A roadmap that focuses on outcomes rather than features is referred to as a Feature-less Roadmap. It is a strategic blueprint. When a product team follows a feature-less roadmap instead of a product roadmap, it can deliver a valuable product for customers that also support the company’s goals. When the features are taken from a roadmap, it reflects the customer experience in one way or another.
A roadmap provides an idea about where a product is heading and how it will reach there. It is a series of steps that have to be taken by a product team to achieve a compelling product that is useful for the customer.
A product team can focus on a product roadmap or a feature-less roadmap.
What a Product Roadmap Is
A roadmap that lists the features a product must have and are essential to fulfill a product’s purpose is called a Product Roadmap. It is more focused on the product’s features and does not cover the company’s business objectives. It keeps the product team on target and focused on reaching the goal of developing the product. Likewise, it focuses on quantity rather than quality.
What Is a Feature-less Roadmap?
A feature-less roadmap is a list of objectives a product team must accomplish while developing a product. It focuses on outcomes instead of outputs. When a product team follows a feature-less roadmap and plans the development around significant themes and company goals, they are more successful and outcome-focused. A product developed by following a feature-less roadmap is thriving, and it solves the users’ problems while supporting the company’s broader goals.
Product Roadmap or Feature-less Roadmap – What is Better?
Although the product roadmap keeps the entire production team focused on the target while defining the features that a product should have and timelines to develop those features, they are more valuable and helpful in achieving the goals of a product. A feature-less roadmap serves to ensure that a product is solving the right problem in the right way.
The features are an integral part of a product, and every product has specific features. So a feature-less roadmap does not replace the product roadmap. Instead, it guides the product team about where a particular feature should be placed in a product. The product roadmap depicts the product development process, whereas the feature-less roadmap explains why certain features are added to a product.
How to Build Feature-less Roadmap?
The feature-less roadmaps begin with the company’s strategies. These company strategies are then converted into themes. The feature-less roadmaps focus on delivering outcomes rather than useless features. Here are some famous examples of feature-less roadmaps:
A theme is a high-level objective of a product and describes the customer value. It defines what your customers will get and how certain features will help them accomplish their tasks. It answers the questions like what problem a product will solve, why it needs to be solved, why it should be prioritized over other problems, etc.
Each theme represents a particular problem that a customer is facing. It has some measurable goals tied up with the company’s goals. Many features can come under one theme. Themes help the product team stay on track as each feature is tied to a specific theme.
North Star Roadmaps
In North Star roadmaps, the team sets a single strategic goal, against which each step in the roadmap should be assessed. That single strategic goal is called the North Star metric. The north star roadmaps focus on the customer value and the business impact the company’s executives are trying to make. The activities that improve the North star metric are considered beneficial. These roadmaps help identify the helpful step or activities in the development process while dropping off the useless ones.