In the age of GPS and Google Maps, preparing and mapping out journeys on physical maps is — mostly — a thing of the past.

But planning stops, hotels, and even restaurants is more common than ever. This planning helps you keep costs low and ensures you get what you want out of every trip.

For example, you can avoid stumbling into tourist traps — no thanks, $40 elephant t-shirt — and experience authentic local cuisine and hospitality.

The product roadmap serves the same purpose. It keeps you focused on your high-level goals even after you’ve started to make progress. You won’t wander off course or stumble into obvious pitfalls.

In this article, we’ll break down the product roadmap, its benefits, building blocks, and how you can create and maintain your own.

What is a product roadmap?

A product roadmap is a high-level action plan that maps out the necessary steps to realize your long-term product vision and goals.

The rapidly changing circumstances after launch can easily overwhelm your initial goals. The roadmap keeps your product team focused on the essentials.

You can structure it in many ways, including based on time or larger desired functionality groups.

Product roadmap example

Above is an example of a timeline-based roadmap. It sorts all future updates into quarters rather than larger themes.

You want to keep things simple here, as it’s supposed to give you a high-level overview of your project. It’s not the right place to break down every deliverable or small project task.

Think of it as a rough outline, not the final draft of your project or product plan.

What should a roadmap include? Essential building blocks

A typical product roadmap focuses on themes, epics, and user stories or features. Whether you include all of these depends on how you structure your roadmap.

  • Theme: a high-level strategic objective, like a fully functioning iOS version of your app
  • Epic: a logical collection of user stories of features necessary to make that happen
  • User story: a feature from the end user’s point of view. Agile teams often prefer these over conventional features
  • Feature: specific functionality that you want to include in your final product

But if you add all that information without any structure, the roadmap will effectively be useless. The roadmap should act as a template for what you do over the next few quarters.

So you must also include:

  • Timelines or milestones: when do you need it done by?
  • Ownership assignment: who does what?
  • Visualization: see the status of your product at a glance

Only then can you have a functional roadmap that helps highlight your overall product strategy.

You can also include key talking points from your product vision or business goals. By using them in the document, you remind everyone involved to stay focused on the right things.

How you handle prioritization can make or break your project, and your team.

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Who owns the product roadmap?

The product manager — or equivalent with a different title — owns the product roadmap, not executives or clients.

Agile teams and organizations — with or without a specific PM — also often use a product roadmap. In the case of Agile, the product owner owns the product roadmap.

The difference between them is that a product owner isn’t a person’s official company role. They could be a senior developer, account manager, or a business analyst. Since they’re in the best position to represent the end user’s point of view, they take the lead on a specific product.

That’s one way to ensure that stakeholder expectations are taken very seriously in the roadmap.

Even if you don’t work with Agile, you must include both internal and external stakeholders in the process. Without their direct involvement, you can end up wasting months or years. You don’t want to create something that doesn’t suit the current market.

If you’re still confused, you can read more about Agile roles in our dedicated guide.

What are the benefits of a product roadmap?

Only 11% of companies report that their product launches meet all their internal goals. Plus, 45% of product launches are delayed by at least one month.

To keep your product from spiraling out of control, you need to keep the team stable. That’s where the product roadmap comes in. It’s the compass holding you on course as the storm of product development rages.

There are countless potential distractions and wrong directions. If you don’t have a blueprint and compass, it’s nigh on impossible to finish successfully.

According to PMI, the 5 most common challenges that disrupt large projects, like new product development, are:

Project failure reasons

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Over the course of developing a product, many things change. That includes large-scale issues that affect a company’s priorities.

For example, maybe the majority of your revenue now comes from a new target market. Why should you then invest so much in pleasing a previously important customer group?

You shouldn’t.

Companies also struggle with insufficient requirements gathering, planning, and vision. Creating and actively updating the product roadmap is the perfect antidote to these issues.

It adds a new practical dimension to your vision for the product and helps lay the groundwork for the rest of the planning process.

If you actively revisit your product roadmap, it can also help you deal with change.

In summary:

  • It keeps the focus narrow
  • You can easily adapt it to reflect changing priorities or markets
  • It helps you stick to your product vision when making decisions

How do you structure a product roadmap?

The 3 main ways to structure a roadmap are to base it on the timeline, themes, or product line.

Structuring by themes

The first option is to structure your roadmap based on high-level themes. It’s easy to implement because the logical order is self-explanatory.

  • Theme
    • Epic
      • Feature (or user story)

Let’s explore what this might look like in a roadmap example:

Themed product roadmap example

As you can see, a larger theme breaks down entire areas of functionality that affect the end user’s experience. For example, singling out the mobile and web app experience.

You can then break this down into different apps. From there, split those further into the main required features or development stages.

For physical products, you can use the logical stages of product development as themes. Think initial design, prototyping, testing, and more.

Multiple products

You can also divide the roadmap into multiple products. Do it the same way you would with themes, except by product.

Stick to a simple structure where the top-level category is the product itself. From there, add some grouped epics, and expand them with features as subitems.

It makes sense to keep things even more high-level in a multi-product roadmap. If you cover every little thing you want each product to do, it’ll become an endless document.

If you focus on multiple products in a single roadmap, that’s technically a program roadmap or portfolio roadmap. You can use it separately from, or in combination with, single-product roadmaps.

A multi-product roadmap is useful when allocating resources between different projects. The various epics will let you know when to assign specialists, like a QA engineer, to a specific product.

Don’t let the boring terminology stop you from taking action. If you want a high-level overview of multiple products, go for it.

Mapping out quarter by quarter

Like in our initial example, you can also create a roadmap by mapping out a timeline in quarters (or whatever unit of time you want).

So instead of the initial grouping being themes, it’s purely time-based. From there, you include larger epics or perhaps even features directly — depending on your time frame.

Product roadmap example

While the quarters themselves act as rough milestones, you may want to add that extra level of detail. A timeline or milestone for each epic helps you set the expectations beyond which quarter they should finish in.

You can include more or less information depending on your preferences and methodology.

Now that you know a roadmap’s basic building blocks and structure, let’s dive into some more advanced examples.

Product roadmap examples

In this section, we’ll explore a few different instances of roadmaps. You can, for example, use various tools and strategies to visualize them.

We’ll also share a real-life product roadmap example from our internal teams.

With a Gantt chart

Gantt chart? It lays out the planned project flow in a chronological bar chart.

You can see which items to prioritize in the short term. It’s unmistakable. It also outlines the ideal flow of the project.

Product roadmap with Gantt chart

Most project management platforms include custom templates and functionality for roadmaps, so there’s little point in investing in a dedicated product roadmap tool.

In, not only can you easily expand your roadmap with a Gantt view, but you can also customize it in other ways:

  • Expand your workflow with unique stages
  • Add multiple assignees
  • Share access directly with your external and internal stakeholders

Roadmapping shouldn’t be hard. And with our software, it isn’t. Visualize the whole roadmap or make quick edits with a drag-and-drop editor. There’s no need for messing around with Excel sheets.


If you work with Kanban and focus on continuous improvement, you may want to use a Kanban board to represent your product roadmap.

A typical board lays out the general stages of your workflow, from to-do to done.

Product roadmap in Kanban board

To keep things focused on the longer term, you can separate out to-do ideas by themes or quarters.

It may not be the ideal format for a long-term roadmap. But it’s perfect for quickly evaluating the current status of your product.

Real-life example: our R&D team’s actual roadmap

Here you can see our R&D team’s actual roadmap in action.

Notice how we don’t just include random bug fixes, but focus on the long-term vision and which areas we want to prioritize.

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How to create your first product roadmap with (and use it effectively) doesn’t stop at product roadmap software features. Our robust Work OS allows you to create the perfect project management platform for your organization.

Use our 40+ native integrations and smart automations to destroy silos and help your teams work together.

Collaborate in real time with tools like an interactive whiteboard

Roadmapping should be a collaborative effort. But with even a single remote employee or stakeholder, it can be hard to involve everyone.’s interactive whiteboard app is the perfect solution for this issue. With it, your team can collaborate, sketch, create elements, move, and edit them in real time. interactive whiteboard app

It makes it easy to brainstorm and map out where you want your product to go over the next 12–24 months.

And when you switch to, that’s only the beginning of the collaboration tools. You can comment and add files directly on specific work items.

With easy access to all relevant product information and files, nobody will be out of the loop.

Share and continually review and update roadmap in collaboration with stakeholders

You’ve already seen a few variations of our product roadmap template in action. It makes it easy to create and customize your roadmap. If you have the basic ideas already, you can have it done in minutes.

But the templates and the drag-and-drop interface aren’t even the best part of A unique advantage is how easy it makes sharing with and keeping stakeholders in the loop.

You can use guest accounts with different privileges that match the stakeholder’s level of involvement.

That way, you can review and update the roadmap as you work through different development stages.

If you use a traditional project management approach, approach this carefully. And even if your team is Agile, you can’t just randomly make changes.

Make reviewing and updating the roadmap an integral part of your change management process. also includes templates for a product backlog if you work with Scrum or other Agile frameworks.

Destroy silos by integrating all your apps and tools

In 2021, most teams rely on a unique mix of SaaS applications and tools. That often creates a divide in both communication and data. This divide leads to “silos,” where teams and departments don’t collaborate efficiently, despite working on the same goal.

The main selling point of isn’t our collaborative tools or our roadmap template. It’s our robust integrations, automation builder, Apps Framework, and application programming interface (API).

Together, these let you create an expansive digital workspace — a logical platform for all your work to happen online.

With our robust integrations, you can start destroying silos between teams with zero custom code. integrations

If you have different teams on different platforms, can be the go-between. For example, whenever an item status is updated, you can notify people via Slack, Microsoft Team, or even Gmail messages.

It doesn’t matter where everyone prefers to do their work. Nobody gets left out of the loop.

Standardize the workflows related to the project with custom templates also offers a wide range of out-of-the-box project management features that help you get more — and higher-quality — work done.

For example, you can easily standardize the different specific workflows in your project with custom templates.

With our automation builder, you can make sure that the right person is notified at the right time. There’s no chance of the workflow stopping because someone forgets to message someone.

For example, whenever a work item moves to “review,” you can notify the QA team automatically. And of course, you can do so on their preferred channel, not just within

An accurate roadmap helps keep your product on the right path

Long-term product development projects aren’t easy to pull off.

On the one hand, it’s easy to veer off course as you start to run into your first challenges.

On the other hand, you can’t ignore customer feedback. If you don’t stay aligned with the market, nobody will buy your finished product.

That’s why a product roadmap, shared directly with stakeholders and updated in real time, is so crucial.

Use and our ready-made product roadmap template to start off on the right foot.

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