Roadmaps play a big part in the product management process. They map out the vision of a product, laying out the different features and functionalities that, when developed, will make your product more engaging, attractive, and successful to the users you target. With so much of your efforts represented by Roadmaps, ensuring that you have the best possible options for leveraging them is a clear priority. That’s why we’ve spent the last few weeks working on improving their usability within the platform and adding a brand new, super useful Roadmap View for you to better visualize your plans.
We also figured out that our Scoring mechanism for prioritization could use some work. Sometimes simple numbers aren’t good enough at representing our priorities, and so we’ve put some elbow grease into revamping our Scoring formulas to make prioritization scoring easier for you.
New Roadmap Views
Roadmaps come in many forms. Some product managers swear by a timeline-based view, while others prefer to show Roadmaps that display distinct items. As roadmaps play a very important role in organizations (and in particular, in product managers’ lives), we have updated the roadmap section and added a new type of roadmap view -- the Kanban Roadmap.
First, we changed the roadmap navigation: all roadmap views (Strategic Roadmap, Release Summary & Kanban Roadmap) can now be found in one, centralized location - under the Roadmap item in the left navigation bar. To select a roadmap view, click on the View dropdown next to the View title.
Next, we added the Kanban Roadmap. This View shows the upcoming releases, where items are grouped according to their planned release. The Kanban Roadmap View does not show a timeline and milestones like the Strategic Roadmap, but it does have several distinct advantages that make it very valuable: first, filters and sorting can be applied - this is super practical when you want to share just a certain section of the Roadmap, aimed towards a particular audience; for example, you can filter out technical tasks when sharing the roadmap with your Marketing team, or only show the items that are relevant to their product. You can also filter by release, and display just certain releases.
This view also presents more details about the various items - the title is fully visible, and other data like status and assignee are displayed by default as well.
When should you use the Kanban Roadmap? We recommend using it when releases represent constant time containers, like quarters. In addition, whenever you need to apply filters and/or see more details about the items, the Kanban Roadmap View is your answer.
Formulas with Selection Fields
Craft.io’s formulas play an important part in the prioritization process. With formulas, you can generate prioritization scores based on several numeral fields. For example, a simple example of a formula is: Score = Value / Effort where Value and Effort are numeral fields.
However, when product managers need to input data into these fields, they need a specific number, say “5” or “8”. This might create two problems: first, a product manager may not have a precise number in mind (“should I fill ‘5’ or ‘6’?”); second, they might be manipulating the numbers a bit to reach their preferred score (don’t we all do that from time to time?).
To solve these problems, we have developed the ability to add selection fields to formulas: for the example above, you can define the Value and Effort fields as T-Shirt Size value: S, M, L & XL. In this case, the product manager can simply fill “Value = L” and “Effort = M”, abandoning the guessing game regarding which exact number they should use.
But how does the calculation happen? When you define those fields, you apply a numeral value to each option (e.g. S = 20, M = 40, etc.); these values will be used when the formula is calculated. However, when a product manager inputs data into those fields, they will only see the abstraction layer (S, M, etc.), without the numerical values.
Selection fields with values are also very useful to define a closed set of number fields. For example, one would like to define an Effort field, where the possible values belong to the Fibonacci sequence (1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, etc.). To do so, simply create a selection field with the Fibonacci values. In a similar way, one can define other sequences, like powers (1, 2, 4, 8, 16), subsets of percentages (30%, 70%, 100%), etc.
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