Strategy 7 min read

Want to Build a Product That Sells? Avoid These Mistakes While Developing Your Digital Product Roadmap

If you’re building a digital product, you want to make sure it sells. Often such a feat is impossible without countering a few roadblocks. However, you must avoid making common mistakes in your digital product roadmap to avoid roadblocks.

Some of the most common mistakes that product teams make include:

  1. Not aligning their digital product roadmap with their business goals
  2. Not building a minimum viable product (MVP) first
  3. Overbuilding features and functionality
  4. Not getting feedback from customers early and often

12 Mistakes to avoid while developing your digital product roadmap

We’ve compiled a list to help you understand what roadblocks might creep up during digital product roadmap development. This list comprises some common missteps made while developing a digital product roadmap.

So read on and learn what not to while building a product that sells.

12 Mistakes to avoid while developing your digital product roadmap

1. Not defining your target audience

The first mistake is failing to define your target audience.

  • It’s essential to understand who you’re building the product for.
  • Otherwise, you risk developing something that doesn’t appeal to anyone.
  • Many teams make the mistake of thinking they can build a product for everyone – but this is rarely the case.
  • It’s much better to focus on a specific group of people and create something that meets their needs perfectly.

2. Not building a minimum viable product (MVP) first

When planning your product roadmap, it’s essential that you think about the minimum viable product. This is the bare minimum you need to create to get feedback from users and customers.

  • Too often, product teams get caught up in adding unnecessary features and bells and whistles.
  • All they need to do is get a functioning product out the door as quickly as possible.
  • Your MVP doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to have all the features that you eventually want to include.
  • It just needs to be good enough to get feedback from real users so that you can iterate and improve upon it.

Please don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your product needs to be perfect before releasing it.

3. Lacking a clear purpose

Another common mistake is lacking a clear purpose for the product.

  • Before starting development, it’s essential to know what the product is supposed to achieve.
  • Otherwise, you’ll likely end up with a jumble of features that don’t fit together.
  • It’s also essential to make sure that everyone on the team understands the product’s purpose.
  • This will help ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal and avoid further confusion.

4. Not prioritizing features

Once you’ve defined the product’s purpose, it’s time to consider which features to include.

  • This can be a difficult task, as there are often many different ideas floating around – and it’s tempting to try and have them all.
  • However, it’s vital to prioritize features and only include the essential ones.
  • Trying to cram in too many features will make the product more complicated and harder to use.

5. Focusing on features instead of solutions

You don’t want to become “the next feature factory.” When you’re trying to market your product, the most important thing is that it solves problems for people.

You should consider solutions rather than features since this will help your product roadmap stay focused.

If you focus too much on features rather than solutions, you may not have well-defined product goals.

Equally, if you place a high value on features before developing solutions, you will be less likely to meet essential client requirements.

The ideal approach is to think about your objectives and build a roadmap based on them:

  1. What are your product’s goals?
  2. What problems is it trying to address?
  3. How exactly is it addressing these problems?

This is another indication that you’re headed in the right direction.

6. Failing to test

Another common mistake is failing to test the product before launch. This is a crucial step in the development process. Reason being that it allows you to catch any potential problems and make sure that the product is fit for purpose.

Testing can be done in many ways, such as user testing or A/B testing.

It’s critical to choose a suitable method for your product and ensure that you carry out tests at regular intervals throughout the development process.

7. Ignoring feedback

One of the most common mistakes is ignoring feedback from users and customers. This feedback is essential in helping you to improve the product and make sure that it’s meeting people’s needs.

Of course, it’s not always possible to please everyone. However, it’s important to at least listen to what people are saying and take their feedback.

Avoiding these mistakes will help you develop a product roadmap that is more likely to result in a product that sells.

8. Exceeding the scope

One of the most frequent blunders is to include overly much information in the product plan.

Many executives are too detailed. They have

  • all of their planned feature development
  • anticipated timeframes
  • resources in their product roadmap

These specifics are crucial, but they should not be included in a product roadmap.

A roadmap is intended to be a high-level, long-term plan.

  • It should represent the product team’s vision and convert it into themes that cross-functional teams can address.
  • The ideal technique is to keep things straightforward and strategic.
  • Product roadmaps become less helpful when they get clogged with excessive information at each process step.
  • Keep them simple if you want a clear strategic vision.

9. Involving epics and user stories

The finest roadmaps give a broad overview of what will happen with your product or feature shortly. On the other hand, many executives disregard the fundamental aim of a roadmap and start including complex epics and even user stories into it.

  • It is rarely the case that you can create a strategic vision for a product by looking at soft data.
  • If you want to generate a vision for your product, think about actual facts and clear strategic thinking.
  • User stories will make the product roadmap harder to understand and concise.
  • It’ll be tough to read, and the big picture will get lost within irrelevant details.
  • The ideal approach includes these epics and user stories in the backlog.
  • They will not fit into a roadmap presentation’s purpose in most situations.
  • On the other hand, user stories and epics will be important data points beyond the scope of the roadmap.

10. Having a fixed roadmap

The development of a roadmap should not be halted or frozen once produced.

It’s not the sort of document that we ideate, classify, describe, convey, cross things off of lists, and then forget about. It is critical to keep an eye on it at all times.

We frequently witness businesses working on their roadmaps in the first part of the year, then losing interest midway through.

They don’t make any adjustments, resulting in difficulties as the product develops throughout design and development.

  • A product roadmap is a strategic forecast for your products and should reflect present conditions and micro and macro ecosystems.
  • It’s best to revisit it at least once a quarter.
  • This will give you the most excellent chance of creating a product roadmap relevant to your current goals.
  • It will also be capable of envisioning future events or changes.

11. Not getting feedback from users early and often

Another common mistake when building a product roadmap is not getting feedback from users early and often enough.

  • It’s important to get feedback at every stage of the product development process so that you can course-correct it if necessary.
  • Don’t wait until your product is finished to get feedback.
  • Get feedback from potential users as early as possible, even if all you have is a rough prototype.
  • The sooner you get feedback, the better.

12. Operating without a product strategy

A product roadmap is a strategic visual tool. If you don’t have a strong product strategy, your roadmap planning tool will become unclear and aimless.

On the other hand, a product strategy can be challenging if you don’t have a core product concept that binds everything together.

If you don’t have a digital product strategy, put off creating a product roadmap.

Strategy is more important than a product roadmap, so make sure you have one before you begin drawing your roadmap.

Concluding thoughts: A practical roadmap is the key to a successful product

If you have a clear idea, are prepared to change it over time, and are willing to make the process collaborative, you’ll be far less likely to make these product roadmap blunders.

Complex data, product knowledge, and strategic thinking are essential components of the best product roadmaps.

Indeed, there will be potholes along the way, but we feel that if you avoid these twelve common blunders, you’ll be able to construct an excellent product roadmap. Remember, building an effective digital product roadmap is key to creating a first-class digital product.

Saptarshi Das

Content Marketing Strategist -- A seasoned marketing professional who develops content for leaderships and learners by covering the subject matter in a detailed, well-laid and understandable manner after in-depth SERP analysis. An empath who likes to keep his thought process aligned with others to generate consumable content.

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