Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping

Product development, innovation, and product management are complex topics in large companies. Product line managers face multiple challenges. They must learn how to identify and then leverage product line platform-levers. They must define market segments to better spot customer wants and needs. And they must gain alignment of actions across their organization.

A good product line strategy coupled to smart execution is key to stellar performance. But this takes more than just seat-of-the-pants management. Our free eBook on Product Line Roadmap Management is an excellent primer on this important topic.

Download our free eBook 

Learn how Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping can help your organization:

  • Build Product Line Roadmaps that enable a strategy to be successful. Boost platform-levers. Gain cross-organizational alignment. Target product features to drive greater customer satisfaction. Improve cash flow. And, beat>
  • Plan and carry out Product Line strategies with new technologies and product features. Drive multi-generation platform-levers while matching customer needs in key market segments
  • Deliver greater value from your NPD investment by lowering development costs and speeding results,
  • Improve existing approaches by connecting Product Line Roadmaps to idea generation, project and portfolio management, and the full business strategy.

Also see The Profound Impact of Product Line Strategy

New Product Development

Product Line Strategizing and Roadmapping

When combined, product line strategizing and roadmapping create a powerful process. Smart managers use this process to coordinate and accelerate work that pulls together and creates critical insights related to a line of products. This might sound simple and straight-forward, but in practice it is quite dynamic and thought provoking. Activities within product line roadmapping help to focus knowledge gathering, business analysis, and strategic thinking on one thing: advancing a product line both economically and competitively. In a full architecture of new product development (see diagram 1), product line roadmapping is a sub-process within the front-end, preceding concept generation and feasibility testing activities.

Diagram 1:  Full Architecture of New Product Development Processes

Good product line roadmapping sets the stage for new product development by linking true strategy to meaningful and purposeful investments. The goal of the process is to create a focus for innovation that is understood and embraced across functions and up and down the hierarchy of an organization. When done well, the resultant documents and roadmapping diagrams, i.e., the full product line strategy story, will address all of the influences and true possibilities for a product line over both the short term and the long run.

Strategizing and Roadmapping Output

Teams following a robust product line roadmapping process have the objective of generating specific targets for product innovation, along with a priority ranking from the perspective of the product line of current and potential projects.  These outputs of product line roadmapping have a key role in enabling the full architecture of product development — tying business strategy to product line strategy and product line strategy to concept generation. Product line roadmapping also provides guidance to insightful portfolio “mix management” and pipeline “flow management.”  But perhaps the most important feature of product line roadmapping is that it facilitates a deep cross-functional exploration of the reality and possibility: the balance of strategic and creative opportunities with resource, competitive and knowledge constraints.

Check out our resources to learn more, join us for an upcoming workshop or contact us for assistance implementing product line roadmapping in your organziation: