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?
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.