The Differences Between Product Roadmaps and Release Plans

Product Roadmap and Release Plan Responsibilities

Within the world of Product Management, there are many distinct plans and tasks that you’ll be enlisted to. Such tasks include creating a Product Roadmap and/or a Release Plan. They both work towards the similar goal of producing a product and enforcing instructions towards its’ release, so what are the differences between them?

The Reasoning

A Product Roadmap is there to cater to the executives and stakeholders of the product. It’s in a sense, to communicate the reasoning or the “why” behind a product. A Product Roadmap is external and explains why this product would be successful, and why it’d be a good idea to produce.

A Release Plan communicates the “what” behind a product, in order to facilitate a safe and successful release of a product. A Release Plan is more of an internal course to the teams to communicate what needs to be done in order to see the product come to fruition.  


A Product Roadmap may vary drastically from months to the span of an entire year or two. This is due to how much the Product Roadmap may detail, from the start of a product to the end of it.

A Release Plan however, may only take a few months. It’s a short-term projection shown to the internal team in order to incorporate functionalities that are demanded or wanted in a product, or any other necessities in order to ensure a safe product delivery.

Why You Want Both

Both a Product Roadmap and a Release Plan are vital to the operations of a product release. You should have both a Product Roadmap and a Release Plan because the Product Roadmap presents the product and idea, which then transitions into a Release Plan after approval. The Release Plan will securely and safely translate the Roadmap into smaller actions for each team or department, in order to be able to release a product on schedule. Both will lead towards the release of a successful product, if the communication is also on point with both the external parties and the internal teams.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Access Our List of Product Manager Job Openings, Updated Daily

Short-cut your search process, free with our list with full links to the product job, company and application link.

Not hearing Back on Job Applications?

Speak with a PM Career Coach

Don't Know Where to Apply for Product Manger Roles?

Get FREE access to our list of Product Manager job openings. Updated daily.

Schedule a Call with Us

Interested in learning more about how Product Gym can help you secure your dream Product Manager job?