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 project roadmap in Trello. 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.
Trello is highly customizable and can be used for various purposes, including SaaS product management, event planning, and team collaboration.
Here is a roadmap build in Trello:
Why do you need a SaaS roadmap?
A SaaS 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 project 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 project stays on track and delivers the intended business value.
Key elements of a product roadmap
Several key elements are typically included in a SaaS product roadmap:
Vision and strategy: This includes the overall goals and direction of the product and how it aligns with the overall business objectives.
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.
Milestones: This includes the major milestones or deliverables that will be achieved during the roadmap period. These should be specific and measurable.
Timeframe: This includes the period covered by the roadmap, which is usually 6-18 months.
Dependencies: This includes any dependencies on external factors or other projects that may impact the product roadmap.
Risks and assumptions: This includes potential risks or assumptions that may impact the product roadmap.
Overall, a product roadmap should provide a clear and high-level overview of the direction and progress of the product and should be regularly reviewed and updated as the product and market evolve.
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.
How to build a product roadmap in Trello?
Here are the general steps for building a SaaS product roadmap in Trello:
1. Create a new board in Trello
This will be the main container for your product roadmap. You can name the 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.
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 card, such as a description, attachments, labels, and due dates.
4. Share the board with your team and users
Once you have created your SaaS 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.
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 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:
Use the @mention feature: You can use the @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.
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 card, and type your message.
Add images or icons
You can add images and icons to make your SaaS roadmap look more cool.
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 board, you can ask users to fill in a form. But note, that you need someone to go through all the ideas. In that case it would be better to use a feedback management board.
Having a well-defined strategy is critical for the success of any SaaS product, and making that strategy visible to your team, executives, and clients through a roadmap can significantly increase your chances of success.
When your SaaS roadmap is transparent and accessible, it becomes easier for everyone to understand the project's goals and progress and to work towards its successful completion.
Using this guide, you can create your product roadmap in Trello. If you are looking for a devoted feature upvote, roadmap, and changelog tool, you can look at tools such as ProductLift.