Having an awesome roadmap design is helpful, but at the end of the day, it’s all about your presentation.
If your investors are still on the fence about your new company, a roadmap will make or break their decision.
That’s why your presentation is so important – even with a good plan, if you don’t deliver the plan in an easy-to-understand way, you’ll probably lose your investors’ interest.
Luckily for you, you’re going to learn the 7 most important things that you have to keep in mind if you want to nail your roadmap presentation.
Let’s get started!
Knowing your audience before a roadmap presentation will allow you to tailor your roadmap's information more appropriately.
Company executives might have interests that differ from those in sales. Those in sales might have a less in-depth understanding of how coding and developmental aspects of your roadmap work.
Design your roadmap accordingly so different members of your company with varying degrees of knowledge aren't left behind.
The key when presenting to various audiences is including the information that is most relevant to that audience. If you're presenting to a group that encompasses multiple departments of your company, design your presentation to be broader and vice-versa.
Make sure you don't go overboard on detail unless that's what your audience demands. You should primarily focus on displaying how your roadmap strategy aligns with organizational goals.
Before presenting your roadmap to a specified audience, try to identify the individuals you're communicating to who might pose difficult questions during your presentation. You'll want to appear competent when presenting. Being thrown off by a tricky question won't help your end goal of aligning company members.
Some examples of difficult questions to anticipate during your roadmap presentation include the following:
Company politics will impact your bottom line. Knowing who the allies within your company are, as well as who might be against your roadmap presentation will help you prepare more thoroughly. Ideally, everyone in your company should be on your side.
Clarity is a vital element for your presentation. Don’t leave anything up in the air. The mission of your roadmap is to visualize your strategy and provide clarity. If the roadmap is unclear, you'll risk not accomplishing your end goal of unifying company members.
Make sure to implement visual aids. Your presentation needs to have visible markers reflecting how various working parts of your roadmap strategy fit together.
Using color when designing your roadmap will help you distinguish various themes, objectives, and categories on your roadmap. Don't forget to add a key that identifies the significance of each color. You can learn more about using color in our article about the most important roadmap design tips.
Your critical tasks in providing roadmap clarity include educating yourself on the following elements:
Organize your roadmap development features within themes. Instead of listing every function within a theme, try to highlight 2-4 of the most critical features within that theme for a more structured presentation.
Executives are the key members you'll be presenting to. Try not to overwhelm executives with numerous features that don't pertain to their areas of expertise.
A roadmap's visual attractiveness will enhance clarity during a presentation. If your roadmap is unattractive and hard to read, you'll undoubtedly fail in your end goal of aligning company members.
Find a frame that suits your visual roadmap. Make sure your roadmap is not overly crowded when projecting long term action.
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It's better to break down your timescale if necessary instead of cramming. If your annual roadmap includes 100 weekly projects, try presenting those projects in 4 different sections designated to each business quarter.
Aim to make your presentation digestible, not something company members will choke on.
Oh, and make sure you use an awesome roadmapping tool like Preceden. It’s easy to use, free to sign up, and it allows you to make professional timelines in minutes with no prior experience.
Preceden serves as an excellent choice web to help you present your roadmap in a way that's both clear and attractive to the viewer.
When crafting your roadmap—begin with the end goal and work backward with the following questions in mind:
When working backward to create a sufficient roadmap presentation, follow these steps:
Getting a plan approved securing funding are all steps that serve as a guide when working backward to create a sufficient roadmap presentation.
Your perception of the roadmap's purpose will need to align with the stakeholders to whom you're presenting. When it comes to negotiating, keep in mind the best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
Understand your starting point, and try not to leave in a worse position than the one you began in. If your roadmap was previously approved, don't do something during the final presentation that may derail your funding.
It's key to involve stakeholders and cross-functional teams from the start when creating your roadmap presentation.
When stakeholders are with you from the get-go, some of the pressure of your presentation will be relieved. There will be an understanding of who is driving product strategy before you even present.
After you have a working draft of your roadmap, run it by executive stakeholders. After sharing your selection, you'll continue working with these executives to make adjustments to the roadmap's message.
It helps to create supporting material and handouts based on these discussions with executive stakeholders to distribute before your actual presentation.
Be prepared to cover this material during the presentation if company members did not have a chance to go over previously distributed background handouts.
When discussing planned roadmap execution with company executives, make sure your roadmap tells a coherent story that reflects the growth of your product or strategy. Each release within the roadmap should build on the previous step with realistic goals outlined.
When working with stakeholders, don't be afraid to say no to certain individual requests. Being a yes man to every stakeholder could lead to your roadmap being cluttered with unnecessary features.
When assembling your roadmap with stakeholders, answer the following questions:
It's important to anticipate a certain level of executive pushback when sharing your roadmap, along with how you'll appropriately respond. The following are some tips that will help you do just that:
Metrics are quantifiable measures that assess the success or failure of a business process. Using metrics and relevant data when presenting your roadmap will help communicate your company's progress toward their short and long term goals with concrete metrics rather than loose ideas and estimations.
If your organization has go-to metrics you can refer to as a way of measuring progress, include those metrics upfront during your presentation. Make sure your presentation reflects how initiatives within your roadmap will influence these key company metrics.
Confidence is vital during your presentation. The content of your presentation will hold equal importance to the style in which you communicate. When rehearsing your presentation, put yourself in the shoes of your audience and picture how they will process the information you're presenting.
Be sure to tailor your language style while presenting to the types of individuals you'll be giving information. Use visuals to help your story flow and place facts second.
Creating a roadmap is just the first step in gaining company alignment. The second step to seal the deal is communicating your roadmap so that members within your organization have a clear understanding of the story the roadmap tells.
Present bold opinions, but leave room for necessary change. Your roadmap should balance the needs of both your business and your business's customers. Involve company stakeholders from the get-go and use their feedback to craft your presentation to executives.
Your product roadmap, in essence, is nothing more than the signing off of future production plans.