Skip to main content

Behaviour-based roadmap

There are so many ways to have your roadmap, among other

  • As a list of features with/without aimed released dates
  • As a list of product areas where you aim to make changes
  • As a list of problems you look forward to solving for your customers



Here's another way: roadmap as a set of behaviours you want to change.

Why do you need another way? You don't. If you're happy about your roadmap - I salute you.

If you still here let's see why a behaviour-based roadmap might be good for your product.

Is what they do that matters

I guess no one would argue that a specific customer's behaviour is the key to product success. In the heart of every product - some key customer behaviours.

  • For Google, it's searching and watching (YouTube). 
  • For Facebook, it's scrolling newsfeed and connecting to more people. 
  • For Amazon, it's buying stuff and forgetting to untick "Prime" checkbox. 


Every product has some core behaviours and might have several secondary behaviours creators want their customers to express. Often the goal of a PM's job is to make customers do a key behaviour more often. We do it by making behaviour easier to do and more rewarding.

If the above sounds to you a lot like jobs-to-be-done - then you're right, it's very much is. Behaviours are just an easy way to describe jobs your customers want to do using your product.

Do you know how people use your product? 

It could shock you but a lot of product teams cannot answer this question with a confident "yes". They may have theories, they might get some stats here and there, they might have heard some anecdotes from customers. But if you ask them to write down step by step how their customers using their product - they might find it problematic.

You need to know your customers' behaviours

In case you also don't know how your customers are using your product - rush to find out. Really, there are no excuses. There so many ways to do it.
First and the easiest - just ask them to show you. Shadowing is still one of the most useful ways to learn about your customers. It's the best way because watching your customers live you can ask them why they're doing it this way.

If you cannot be there, next to your customers - you still can learn about their behaviour. You have all those amazing tools for that: HotJar, Lucky Orange, Crazy Egg, Google Analytics...etc.

Visualize behaviours

There is no better way to show others how your customers behave than to draw a picture. Take your pick: a diagram, a mind map or maybe a customer journey map. Any way would do as far as it's visual and clear.

Prioritize

Knowing how your customers use your product, you need to decide which behaviours are key for your business and which are secondary. This is important as you never have enough resources to improve everything at once, you need to prioritize. With behaviours, you want to focus on key ones until you're sure their the easiest and the most valuable as they could be.

Identify improvements

Having your behaviours visualized and prioritized - you need to decide the improvements you want to do. There are two main ways to go about it:

Ask your customers

You need to measure your customers' satisfaction on every step of the key behaviour. Then you need to make sure you don't have disappointing steps in the behaviour. After that, you can move on maximizing already satisfying steps. More details in the customer journey method.

Apply your vision

You have one, right? Your product has a purpose, you created it to make your customers' lives better. If so - then you'll know what parts of the key behaviour you need to improve.

Describe or visualize changes to behaviours you want to do

Here's where the behaviour-based roadmap is better than a feature-based one. Features could be misunderstood. You write "a new text editor" and it could mean a hundred different things to different people. But if you describe behaviour it gets much easier to understand - "you'll be able to make text bold, italic and underlined". You can experiment with the level of details you provide - "you'll be able to make text bold, italic and underlined using interface icons or keyboard shortcuts".

Continuously monitor behaviour

To make sure you're moving in the right direction - you need to monitor your customers' behaviour. If you do that consistently - you'd know if the changes you introduced had a designed effect.

tl;dr

The behaviour-based roadmap is another way to inform your business and your customers about the changes you plan to do to your product. It could be easier to understand and more relatable than a classical feature-based roadmap. Most importantly, knowing the behaviours of your customers, monitoring it consistently you are increasing your chances for product success.

Popular posts from this blog

Fogg Behavior Model

Have you ever wondered why you do certain things? Why are some behaviors easy and joy to do while other not so? And your customers - have you ever struggled to understand their behavior?
BJ Fogg, from Stanford University, has created simple and powerful behavioral model for persuasive product design.


Product Vision: an elevator pitch for your product

On this blog, I write a lot about making data-driven decisions. But what if you just starting to think about your product? You have a vague idea and nothing more. No point to go for prototyping or even talking to customers as you don't know yet who to talk to and what to talk about. In such situation - start from creating a product vision.

7 steps of Product Discovery

Before building a product - how do you know what product to build? While building a product - how do you know what features are the most valuable? After you've built a product - how do you know if to tune stuff or add a new one?