Almost every profession involves some sort of roadmap to follow to create your best work: 

Chefs have recipes. 

Writers have outlines. 

Filmmakers have storyboards. 

Entrepreneurs have business plans. 

And founders creating new products and tools have roadmaps

A product roadmap can take many forms. But no matter the specifics, it serves as an essential tool for both startups and enterprises align on product strategy and map out workflows. 

For this article, we sat down with two of Bubble’s lead product managers, Laura Oppenheimer and Steve Harrington, to discuss the product roadmapping process. We’ll get into: 

What is a product roadmap? 

Like an actual roadmap for a road trip, a product roadmap serves two functions: defining your destination and providing directions for getting there. It creates a plan for the work your team needs to do in the upcoming quarters to deliver on your product vision and achieve your goals. 

“A product roadmap is your plan for what you’re going to deliver for your customers in the future. Typically, I have a high-fidelity plan for the next quarter, a good sense of what’s going to happen in the next half, and a sketch of what will happen in the next year.” — Laura Oppenheimer, Lead Product Manager at Bubble 

As Laura points out, a product roadmap shouldn’t be a high-stakes legal agreement. Instead, you want your roadmap to be a collaborative document that helps your product team and other internal development teams align on product management.  

Even if your team reports out to key investors and stakeholders, or if you’re juggling multiple products and a large team, your roadmap should be flexible and adaptable enough to accommodate iterations based on user testing and learnings. 

Why are product roadmaps important? 

Product roadmaps — sometimes called “product strategy roadmaps” — create a lot of benefits for companies and teams of every size. Whether you’re a small startup trying to launch your first MVP raise funding or a well-established company with expansive teams and a portfolio of products, a product roadmap helps provide alignment, give context for current work, and simplify communication. 

A product roadmap creates alignment

One of the biggest benefits of a roadmap is increased clarity and alignment on your product vision.  

“Your product roadmap is a way to ensure that the work you’re doing today is aligned with the direction of your product and the work you’ll be delivering in the future. In doing so, it helps align the team around your vision and provides context to help shape the implementation in a way that’s forward-thinking.” — Steve Harrington, Product Manager at Bubble

Feature bloat is real — especially in the early stages when you’re trying to get your product or MVP launched ASAP. There are so many things splitting your attention that it becomes difficult to get any level of actual focus. 

That’s where a product roadmap can make product management much easier. When you clearly define your vision, you can prioritize more ruthlessly and align on what exactly needs to be done to accomplish that vision. 

Product roadmaps speed up development and launch timelines

With a great roadmap, you can stay focused and get your product to launch more quickly. This is also a positive feedback loop. The faster you get your product to market, the more user feedback you can get, and the better direction you’ll be able to secure for your roadmap in the future. 

More focus = faster implementation = faster time to market. 

Pairing your roadmap with a no-code development solution like Bubble can speed up your go-to-market timeline even more. 

Take, for example, BluBinder. BluBinder Founder Liesl Leach had raised $650,000 in funding, but traditional development teams quoted her over $50,000 a month to build out an initial version of the app — and that product development process was going to take at least six months. There wasn’t that kind of time or money on the table, so Liesl changed course. 

She brought on Erik Silk, a product manager and no-coder, who got BluBinder built and launched on Bubble in just a few weeks. With a strong product roadmap and a speedy development timeline, they gained steam quickly, growing their base of partner customers and distribution partners within just months.  

Product roadmaps provide context for practical planning

Another common and easy mistake is jumping right into building, trying to move and launch quickly, without first aligning on a bigger vision. A custom roadmap can help with that. 

“It’s so important to get your team aligned on the why. Why are we here? Why is this product important? From there, you can paint a picture of where you’re going with your roadmap, which can then map up to your “why.”It’s also helpful on a practical level for allocating resources and planning.” — Laura Oppenheimer, Product Manager at Bubble 

Once you’ve got alignment around your “why,” you can more practically allocate resources and plan accordingly for future work and projects. It can also help provide context for your team on why they’re working on certain features or projects, and how their work adds up to the larger whole. 

Product roadmaps strengthen communication

Speaking of communication, a product roadmap is an essential tool for both internal and external communication. 

For founders looking to scale, launch quickly, and raise funding, a product roadmap provides a clear and concise way to communicate your product vision to both internal stakeholders and potential investors. 

For larger, more established companies, product roadmaps provide a way to keep customers informed on new features and the product’s progress as well. 

“Many enterprise companies also want to communicate their roadmap out to customers and prospective customers ahead of time. A product roadmap gives you a way to align on what is “safe” to talk about and what’s not quite ready for customer eyes.” - Laura Oppenheimer, Product Manager at Bubble 

And for anyone, product roadmaps certainly make internal and cross-team collaboration much easier. Everyone from your executive team to sales and marketing to design and development can clearly see and understand what’s being worked on now, what’s coming down the pipeline, and what the goals are for each upcoming quarter. 

Who needs a product roadmap? 

The short answer: If you’re building a new product, you need a product roadmap. 

Product roadmaps are an essential tool for startups as well as larger companies. Typically, a product manager or internal product team will create and manage your roadmap, but multiple teams throughout your company can benefit from a roadmap. 

Even better: You can create both an internal and an external roadmap to make sure all of your internal teams — and external stakeholders — are on the same page. 

Internal Roadmaps  

Who’s involved? 

What’s the purpose? 

Executives and stakeholders

A roadmap for your executive team or key stakeholders shows how the current work that’s being done maps onto your larger vision and company goals. This can typically be higher-level and cover longer periods of time, even if the plan itself is more flexible. 

Development team 

Your dev team needs a roadmap to understand both big-picture and day-to-day delivery details. That is, a roadmap should show what initiatives have been prioritized and what needs to be built next. 

However, it should also show why those have been prioritized, and how this leads up to the overall product strategy and goals. 

Marketing and sales team 

Your sales and marketing team can also use a high-level roadmap to talk to interested customers about current and upcoming features and guide conversations based on development plans. 

External Roadmaps 

Potential investors 

Roadmaps can be a great way to communicate your vision and planning to potential or current investors as well, assuring them of the feasibility and timeline of your product development. 


A roadmap for customers should be high-level and focus on customer-facing (and customer-requested) changes. 

One of the most overlooked groups when thinking about your roadmap is‌ your customers. Your customers want to know you’re an innovative company that’s taking care of their needs. In a customer-facing roadmap, focus on exciting, high-level features and prioritized problem areas. 

Pay attention to the user feedback you’ve gotten and provide updates on how you’re addressing those key areas. 

Internally, your roadmaps should consider both high-level and detailed plans, and tie all of that back to your overall vision and goals. 

What are the key components of a product roadmap? 

There are so many different types of roadmaps and frameworks available based on different needs, teams, and product stages. But every great product roadmap communicates at least the basics: who, what, when, where, why, and how. 

  • Who will work on it: what resources and teams are needed or expected to complete certain work  
  • What to work on: prioritized features expected to be created in upcoming periods 
  • When it'll launch: key timelines and milestones, sometimes shown as product releases or versions 
  • Where the feature will launch: if you have a portfolio, which product this initiative is for 
  • Why it’s prioritized: what larger goals or company vision these features align with 
  • How to measure impact: measurable and specific goals and metrics for success or reach 

Your roadmap may be more or less granular depending on its function and audience. Similarly, how you choose to visualize and organize your roadmap is really up to you and what’s most helpful for your team. 

Types of product roadmaps

Within these core elements, there isn’t really one roadmap to rule them all. 

Depending on your needs, your team, your goals with your roadmap, and frankly, your personal preferences or planning style, there’s different product roadmap templates to suit your needs. If you want to take a deeper dive into different types of product roadmaps, we’ve collected our favorite product roadmap examples to help you figure out which one will work best for your team.

Type of Roadmap 

What it is

What it’s used for 

Goals-based roadmap 

Organized based on overarching goals and objectives for each time period, with features, timelines, and metrics coordinated to business goals.

Best for high-level product roadmaps that need to be strategic. Goals-based roadmaps show a clear vision for each stage and are more flexible, since they’re focused on a broader goal and not specific features. 

Feature roadmap

Organized by features, generally showing a timeline or progress chart of when certain features will be completed. 

Best for coordinating with sales and marketing teams, or for customer-facing roadmaps. 

Timeline roadmap

Typically a Gantt-chart style view that shows everything that needs to happen by certain dates to keep product development on track. 

Great for detail-oriented planning and delivery roadmaps, especially for coordinating workflows and cross-team collaboration. 

Portfolio roadmap

Portfolio roadmaps show the development timeline for multiple products in the same view. 

For companies who are juggling multiple product lines, a portfolio roadmap gives a strategic, high-level overview of how multiple products contribute to your overall vision and goals. 

Scrum roadmap

Organizes upcoming features and development plans into timeboxed sprints to show what will be developed in each phase. 

Used in agile development teams as a tactical, execution-focused roadmap to plan out work in shorter timelines. 

Epics roadmap 

An agile product roadmap that organizes features into the corresponding goal or category — “epic” — they support, regardless of release date. 

Used for high-level strategic planning and visualization to show how long-term product development will support overarching goals, or “epics” over time. 

There are several distinguishing factors between types of roadmaps: 

  • High-level vs. detail-oriented 
  • Strategic vs. tactical 
  • Internal vs. external 

In some cases, you might use more than one type of roadmap in tandem. For example, you might want to use an epics roadmap for high-level, strategic, long-term planning. From there, you could develop a scrum roadmap for your development team to plan out the next few sprints to lead up to that high-level “why.” 

Or you might create a product roadmap for high-level planning, while creating a features roadmap or timeline roadmap for your team’s day-to-day work planning and coordination. 

How to create a product roadmap 

In our guide on how to create a product roadmap, we mapped out four stages of creating a visual product roadmap: 

  1. Organizing: clarifying your overall vision for your product 
  2. Prioritizing: determining the key features you can accomplish in the given timeline that align with your goals  
  3. Communicating: outlining a visualization of your plan so you can communicate it clearly  
  4. Iterating: adjusting and continuing to develop your roadmap based on customer feedback   


Clarifying your overall vision for your product 


Determining the key features that can be accomplished in a given timeline


Visualizing your plan for simple sharing and communicating 


Adjusting your roadmap based on user testing and feedback 

One of the goals in product roadmap planning is to help get your product to market more quickly, so don’t spend too much time trying to make it perfect. The important thing is to create a product roadmap — even imperfectly — and then continue to refer to it. Your product team can update as needed to keep the latest development cycle focused on your bigger vision. 

As you build out your roadmap, keep these foundational principles in mind: 

Start with your customers

As with anything, a good product roadmap starts with your customers. 

“Talking to your customers is key to building a product roadmap. You need to know what your customers (and prospective customers) want; what would make them 10x happier with your product; what would make them buy, etc.” - Laura Oppenheimer, Lead Product Manager at Bubble

By factoring in customer needs and expectations, you can better determine how you want to innovate to meet — and exceed — those expectations in new ways. 

Clarify your overall vision 

Nothing in your product roadmap has to be your end-all-be-all. Even Amazon started as just an online bookseller, after all. 

Rather, the priority here is to carefully think through and align on your vision for your product at this time, and how you see it growing in the future. Your overall vision should set a direction for your product as well as specific and measurable goals for your product’s success. As always, you want to keep the end user and their needs in mind as you consider what success looks like. 

Prioritize your product features 

Every founder knows that you can’t (or shouldn’t) put all of your product features and ideas into V1 of your product. Your MVP is simply that — a minimum viable product that serves as V1 for interested users, user testing, building an audience, raising funding, and getting your idea off the ground. 

That said, knowing that you need to prioritize your feature ideas and actually doing so are two different things. 

Prioritization frameworks can make it easier to know exactly what to prioritize. Keep in mind that deprioritizing an idea or feature shouldn’t usually mean that it never happens, only that it doesn’t happen in this release or quarter. 

Make your roadmap visual 

As you begin to prioritize new features and development projects, you can start to map out your plan using a product roadmap template or another visualization. 

Start with major product releases and milestones, and then map out the timeline of smaller features or projects from there. Gradually, your product development process will begin to take shape. From there, your product teams can make sure your roadmap presentation stays up to date and evolves as necessary. 

Keep iterating 

Remember, you want your internal roadmap to be a living document, one that’s flexible so you can adjust for future iterations. Don’t set all your plans into stone from day one! Instead, make a high-fidelity plan for the upcoming sprint or quarter, and sketch out looser plans for longer timelines. Once you’ve got your MVP out in the world gathering feedback, you can use those learnings to adjust your product roadmap for future quarters. 

For example, you might have highly prioritized a feature that it turns out customers don’t seem to need, or you might have completely overlooked something that turns out to be commonly requested. Or, your level of resources might change suddenly, meaning that a feature that seemed like a sure bet is now a huge lift. 

The bottom line: Keep things flexible so that you can adjust as you learn and develop the most useful product for your customers.

Launch your MVP faster on Bubble 

Even when you’ve condensed your roadmap for your MVP — or the first iterations of your product — to the very basics, there can still be a lot of development work that needs to happen before you launch. 

This is where a no-code, full-stack development tool like Bubble, alongside a great product roadmap, can really help speed things up. 

If you want to bring on a partner to help you build, iterate, and execute faster and with more flexibility, you can hire a Bubble-Certified Developer or a Bubble agency. With a small team on your side, and Bubble’s no-code tools powering your products, you can build, learn, iterate, and grow faster than ever — demolishing the traditional product development timeline. 

With Bubble, you can increase your speed to market and keep your team lean while still maintaining a high level of control and customizability over your product. So what are you waiting for?