Product scoping and road mapping – advice from a Product Manager

Product scoping and road mapping – advice from a Product Manager

Agnieszka Kafka
September 17, 2021  | 2 min read

Product scoping, seemingly simple, is, in reality, a much more complex task. Which features are the most important ones when all of them seem to be important to the users? How to pick the ones that will constitute the first version of your product? And which can be developed later?

These and other questions will answer Maciej, a Product Manager at Skyrise.tech.

Agnieszka Kafka: Delivering a product to the market is a race against time. It needs to be done swiftly, with only the most essential features available in the MVP. It generates a ton of questions – which features are the ones we need to focus on first?

Maciej Lukas: It is best to start with preliminary insights. Starting development based only on a hunch might turn out to be a waste of time.

That is why, if you have even minimal feedback from the market, you can determine (with much better accuracy) the direction in which you need the product to go to succeed. This also makes the ideation and product design phases much easier.

AK: Having early market feedback is crucial. It can be formed into a product roadmap, however, it needs to be revisited at every development stage and adjusted accordingly to answer users’ needs better.

ML: Yes, it is very important not to lose sight of your roadmap, but at the same time, Product Managers must be aware that the roadmap is changing along with the development phases.

Why? Mostly thanks to the incoming feedback you get from extensive research or even early users. That data is the key to delivering a product users love and recommend to others. Sometimes it means changing the direction completely, and that is good.

You need to keep in mind that the product must fit the market, not the initial vision.

AK: In the case of Parkanizer, Skyrise.tech’s product, the MVP was delivered to the market within just a week. How was that possible?

ML: We based the idea for the Parkanizer app on the feedback we received from our clients, who used our earlier products, and from the team itself.

We had an idea, but did not know which way it should go exactly. And thanks to more research and analysis of market needs, we were able to pinpoint the direction our app must go to answer the needs of our future users.

Upon going through the fast ideation and product design phases, we came up with sketches and a working prototype. And with those tools, we managed to secure the first contracts.

We made sure to use technologies and integrations, which enabled us to quickly develop the working solution and give our new clients an MVP within a week and a half.

AK: Of course, not in every case, this approach would be possible. Nonetheless, making sure your product scope is defined and having a clear roadmap will significantly help you.

ML: That is 100% true.

When delivering an MVP, teams usually try to push as many features as possible. And it only brings frustration on both sides; you get mad because the users do not love your product, and the users get angry because the product does not meet their basic needs.

It is essential to realise that you do not have to deliver every functionality right in the beginning. All you need to do is deliver the key ones, a small number of them, and then work on the product over time and build it according to what is needed. It sounds like a cliché, but actually, it is difficult to do.

My advice to all the Product Managers out there is to listen to the market and remember, less is more.

If you have any other questions regarding product scoping, road mapping or product delivery you would like to ask Maciej, you can reach him at: maciej.lukas@skyrise.tech, or you can connect with him on LinkedIn here: Maciej Lukas.