How to Build a Killer Trello Product Roadmap: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ruben Buijs
Ruben Buijs
May 8, 2023
 min read
How to Build a Killer Trello Product Roadmap: A Step-by-Step Guide

Are you tired of feeling like your product roadmap is as confusing as a game of Jenga played by a group of drunk toddlers? Well, fear not my friend, because Trello is here to save the day! With Trello, you can finally say goodbye to the chaos and hello to a clear and concise roadmap that even those drunk toddlers could understand (although we don't recommend involving them in your product planning sessions).

In this article, we'll show you how to build a Trello roadmap that will have your team and customers saying "Wow, this roadmap is so good, it's almost as impressive as your Jenga skills." So, grab a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine, we won't judge) and let's get started!

What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a high-level visual summary that maps out the vision and direction of a product. It outlines the planned features, objectives, and milestones for a product over a specific period of time, typically 6-18 months.

A product roadmap aims to align the team around the product vision and strategy and to communicate that vision and strategy to stakeholders such as customers, investors, and executives. A product roadmap is not a detailed project plan but a high-level overview that can evolve as the product and market grow.

This guide will explain how you create your Trello product roadmap. You can also go for a more professional approach using a dedicated roadmap tool such as ProductLift.

What is Trello?

Trello is a project management and collaboration tool that allows you to organize and prioritize your work and projects. It is based on the concept of a "kanban" board, a system for visualizing and organizing work.

This sounds familiar if you are into Agile because the Scrum Board is a Kanban Board.

In Trello, you create "boards" for different projects and create "cards" to represent tasks or ideas. You can then organize these cards into "lists" and assign them to team members or add labels to them to categorize them. This is also how we will make your Trello product roadmap.

Trello is highly customizable and can be used for various purposes, including SaaS product management, event planning, and team collaboration.

Here is an example of a Trello product roadmap:

Why do you need a roadmap?

A product roadmap provides a clear overview of the product and helps to align the team around the product objectives and strategy.

A product roadmap can also help to identify dependencies, potential risks, and key decision points. It is a valuable tool for communicating the product plan to stakeholders, such as executives, customers, and investors and gaining their buy-in and support.

A SaaS roadmap can also help track progress and identify any deviations from the plan. A roadmap can help ensure the product stays on track and delivers the intended business value.

Roadmap vs project plan

A roadmap is a high-level overview of the planned direction and progress of a product or project, while a project plan is a detailed document that outlines the specific steps and resources needed to complete a project.

A roadmap typically covers a longer time horizon, usually 6-18 months, and is focused on the major milestones and deliverables. It is a high-level visual summary that helps align the team around the product or project vision and strategy and communicates that vision and strategy to stakeholders.

On the other hand, a project plan is a more detailed document that outlines the specific tasks, resources, and timeline for completing a project. It typically covers a shorter period, such as a few months or less, and includes a detailed breakdown of the work required to complete the project. A project plan is used to manage and track the project's progress and to identify any deviations from the plan.

In summary, a roadmap is a high-level overview of a product or project's planned direction and progress. In contrast, a project plan is a detailed document that outlines the specific steps and resources needed to complete a project.

Example of a roadmap

How to build a Trello product roadmap?

Here are the general steps for building a SaaS product roadmap in Trello:

1. Create a new board in Trello

This Trello board will be the main container for your product roadmap. You can name the Trello board something like "Product Roadmap" or "[Product Name] Roadmap."

2. Create lists to represent different time periods or stages in the roadmap

You can create lists to represent different periods or stages in the roadmap, such as "Next Quarter," "Q2," "Q3," etc. Alternatively, you can create lists to represent different stages in the product development process, such as "Ideas," "In Progress," "Completed," etc. These will be your columns in the Trello board.

3. Create cards to represent features or milestones

For each feature or milestone in your roadmap, create a card in Trello and assign it to the appropriate list. You can add details to the Trelo cards, such as a description, attachments, labels, and due dates.

4. Share the Trello board with your team and users

Once you have created your public product roadmap in Trello, you can invite your customers, team members, and other stakeholders to the board to collaborate on the roadmap and provide feedback.

Make sure your roadmap is on Public before you are sharing the link.

By following these steps, you can build a product roadmap in Trello that is easy to understand and collaborate on and helps keep your team aligned around the product vision and strategy.

Trello provides a starter template that you can use to make a roadmap.

Best recommendations for Trello Roadmaps

Use labels to categorize cards

In Trello, you can use labels to categorize cards by type, priority, or any other relevant criteria, making it easier to filter and group the cards on the board.

Add attachments and checklists

You can add attachments to the Trello cards, such as mockups or design documents, to provide more context and detail.

Using checklists can also break down larger tasks into smaller, actionable items.

Asking for feedback

There are two options to ask for feedback in Trello:

  1. Use the @mention feature: You can use Trello's @mention feature to notify specific team members or stakeholders when you want to get their feedback on a card. Type "@" followed by the name of the person you want to mention, and Trello will notify them.
  2. Use the comment feature: You can use the comment feature to leave a message or ask a question on a card. Click the "Add Comment" button on the bottom of the Trello card, and type your message.

Add images or icons

You can add images and icons to make your Trello public roadmap look more cool.

Feature requests

Encourage users to submit their ideas by creating a card for each idea and adding it to a "New Ideas" list. You can also create a template card that users can copy and fill out with their ideas.

If you don't want additional clutter on your Trello board, you can ask users to fill in a form. But note, that you need someone to go through all the ideas. If that becomes a lot, it would be better to use a feedback management board.

Key elements of a product roadmap

Are you ready to create a product roadmap that is so good, your competitors will be shaking in their boots? It's time to break out the key elements and get started!

These are elements that you need to add in your Trello product roadmap

  1. Vision and strategy: This includes the overall goals and direction of the product and how it aligns with the overall business objectives.
  2. Key features: This includes the major features or functionality that the product will include. These should be prioritized based on their impact and importance to the product and the business.
  3. Milestones: This includes the major milestones or deliverables that will be achieved during the roadmap period. These should be specific and measurable.
  4. Timeframe: This includes the period covered by the roadmap, which is usually 6-18 months.
  5. Dependencies: This includes any dependencies on external factors or other products that may impact the product roadmap.
  6. Risks and assumptions: This includes potential risks or assumptions that may impact the product roadmap.

Trello vs Purpose-built app

Trello is a more general project management tool that can also be used for roadmaps. More purpose-built solutions like ProductLift offer several benefits over Trello for creating a product roadmap, such as more advanced customization options, visual roadmapping, and linking roadmaps to specific releases and versions.

ProductLift also provides a dedicated space for high-level planning and strategy, which can help keep your product roadmap focused and aligned with your overall business goals. Additionally, ProductLift's prioritization matrix makes creating and updating your product roadmap used on customer data easy, saving you time and effort in the long run.

While Trello can be a valuable tool for managing projects, it may offer limited functionality and customization than ProductLift for creating and maintaining a product roadmap. Ultimately, the choice between ProductLift and Trello depends on your product development team's specific needs and priorities.


And there you have it, folks! You now know how to build a product roadmap in Trello like a boss. No more flailing around like a flounder on dry land trying to figure out how to organize your product development process. With Trello, you'll be as organized as a library catalog and as efficient as a well-oiled machine.

So go forth, my fellow product managers, and build the roadmap of your dreams. Just remember to take breaks to recharge your batteries, or you might end up as fried as a chicken at KFC. And who wants that?

Thanks for joining me on this wild ride of Trello goodness. May your product development be as smooth as butter and your roadmaps as clear as a sunny day.

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