How to Create a Mobile App Development Roadmap: A CEO's Guide
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How to Create a Mobile App Development Roadmap: A CEO’s Guide

3116 Views | 8 min | Published On: May 10, 2022 Last Updated: May 26, 2022
mobile app development roadmap

Building a product without an efficient mobile app development roadmap is like going to a new city without knowing the directions. If you’re lucky, you may reach your destination, otherwise, you will simply end up wasting a lot of time. 

Have you ever come across these questions: “what are we doing next?”, “What is the actual plan?” or “Why are we doing this now?”. In this blog, we are going to help you in a way that these questions do not come your way. Yes, this is possible!

These roadmaps are the reason we can turn so many business ideas into reality. Keep reading further to know more!

What is a Mobile App Development Roadmap?

A mobile app development roadmap can be defined as a strategized document that portrays the development plan and the vision of your application. It consists of a dynamic summary of every step in the development process with timelines. In layman’s terms, a mobile app development roadmap can be described as a curated list of features, functionalities, or requirements of the application or the service. It also includes the release timeline.

It looks like a horizontal bar chart that depicts the progress and the timelines for upcoming tasks altogether. It helps you understand the app you’re building, why you are building it, and what are the steps you must take. Some of the purposes a mobile app development roadmap fulfills are:

  • Describe the application’s strategy and aim.
  • Prepare the execution plan
  • Gather all the stakeholders on the same page
  • Coordinate and plan all the ideas

What are the Essential Pieces of Mobile App Development Roadmap?

As you know, a roadmap aims to help others understand the agenda easily. Your mobile app development roadmap should fluently communicate your strategy for the audience to understand easily. It is important to understand what is unique about your business before getting the essential pieces of a roadmap. Some of these are:

Timeline

You are not expected to give specific dates on your roadmap. But, you need to understand and prioritize the features by the timelines. These features should be planned for the short-term and long-term.

For example:

  • Now, Next, Later
  • May, June, and July
  • Q1, Q2, and Q3

Features

Features in an application are the most important thing. Here, you will plan out the features and functionalities you want your application to have. You can put them into categories of communication, service, etc based on the tools you use. You can simply mention the features you would work on, or build a hierarchy of broad features to be more specific. 

For example:

  • Video messaging, new user onboarding, and team collaboration.
  • Recording video and audio calls, sharing files between teams and creating user signup flow.
  • Sharing saved videos and audios, integrating Dropbox, and implementing SSO

Goals

You are not doing your work for the sake of doing it. There is a motive behind needling your business. Goals come in the scenario when you know what you want to accomplish with your application. You must include thee goals in your mobile app development roadmap to letting your company know, where you are headed. These goals may depend on your application or your business. 

For example:

  • Increasing monthly active users
  • Upgrading dashboard analytics
  • Improving team communication

Mobile App Roadmap Examples: How Does it Look?

There are a lot of mobile app development roadmaps out there. You have to look out for the one that suits your business. Here is a curated list of 7 practical examples of a mobile app development roadmap:

1. Release Timeline Roadmap

release plan - mobile app development roadmap

Wouldn’t it be easier if the whole plan was in front of you? How will you deliver the work and when will you complete it? This can be resolved with a release timeline roadmap. It acts as a communication tool to showcase a high-level product overview to teams, customers, executives, and stakeholders.

It’s perfect for establishing milestones that aren’t time-bound but have a defined scope, or for releasing new versions of your application regularly. It informs other teams that new features are on the way without committing your team to a specific release date.

2. Sprint Plan Roadmap

sprint plan roadmap

All work is done smoothly when the team is updated with what is happening. This is where the sprint plan roadmaps come in as they focus on the deliveries of the product. This is the best solution to keep your development team aligned with the delivery team. 

The deliveries can be planned to display the work done and the time taken to do it for the team to understand the workload. This mobile app development roadmap is for the betterment of your team and can be used at the most granular levels too. Swimlanes can also come in handy for extra grouping or context.

3. Now-Next-Later Roadmap

now next later roadmap

This roadmap is the best one for communicating your priorities on broad timeframes. The “Now” slot contains the tasks that you are currently working on and the “Later” slot consists of the high-level team strategies. The roadmap works best for the companies where the release dates keep on changing for comprehensive team communication. 

The now-next-later roadmaps are made to share strategies with a wide range of audiences. While this perspective is ideal for fast-paced enterprises, you’ll need to stick to a strict prioritization procedure to stay on track. Otherwise, things in “later” could stay there indefinitely, and ideas that aren’t aligned with your long-term goal could end up in “now” or “next.”

4. Kanban Roadmap

kanban - mobile app development roadmap

This roadmap also focuses on the deliveries and helps teams group initiatives into buckets. You can check what is left, what is in the plan, what is going on, and what has been completed. 

One of the best advantages of this roadmap is that it allows the teams to communicate about their plans without having a fixed date of commitment. You can keep your team motivated and updated with what you are working on currently. 

5. Feature Timeline Roadmap

features timeline roadmap

This timeline roadmap is an output-driven roadmap that lets you determine the timing for a single feature. It comes in handy if you want to gain a 1,000-foot view of how work is proceeding toward a deadline or time-bound milestone. Planning features and tracking progress with a timeline roadmap will be the best practice. 

You may track feature progress against specified deadlines and milestones, and work with development teams on certain dates internally. You can also assign resources as and when they’re required.

6. Objectives Timeline Roadmap

objective timeline - mobile app development roadmap

Sometimes organizations with complex environments may face a time when seniors require a zoomed-out approach. An example of an outcome-driven roadmap is an objectives timeline roadmap. This plan ensures that the entire organization is on the same page regarding product strategy. Anyone can figure out when you’ll work on each of our business goals and where that falls about your most important milestones.

This roadmap helps in communicating the product strategy across the teams in the coming quarters. When you use business-level objectives, you can establish a clear link between your product and business strategies, as well as end deliverables like features.

7. Release Timeline Roadmap

release timeline - mobile app development roadmap

A release timeline roadmap allows you to plan and communicate to cross-functional teams like sales and customer success when you’ll work on releases shortly with defined timelines. Stakeholders can see what’s coming up in terms of the next software version, quarterly releases, monthly bug fixes, and so on. 

Larger product organizations with many teams releasing features on different cadences might build multiple release groups with product management software like Productboard to organize them and keep cross-functional teams informed.

Furthermore, release timeline roadmaps can be used to create a low-maintenance tactical roadmap for tracking progress against key deadlines. For the reasons stated above, if you operate in an Agile setting, you may find it difficult to schedule releases more than 4-6 weeks in advance. 

A release timeline roadmap lets you maintain using your release objects while also presenting a timeline with any important milestones or company deadlines.

How to Create a Roadmap for Mobile App Development?

Creating a mobile app development roadmap needs comprehensive planning. Here are six steps that will help you get a better understanding:

1. Understanding Product Vision

One can never reach the destination without knowing which way to go. Similarly, it is important to understand the aim and vision of your application. There are some questions you must ask yourself:

  • Why are you developing the product?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is lacking in the market?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is your unique value proposition?

These questions will assist you in determining what you want to accomplish with your product and developing an appropriate strategy. As a result, you will be unable to make clear decisions. Instead, every step you take will be measured and directed toward your objectives.

2. Defining Product Strategy

After you’ve grasped the product vision, this stage is to develop a strategy to support it. A product strategy describes how you will convey your product concept to stakeholders and persuade them to invest in its development. It’s critical because no one wants to spend time and money on something that doesn’t work.

An ideal product strategy solves all of the previous questions, provides a solid foundation on which to develop the rest of the product, and provides stakeholders with a compelling reason to back your idea. Here are a few things to bear in mind while you define your product’s strategy:

  • Choosing the mobile app development roadmap that suits you
  • Planning what should be included in your roadmap like the end goal, assigning responsibilities, timelines, etc.

3. Defining Product Backlog

After defining the product strategy, you must define the backlogs of the application. There can be a list of features, changes, and other things and due to the implementation of Agile methodology, the list keeps evolving with feedback.

There are a lot of ways in which you can get the elements in your backlog prioritized:

  • Value vs Complexity Quadrant: You must pick the elements with the highest value and lowest complexity first.

    value vs complexity quadrant
  • Weighted Scoring: To arrive at more tangible and objective answers, combine the value versus complexity quadrant technique with scoring.

    weighted scoring - mobile app development roadmap
  • Kano Model: Prioritize elements based on how much consumer happiness they will provide vs. how much effort it will take to bring them to life.

    Kano model
  • Opportunity Scoring: The concept is to ask customers how significant a certain feature is to them and how satisfied they are with it.
  • Moscow Prioritization: This depicts giving priority to the task based on its importance. MOSCOW stands for:
    M – Must Have. These are the important and non-negotiable elements
    S – Should Have. These are the important but secondary elements
    C – Could Have. These are the non-essential and optional elements
    W – Won’t Have. These are the elements that can be left today and be completed in the future.

4. Converting Features Into User Stories

Having features noted down for your application can make it more understandable. You may face the issue that these features cannot be easily fitted into sprints which is why you must break them down. Some of the ways of breaking down these features are:

  • Into user stories demonstrating individual workflow steps.
  • Categorizing features into a happy and unhappy flow that looks at the expectations, problems, and other things.
  • Breaking by the parameters the features are handling
  • Breaking the features by operations like Read, Create, Update or Delete.

Features can also be broken down by roles, test cases, platforms, usability requirements, acceptance criteria, etc. Also, there are some things you must keep in mind before breaking down features into user stories:

  • Keep task small but not granular
  • Each task should have a precise scope
  • The acceptance criteria of the user story should be used as the starting point
  • Know the limitations

5. Sharing Mobile App Development Roadmap

Agile development prioritizes early and regular feedback from key stakeholders and is user-centric. Emphasize regular buy-in from key stakeholders throughout the road mapping process to ensure that the strategy is current and that user stories fit with goals.

6. Measure Progress

As this stage implies, the mobile app development roadmap must adapt and respond to changes in requirements as well as insights. These requirements are gained via Agile development’s continuous testing and feedback. It is critical to measure work outcomes at the end of the product backlog and during Agile development sprints to maintain track of the process or demonstrate that the goal has been reached.

Wrapping Up

We, at Apptunix, believe in developing mobile app development roadmaps before creating any product. The alignment of your business goals and strategy with our expertise is extremely crucial for us. We always do preliminary work to fit with the aims and strategy of the client’s product, as well as the preferred format, type of roadmap, and timeframes. Get in touch with us today!

mobile app development company

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