timelines. i.e. "Here at ORG NAME, we are fluid in our development so timelines often change. We will do our best to be proactive to let you know what's coming, but we want to ensure we set expectations with our customers. Please continue to provide feedback, we truly appreciate it!" etc. 

3. Vision: Often before you share the details of your roadmap, it helps to share a product/company vision to your customers. It can be aspirational, but realistic. This can mitigate a lot of questions/concerns and get customers excited about your brand. 

In terms of a framework, a few slides with the right visuals/messaging can do the trick! 

900 Views
Mary Jane Han
Mary Jane Han
Roofstock Former Product Marketing DirectorFebruary 1

Timelines can move around a bit so unless your team is really good at hitting them or there's important implications to a milestone that must be hit, it's good to keep timeframes slightly vague or not communicating them until you have strong conviction on when it will be ready. 


That being said, I’d think about a framework for communication from the perspective of your customers and how significant it is to them. For FYI/No Action Needed, I’d consider integrating message with other content or in a lighthearted format (ie. newsletter, monthly digest/update). On the opposite end, an Important/Need to Take Action update should leverage prominent channels and messaging that get customers attention.  


Sometimes, you may also consider not communicating at all. What the team might think is the next thing since sliced bread might not mean anything at all to customers. Always put yourself in the shoes of your customers and ask yourself whether they’d care.

603 Views
Swaroop Sham
Swaroop Sham
Wiz Group Product Marketing Manager - (CIAM / API Products)April 29

“Repeatedly sell your roadmap internal and externally”

Key Elements: Any good roadmap does three things. Set product vision, showcase product features, and set expectations on timeline and capabilities. The product vision sets the directional tone for the product while the product feature goes into the nuts and bolts, showing the key capability, use-cases as well as product limitations.

Cadence: At Okta, our key roadmaps are overhauled and developed end-to-end approx once a year. Every quarter, the respective product sphere team does a quick iteration to indicate key movements in the product roadmap and establish continuity throughout the year.

Roadmap Visibility: In our roadmaps, we provide a lot of product depth for features that are in a three-month window of delivery. For everything else, we provide vision and guidance.

Delivery: So then, how do you deliver the vision and feature level roadmap? At Okta, we have settled on a multi-forum strategy to communicate the roadmap.
Internally: We deliver the roadmap once every quarter to the product team to the entire field team. This session is a well-developed session with support provided by the PM and PMM teams. Externally, We deliver the quarterly roadmap to customers in recorded sessions that can be used in a self-service manner. Additionally, the field teams, PMMs, and PMs deliver the roadmap to customers in dedicated executive business reviews with major customers.
Very critically, all roadmap delivery teams are anchored around the key roadmap deck that is first delivered by the PM-PMM team combination.

Expectations: Setting expectations is another key item that is conveyed in our roadmap. It is important to understand that timings change or features move on the roadmap due to various business and technical reasons.

482 Views
Priya Gill
Priya Gill
SurveyMonkey Head of Global MarketingJune 30

I would keep timelines directional but loose, but you need to include something to give customers an indication that you're continuously investing in your product(s) and innovating at a rapid pace. If you have high confidence that it's coming in the next 6 months, you can label that product/feature you're highlighting as "H1 planned" or "Q3 planned". If you're unsure, you could label it as "H2 under investigation". I would never give a specific date unless you're about 1-2 weeks prior to launch and are 100% confident in that date. You definitely should also get legal involved to ensure you have the right verbiage to protect your company around the timeline and customer expectations. 

699 Views
Alex Lobert
Alex Lobert
Meta Product Marketing Lead, Facebook for Business & CommerceAugust 26

I find it both tricky and exciting to share your product roadmap with customers. I agree it's hard to strike the right balance of specific yet not tie your hands. But also, it's so much fun to show people the exciting ways you plan to help people. Some considerations: 

(1) Share the overarching themes as to where you are going. These are typically pretty static and there is little risk to explaining the big things you want to accomplish. Also, these are aspirational and typically fun to talk about. 

(2) Connect your overarching themes to some, but not all tangible features or launches that will be coming. You don't need to be exhaustive as to all the features you have planned. Pick a few that you feel are exemplary and will get clients excited to join you on your product journey. 

(3) Make it clear when you have less precision as to what the product will be and / or the timing of launch. I regularly give less than precise timing for product launches (expected launch in H1), when we aren't sure when a feature will launch. Further, you may need to clarify that a UX design is a mock / not final. I find that many clients appreciate this transparency - especially if you can explain the driver for the uncertainty. Also, written disclaimers are your friend if you are worried about legal risks. 

(4) Set expectations about when you will have more detailed information to share. I suggest getting into the habit of regularly updating materials as you get more info. 

500 Views
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