What is the most important problem that our customers, or the people we want to sell to, are having – that we can solve?
This is the fundamental question we PMs have to keep asking ourselves (and our customers/market).
Ideally what we’d do is prioritize solving that problem. And then, if we have capacity left over, we ask, “what’s the second most important problem that our customers, or the people we want to sell to, are having – that we can solve?”
And then we prioritize solving that second problem. We keep doing this until we run out of resources.
Then we do it all again.
There are of course lots more details – how much of that #1 problem do we solve? Do we get it to MVP state? To V1.0 state? To highly polished state? The answer to this question depends on a few things:
- How we will use this solution to sell
- How we will use this solution to differentiate
- How hard it is to get from MVP to the next level, or the one after that
- Whether the MVP is actually “marketable”
- If a competitor has set a bar on how much functionality is needed
It’s hard to live with this approach on a day-to-day basis, but it’s really what we should be doing.
And the roadmap is then just a list of the problems we’ll be solving over time – [tweetthis hidden_hashtags=”#prodmgmt”]”The roadmap is then just a list of the problems we’ll be solving over time”[/tweetthis] – (subject to change, of course, as the problems customers face change.)