Roadmaps make stakeholders, contributors, and users feel safe. They give everyone this false sense that the product team has their shit together because they’ve thought ahead and have a release schedule.
I didn’t really go into any depth on the cost of a roadmap vs the cost of a funnel. But just think about how expensive a roadmap can get. Imagine you have a relatively modest group of 10 engineers, each spending 1 hour per week on story estimation while averaging $100/hr in salaries.
That works out to $52,000 per year and that’s only 1 of several hidden expenses associated with roadmaps. You’ll likely have to hire ~2 project managers for a team that size. That should take the cost well over $100k per year and that doesn’t even include any planning outside of estimation meetings or tools.
Running a product funnel isn’t free by any means. But if you’re planning on putting together a roadmap, run the numbers and think about the hidden expenses.
#Optionality rules! Don’t lock yourself into a plan that contradicts the knowledge you learn along the way.