One, your company has decided on a product’s vision that is a clear-picture plan for the product and its probable goal in the market.
Two, your web development agency has identified a perfect strategy for making the product a reality. The strategy need not be documented- this is why the product roadmap for. But determining the major component of the strategy is important.
Here, we will discuss, what a roadmap is and what are the primary roles associated with a roadmap. The first most goal of the product roadmap is to convey the vision and product strategy. This clearly states that a roadmap cannot be created in a vacuum. While developing a roadmap, it is not possible to sit with the team and delivering the roadmap, while sharing the product idea. There is no way; you can jump to the roadmap for your custom web development without a pragmatic understanding of the product strategy and vision.
Without two important elements, product vision, and product strategy, the roadmap is not going to perform its role any way better. Your plans must be well thought, carefully examined, and accepted by all use cases.
The process from ideation, to prototyping, must follow the order of strategic planning. The first task is to determine the product vision, which is then amalgamated with the high-level product strategy to transform the vision into a real product. Ultimately, you can create a perfect roadmap for capturing and communicating the vision and strategy.
Building a roadmap is a critical task for a Website Development Company which needs to go in parallel to several components. Here we will go through the components which need to get attention and components which are needed to be avoided:
- Check if your roadmap tool is right.
- Keep a check on the clarity of the roadmap. Your project roadmap must be compelling and clear.
- Make sure that the roadmap items are supported by proper strategic aspects and justifications.
- It is important to update and review the custom web app development roadmap frequently.
Why do you require a roadmap?
Sneak-peeking to website development services, the roadmap looks like an extremely crucial task. Website development is a huge project with several moving components. If these components are not well-orchestrated, the product direction changes; and hence every component starts running in a different direction. For website development, a smooth and flawless process is needed which can give rise to the powerful final product. A website roadmap can help with complementing the process requirement in large website development.
The project or website app development services’ roadmap is the bridge between agency and team. When you work with the Agile Methodology for project management, road mapping simplifies the website development process. It does so by ensuring that the involved parties are on the same page.
- This limits the scope of the web project and lights up the unforeseen limitation before later phases of product development.
- The disappointing results can be avoided and missed deadlines can be mitigated and unforeseen expenses can be decimated.
How to plan for a project roadmap?
It is important to dive deep into the project context:
Embarking upon the strategy building without understanding the project context is entirely irrelevant for web application development services provider company like landing on the moon with a parachute. Every project development has some beginning steps. Ideation comes right before everything in the development phase. Before stepping first time for the project, it is important to understand why the project is necessary aka what is the need of the project? What are the risk factors involved in the project? Building the project for a new venture has entirely different goals from scaling up the existing project.
Therefore, it is important to know the project’s context, which then smoothens the strategy building.
Working over the website design and development services, which is for some new industry sometimes leads to a great ruckus? Therefore, it is essential to be familiar with the project details. It is always good to involve the key stakeholders in the decision-making process. Building a software project requires enough knowledge of the business and the cut corners of its working.
However, being a software engineer or if you hire a web developer for the next project, it is not possible to know everything about every business. There comes the need for a subject matter expert. Subject matter expert supports the developer to take calculated decisions and mitigate the loopholes in the process.
Hitting in the dark can lead to hasty code development with superficial decoration to the actual ground. Having an SME can mitigate repetitive mistakes and shrink the work within deadlines.
Before commencing the roadmap work, it is better to start with the agile methodology. Every scrum must integrate a kick-off meeting with the agency partner. Scrum meetings can help in sharing the expectations, defining priorities, and deciding on goals. Agency partners can definitely give some strategic ideas that can bring the project closer to expectations. Overall, the collaboration of stakeholders can guarantee a successful project.
Website app development is a scalable task. A small website can be completed within few days, whereas a large web application can take much iteration over the month. Similarly, website development cost scales up and down as per the effort and working hours. Here it is irrelevant to discuss the phases of website building used by website development companies. We can classify the website development as simple three phases, where each one of them gives some final ready-to-use product to the end-user.
• MVP development: Minimum Viable Product
• Integration of some additional features and functions.
• Incorporation of advanced features, and improvements to the website.
Building MVP is the foundation of the roadmap
For a successful website, it is actually needed to understand the difference between a successful product and an unsuccessful product. Usually, a product with some additional features is considered superior to the other one missing out on those features. Here, it is important to understand, that not every feature is required by folks using the product.
For example, the Facebook you are using today is not the one, which was favored by millennial, 10 years back. The app lacked many features, but that was the demand of time. Similarly, your app needs not to be a Santa Claus of tech-enabled features. It is important to know the time of launching the feature, more than the actual launch of the feature. A prudent website development service provider understands the necessity of MVP.
“MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the product version that can offer the team a maximum amount of validated learning with limited efforts. “
MVP includes the basic necessary soul features of the website design and development, which are essential. It is necessary to determine:
- What features are necessary to be launched in the first phase?
- What features can be delayed for later?
Building an MVP renders equilibrium between what businesses are actually offering and what are the actual needs. A successful project may mean different to different team members. This is why MVP allows drawing the solution out of the hypothetical situation.
The motive can be clearer with self-audit. Before building the MVP model, you must properly bifurcate, what features can wait and what features are essential for the product to breathe. Self-audit outlines the basic necessity of a website and the direction of growth. You must keep in mind to bring the self-audit report for your roadmap.
1. List the priorities
When you hire an expert web application developer, it demands a huge investment of time and strategy for building a profitable IT infrastructure for your business. Any investment you make in business, always have some backbone strategy aka reason. Here it is important to identify the priorities, pain points, time-based targets. Well-calculated short-term goals help you in prioritizing the features you put into your website.
Talk with your web development agency and draw out the conclusive list of priority-based features. This discussion show light on the features you can postpone for the next release, while also shuffles up few discarded features in the priority list.
A thorough road-mapping discussion may include the team, stakeholders, and Subject matter experts. All these persons work over the following question in road-mapping discussion:
2. What is your purpose for creating a website?
Websites are known to grow the business reputation and stabilize the credibility in the market. For a new business venture, branding is the core motive of a website, whereas, for old businesses, a website or web app development is oriented to scale up the sales or better manage the data.
The tweaks in the current web application or switching to a new CMS system also comes under the latter category. For example, if you are switching your business infrastructure to Salesforce from SAP. This can help you attract more clients and better data management.
3. What are the nearest goals of your website?
Custom web application development starts with planning and runs with regular maintenance tasks. For every task, there are some direct goals. While developing a roadmap both direct and indirect goals matter. But for large projects, businesses require product MVP, which needs to have a clear design strategy.
4. Focus on the current problems and pain points
With every maintenance task, or any new software development plan, some pain points are hit. No solution is perfect; hence with every effort, some improvements are introduced. You can take a detailed study from the burn down chart for identifying the exact pain points, orchestrate the website development cost up or down, conduct analysis and compare the competitors in the market.
5. Build a positive user experience
After identifying the website goals, and current pain points, it becomes clear to understand, what features are necessary and what can be postponed for later release. List down the features which result in a positive user experience. These features can be the key point for satisfied users.
6. What additional features can you offer?
Once your website is done with the important features, it is time to add some extra features, which may or may not influence the site with positive feedbacks. These features might not give direct results but still, can support other factors.
7. What hosting environment do you require?
Your hosting needs to be scalable in the era of the cloud. If you think your business is scalable and may require incremental space with time, it is suitable to switch to some cloud provider. Also, the choice of CMS highly impacts the hoisting requirements. Identify the solution if the new CMS is not adaptable with the old hosting plan. If it is not, you can simply switch to a higher hosting plan or cloud hosting for scalability.
8. When do you want your project to complete?
Timeline management is essential with custom web app solutions. Technology is strictly punctual with the market. It does not wait for laggard efforts. The product has its high demand today may not go well 6 months ahead. For example, video conferencing solutions were not much popular a few years ago. They were limited to only a few industries. Post-covid, every industry started adopting online conferencing solutions to stay abreast with the customer base.
It is imperative to create a clear timeline for testing and launching the product. Deliverables must come in time and then only road-mapping is successful.
9. Build digital marketing strategy
The work does not end with the launch of a website. In fact, the actual work starts. Marketing is necessary for website promotion. Without promotion, the website is nothing but a chunk of web pages. Digital marketing strategy demands landing pages, content marketing, strategy building email follow-ups, digital marketing tools, and paid advertising. Create a perfect plan for long-term goals, along with short-term-based achievements. A good digital marketing strategy can route traffic to your website and result in increased revenue.
It is better to spend time sharing the marketing plans that can build a smooth runway ahead.
10. Businesses need to communicate more with technology partner
A professional web development company knows how to research the pain points of stakeholders. If your IT consultant is experienced, it works for extending your team size, without even pushing you into the hiring and firing trap. An experienced agency works as a team for your business and this increases productivity with no team management overload.
Collaboration with a technical agency requires you to share contact information to SMEs, additional third-party tools and CMS, database backups, access to code repos, credentials for analytics and vision of MVP, and a list of essential features for your website. Always try to conduct regular meetings, feedbacks assessment, and regular reviews.
You invest time in the project development, hiring web experts, gathering up the resources, conducting general meetings, and planning self-audits. Your efforts must not entangle you to some more complicated tasks. Confusing results and missed goals are the last things any business wants.
Roadmap plans are like asphalt on the uneven terrain of a competitive market. The right roadmap results in a smoother drive and easy cut corners while reducing maintenance and renovation, along with website development cost. Therefore, it is necessary to partner with a custom web development agency that has years of expertise with web development.