Our thoughts on product improvements have changed along the way; here are a few words about how we maintain our vision.
Let's start with a look back at our old product roadmap, A kanban chart fashioned in a single GitGub project. It contained everything in five coloms.
ideas - planned - working - review - complete
We thought, chatted & stressed too frequently about the roadmap! Nearly every conversation likely had an impact, either in the form of adding new ideas, or comments to existing ones and of course, the heavy golden nugget +1 from the bluechip multinational lead.
Most of the time, product conversations took place in real time too.
Managing things this way began to take its toll on our minds, leading to frequent changes in direction, added pressure keeping promises on feature releases, all while the overall vision playing second fiddle to "let's just build this next because of what was said yesterday."
Our new simplified roadmap involves just a biannual effort to review ideas for potential product focusses over the coming months. And that's it.
Ideas are high-level, focussing on how that element “should” work, and why. Rather than specific features which would aide it. Instead, these can be fleshed out during the design of the project.
After a careful review, the decision for "what's next" is calmly revealed.