Identification: This is the phase where business stakeholders brainstorm and define the business goals for a new product. The initial tensions between different stakeholders about getting their projects in the priority list are overcome during this identification process, as the business and technology stakeholders come into close contact with the product owner (portfolio/product manager). Based on the initial round of discussions and evaluations every project idea is assigned a priority ranking.
Key Outputs: A ranked product roadmap with high level business visions and goals outlined for the highest priority projects and features. Also included are initial definitions of targeted user roles, initial workflow for prioritized product(s).
At the client company, the business stakeholders during this phase conceptualize the need of a product to enhance their digital presence and drive corporate strategy. Primary business goals are defined and initial user flows are identified.
Prioritization: During this phase the whole team is normally brought into the roadmapping process. A quick kickoff is arranged to make the team aware of the roadmapping process. Based on priority inputs from the product owner, the team evaluates the project ideas and generated epic backlogs to provide initial “order of magnitude” estimates (estimating in T-Shirt sizes). All the risks are identified and assumptions are laid out. It is at this stage the product manager reassesses the risks, estimates, and potential business values. This reassessment results in revised priorities for one or more projects, through collaboration with the other stakeholders.
Key Outputs: An initial story backlog that has been prioritized by the business owners in collaboration with the team and the product owner. The backlog is supported by initial coarse-grain estimates, and lists of risks and assumptions to make sure that everyone understands the work scope.
At the client company, all of these (re)prioritization activities are incorporated as part of the regular sprint work, so that the entire project team has more visibility into the potential pipeline of work and can provide quick feedback to the product owners on the ‘current’ state of the backlog and team capacity. Also first draft of user workflows and wireframes are created to aid in estimation.
Exploration: At this stage, the risks get well defined as the team performs early technical spikes for integration touch points. Refined estimates are available as user attributes and user interface workflows are defined to the next level of detail. This results in a tentative release plan based on the current sprint backlog and team capacity.
Key Outputs: A new version of the story backlog with refined granular level estimates and risk lists and a draft of the release plan.
At the client company, this phase is used to share the initial release plan with the teams for feedback. Also the outputs of the technical spikes are shared with the product owner to make them aware of the potential technology choices.
Confirmation: This is the phase when the business stakeholders review all the available information (business value, risks, estimates, product definition, and suggested release plan) to reach a Go or No-Go decision. It is the responsibility of the Product Owner along with the team to refine the release timelines and resource scheduling based on the decisions taken.
Key Outputs: The approved project backlog is the main output of this phase, which drives a formalized release plan owned by the team and the product/portfolio owner.
At the client company, if the project is a Go, the portfolio owner refines the release timelines and resource scheduling. If the project is a No-Go, the portfolio owner puts the project back into hibernation for reconsideration at