So, how do you scale up from here and get your entire org aligned around one product roadmap and source of truth?
Many fantastic product teams have taken a unified approach to roadmap building, giving them team-level flexibility to manage projects. We’ll show you how to do it below.
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For centralized tracking, it’s important to include all of your roadmap information in one base—that way, everyone across your org can see the same data.
For organization-wide project and feature tracking, we recommend syncing your projects from an org-wide base to individual team bases, just like we did with objectives in Stage 2. This keeps information structured for global reporting, while enabling team-level autonomy for day-to-day project workflows (i.e. managing sprints, tasks, etc.).
If you make this shift, here are a few tweaks you might want to make to the fields you’re using to track projects.
At the team-level, project status is often a single select field.
At the org-level, add more options and make the field multi-select, to enable more triage and filtering granularity.
At the team-level, you can capture ownership with a collaborator field.
At the org-level, create a new “Team Members” table that you can then link to the “Projects” table via linked records.
Here, linked records make it easy to understand which cross-functional team members are assigned to which projects, and also enables more advanced workflow automations (like sending notifications at key milestone stages).
⚡ Pro tip
For the cleanest source of truth, sync in a new table from an up-to-date Employee Directory base, and create a linked record from there.
Now that all your projects are centralized across your organization, give teams an easy way to get their ideas on the roadmap.
From your projects table, you can create a form so that PMs, individual teams, and other stakeholders can suggest new projects that are considered for prioritization.
You can create a filtered view of projects without a status, to understand new project kickoff requests requiring triage. Then, set up a filtered view for projects in the “In Progress” stage—once a project is in flight, it will be visible there.
When you’re looking at features and projects organization-wide, the frame you use to prioritize is even more critical. In addition to the prioritization methods mentioned in Step 1, there are some powerful methods you can use to prioritize features based on real customer insight and business impact.
For example, you can understand potential influenced revenue/ARR of planned features. Start by syncing in a “Customers” table from Salesforce to bring in a real-time feed of customer / CRM information.
Next, add an ARR field to your “Feedback” table, to quickly reference potential revenue impact. Our recommendation on how to do this is to look it up from a linked record to the Customers table synced from Salesforce.
If you haven’t already, create a linked record from the “Projects” table to the “Feedback” table, and associate feedback with relevant features.
Finally, create a rollup field in the “Projects” table based on the Feedback linked record, to add up the total ARR of all linked feedback. You can also use a formula that averages the ARR instead of sums it up, to avoid double-counting in case a customer is associated with multiple feedback records.
The best way to provide a high level of visibility and transparency across your organization is by creating customized interfaces of the roadmap for stakeholders (like sales, customer success, or leadership). This ensures that they can access roadmap information in a digestible, curated fashion.
Create an interface
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The sky’s truly the limit, but you might want to set up your roadmap interface to show information like:
Links to resources
Cuts of information by product area
Forms to file escalations or share product feedback
The ability to add release dates to personal calendars via easy calendar integrations
Airtable has the flexibility to let you carefully manage every aspect of your roadmap, from linking initiatives to OKRs to assigning work directly to engineers—and then monitoring progress and insights holistically, right in your base.
As you continue to implement these best practices in your roadmap, measure and iterate upon the following:
Managing your team’s capacity: This metric can help you manage your product teams’ efficiency and make sure you’re allocating resources correctly. Our recommendation? Tier your initiatives (like small, medium, and large) and measure them on a team-by-team basis. Then, quarterly, measure how efficient teams have been at completing these initiatives.
Product cycle time (from conception to launch): Measure the average time (in days) between the product kickoff and the actual, real-life launch. Try doing this as part of your sprint retrospective process. Then, make intentional adjustments to your workflows and timelines moving forward. Measure this as a percentage and aim to reduce that number each quarter, month, or project.
Time spent in each product development stage: Similar to tracking time from kickoff to launch, you can measure the time your teams spend in each development stage. We also recommend measuring this as a rolling percentage.
When it’s time for the teams across your org to start hustling, having one roadmap to refer to saves time, ensures accountability and cross-functional trust, prevents product commitments from slipping, and keeps everyone focused on what’s important: your product launch.
Now that you have your carefully built roadmap, it’s full speed ahead—head to Stage 4 for tips on tracking ongoing product delivery.