Product Roadmap with Kanban Template

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Spreadsheet.com
Spreadsheet.com
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Worksheets
Product Roadmap with Kanban
Overview

Plan and execute on a product roadmap with this Product Roadmap with Kanban template. Create your roadmap in the Tasks sheet view, and then use the built-in Kanban views to transform your list into stacks of cards sorted by status, type, or priority. Or use the non-Kanban views to maintain the full spreadsheet layout while grouping rows by status, type, or priority. Which option is best for you depends on your project status. Or type. Or priority.

What is a product roadmap with Kanban?

If you were born after the year 2000, you may not know what a roadmap is. But people used to use them when going on long car trips, to plot out where they wanted to go, the best way to get there, and where to stop for something to munch on. A product roadmap is very similar, providing you with an overview of where you're trying to go with your product, what needs to be done in order to get there, and what bugs need to be crunched. (Crickets are delicious and high in protein.)

These days, fewer people are using traditional roadmaps, because it was a giant pain to unfold them in the front seat and try to figure out where you are. Most people prefer a GPS navigation device that tells you where you are, and then looks at the larger roadmap and tells you what you need to do next. It avoids overwhelming you with information you don't need at the moment, and quickly gives you the information you do need.

A product roadmap Kanban works much the same way. It sorts through all of the information in your product roadmap and puts it in stacks organized by whatever you need at the moment. Then you can quickly look at the appropriate stack to see all of the information that you need right now. Maybe that's all high priority tasks, or all overdue tasks, or all tasks related to the presentation that you're giving tomorrow.

Your full project roadmap is still sitting in your spreadsheet with all of the information at once, but Kanban is the fancy technology that serves up exactly what you need to know, when you need to know it.

Did you know?

Kanban was originally developed by Taiichi Ohno, an engineer working at Toyota, to improve manufacturing efficiency. Since then, product management Kanban has become very popular around the world. If Toyota isn't using their old slogan, they could repurpose it and have people saying, "I love what you do for me, Kanban."

Before GPS navigation, people used to just pull over at gas stations, farm stands, or in front of random pedestrians, and go right up and ask them for directions. In retrospect, this makes no sense. We don't outsource any other unrelated knowledge task like this. You'd never just pull up at a gas station and ask them, "Hey, my latest build isn't rendering correctly, any idea where to look in my code for the error?"

While there are some similarities between travel roadmaps and product roadmaps, it is also important to be aware of the differences. For example, when planning a driving route with a travel roadmap, it is often a good idea to avoid traffic as much as possible. Conversely, this ends up being a very bad idea when planning a product roadmap for your new website.

How does it work?

This product roadmap template is where you'll lay out everything that needs to happen for your product to be complete. List each Task on a separate row, tagging it with a Priority and Type for easy categorization. Assign each task to the person responsible for it, and include a Due Date.

Give each task a short Description to explain what it entails, and a Workload rating to estimate the amount of work. More information may optionally be added in the Notes field or attached as Files if necessary.

Track each task by selecting a progress Status. Status can be updated as tasks are completed.

Use the left-hand Kanban view options to see all of your information as stacks of cards, sorted into columns by Priority, Type, or Status. Other left-hand view options will let you rearrange the spreadsheet so it is Grouped by priority, type, or status.

Users without access to the full project roadmap template may still add backlogged tasks to the spreadsheet via the integrated Task Form.

Why do I need a product roadmap with Kanban template?

Because while it's important to have all of the information about the tasks that need doing in order for your project to be successful... you don't want to have to look through all of that information every single time.

A product roadmap with Kanban is the best of both worlds. It's a spreadsheet where you can track all of the tasks essential for your product, along with who is working on them, when they're due, and whether they're proceeding on schedule. But it's also Kanban views that let you instantly see what you want to know right now, without having to look through the rest of the data.

Sure, it only wastes half a minute to read through a handful of irrelevant lines on a spreadsheet. But if your company has six people who each look at a spreadsheet 10 times a day, suddenly you're losing 10 hours per month. Kanban view gives you the stack of cards you care about, and you can save time by not having to scan through the rest.

Admittedly, this is a template for product managers who want to simplify. So if you're juggling multiple teams on a complex project, you might prefer more information at once rather than less, and could be better off with a Product Roadmap with Gantt Template.

But if you don't want to read through your whole product roadmap template every time you're quickly checking up on your Design tasks, you might appreciate the Kanban view options here.

Who benefits from a product roadmap Kanban?

Product managers suffering from information overload, Henry David Thoreau, and anyone else who wants to simplify, simplify.

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