Twitter thread I came across this morning…
Linear roadmaps are misleading without a crystal ball for seeing the future. A roadmap that recognizes the existence of risk as time goes on is more honest. But an effective PM needs to anticipate possible branches, too - and create clear criteria for following each path.
The second roadmap is a very good start, because it recognizes the existence of uncertainty. But that’s just the first step - the team should be actively working to reduce uncertainty. Make a plan: this is what we need to learn by this milestone to decide what to do next.
By being explicit about our plans for the future, we are not increasing risk or reducing agility. We open our ideas to critique and experimentation before they are set in stone, so that they can evolve with our understanding of opportunities.
It’s crucial to set success criteria at the beginning of the project: we know that we were successful if this metric is increased by that amount. But you should also have a plan for when it hasn’t, and find out before the last minute whether or not it’s working.