What an ROI signal in your roadmap means

What an ROI signal in your roadmap means

Fractional GTM Head

Asking both founders and product leaders of growing tech scale ups on what challenges they’ve had with building a roadmap, we hear common themes.

Misalignment with business goals: "We're building features, but are they really what our business needs right now?" Also called being a feature factory, wherein the core problem is being unaware of both qualitative and qunatitiative feedback from your existing product and how that ties to your revenue goals.

Inflexibility and over-commitment: "Our roadmap is too rigid. It doesn't allow us to adapt quickly to changes in the market or customer needs."; a common problem where roadmap items are overly detailed and set in stone for quarters, keeping flexibility out of sight.

Lack of customer centricity: "We're too internally focused. Our roadmap doesn’t adequately reflect what our customers actually want."; which arises when roadmaps are developed based more on internal assumptions or technical capabilities rather than on deep customer insights and feedback.

What ties all the three problems together is the actual process and language that goes into creating the roadmap every quarter that is often tied to a lot of meetings, often with top level execs, going after a deadline.

To synthesize the above challenges, at ProductHub, we’ve noticed that growing scale ups have a core problem tieng

Top: Vision, Quarterly Business Goals or Product Strategy, Tech debt and the voice of the exec team, along with

Down: Day to day user feedback to remain customer centric, your product metrics across different tools or dashboards, and importantly, what the capacity of your team looks to achieve the roadmap.

OK, what is ROI?

ROI stands for return on investment and borrowed from the finance world, where analysts actively try to get a grasp of what the expected value of a stock, for eg, would be at a time in the future, to asses both reward and risk in a clear percentage, or simpler, a dollar/euro number.

What does ROI have to do with figuring out a roadmap?

At ProductHub, we help your product teams come together to tie both the top and bottom levers into an ROI number for each roadmap item, thereby building the shared vocabulary, and context to make the right product decisions. Fundamentally,

> If you don't focus on ROI, you may end up developing products that don't generate enough revenue to cover their costs.

> When you know which products are likely to have the highest ROI, you can focus your resources on developing those products first.

> By tracking your ROI, you can see how well your products are performing and make changes to your roadmap as needed.

> Teams are aligned on which product lines or features have the biggest ROI and are aligned across the organization on where to focus and the product priorities are.

We’ll be talking about calculating ROI in our next blog post, which can be found here.

We’ve been fortunate to work with some of the early customers, including BettyBlocks, Fourthline, Viktor.ai in building their roadmaps based on ROI which has helped the teams save hours in the planning process and prepare them for the impact they are looking to deliver.

If you’d like to dive into how ROI looks for your product strategy, book a free call here.


For CEOs, founders and leaders in SaaS, crafting a product roadmap that aligns with both strategic goals and operational capacity is pivotal these days. While many roadmaps are built from the bottom-up, relying heavily on customer feedback and the louder internal voices, the key to sustained growth and profitability lies in a top-down strategic approach, balanced with an understanding of the company's capacity. 




Jan 26, 2024

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