A product roadmap is a useful tool to keep track of what features you are working on in the current version of your app and to organize ideas you have for future releases. I also use it as a scheduling tool to ensure updates are happening consistently and as a big picture tool to understand how the product is evolving in my business strategically.
I can’t afford fancy software to do this, so I just use an excel spreadsheet to track core features in the current release. I try to keep it simple since I’m not sure what feature is going to be most important in my next release, so I don’t want to be too rigid with the schedule.
The following is a screenshot of how my product roadmap is organized today.
I keep each column as a separate version of the app.
The first row of the spreadsheet contains the version information. The second row contains the date the version was submitted. The third row contains a list of all the features submitted in that version.
I like to use the below release numbering convention:
Major version – several major features added and significant functional changes. This does not happen often. Example. 1.7.6 to 2.0
Minor version – new feature added, some smaller design tweaks and a number of bug fixes. This should happen regularly. Eg. 4.0.1 to 4.1
Bug fix – focused on fixing critical bugs or addressing high customer pain points that do not require new functionality. Most frequent type of release. Eg. 2.3.7 to 2.3.8
The last column of the spreadsheet is labeled “backlog” and it contains a running list of new features. Going forward I just add a column in front of the backlog column for each new release. transferring backlog features into them or creating new ones based on customer feedback and other factors.