What Are the Special Aspects of Software Development Roadmaps?
You may need a roadmap at any stage of your life, regardless of the field of activity or a current job position. This tool will help if you need to plan the building a house, visualize the steps to open a new store or plan the release of a software product.
You can apply a simple roadmap even for personal use. For example, to plan your own wedding and all the preparatory stages for six months ahead.
However, the most active utilizing of such timelines is associated with information technologies and software development. The Agile product roadmap is a peculiar GPS in the software business world.
Recently, we have defined the main stages of creating a roadmap from scratch. This time, we are going to explain special aspects of the software development process, scheduled with the help of a roadmap. If you are aiming to create a custom software project and going to get more about that process, you may use it as a simple template.
Creating a roadmap for software development projects
Thousands of companies all over the world strive to launch products faster and be the first ones in their market niche.
The competitive edge and getting advantages are not easy things that require many strategic steps. The main drivers for success tend to continuous feedback from stakeholders, automation testing, test-driven development, and, as you can guess, a powerful well-visualized roadmap.
A software development roadmap acts as a strategic plan that describes the likely development of a product over the next period of time. It supports the goals and vision of the product, key priorities, and helps to keep stakeholders aligned.
The software development plan gives a detailed picture of a project’s deliverables and a clear overview of what is expected to happen at a certain period during the project’s lifecycle. It empowers you to track project milestones and helps to coordinate team communication.
Key benefits of software development roadmaps
- Set goals and communicate how products should be developed over the upcoming period of time
- Help to set a realistic timeline and milestones
- Link business strategy with product and technology decisions
- Assist with feature prioritization
- Help to define gaps in product and tech plans
- Improve the visibility of projects to all stakeholders
- Improve communication
- Mitigate risks
If you have already chosen a proper product management tool for creating a roadmap, you may think about what each of stages on our software development roadmap means.
Here’s a simple introduction of the software development process from start to finish.
Discovery stage is associated with gathering all needed information and digging into the details of what is important to customers and business.
The process differs from project to project, but the key result should be the same – the valuable data. The more information you find, the more prepared you will be to start your own software project.
Having this info, you’ll be able to define a set of requirements to look at your project from the outside in and determine whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
The next stage of your software development plan is Design. The requirements should be broken down further. It will allow to forecast the timeline of the project and estimate the level of effort and amount of required resources.
The Design stage requires identifying specific designs and workflows. You decide what tools and software will be used. Once this stage is complete, the development may begin.
The bulk part of the time in software development is associated with coding. The process of development starts when the system is designed and the technical foundation is decided.
The process is typically broken down into sprints that should be clearly visualized on your product development roadmap. Customers are able to view their growing software and give feedback to the developers. It’s important to keep the customer engaged in the entire development process, to make sure they are getting exactly what they want.
Testing does matter. There is a variety of testing that could be used, depending on your project. Testing helps to use all the features of a system as a user would.
Features are usually tested in isolation but not as a unified whole. The end-to-end test exercises allow testers to compare what was built to the original specifications and any changes made along the way.
Deployment is the stage meaning that all of the previous stages are complete and the customer is ready to launch the new software. This is the final point on your software development roadmap.
If your software is a new brand, it can be deployed all at once. If it is a feature update, you deploy the changes made to the existed software.
Deployment means that you finish the work with your development plan timeline and enjoy your new software.
Is there a way for a modern IT company to survive without a roadmap? Probably, yes. However, there are some obvious hesitations about delivering projects on time without a roadmap.
The correct product software development plan helps product owners and product managers to launch their brilliant products with the right functionalities and optimal costs on time. Painless.