There’s one key mistake many organizations make when developing their one-to-three-year product roadmaps—they take an approach that is too abstract and high-level to actually be fulfilled. For product roadmaps to become more executable, product development teams should approach digital strategy the way they approach business modeling strategies.

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We’ve talked about the importance of business strategy frameworks in the past. However, product developers must breakdown the essential aspects of business modeling frameworks such as 1. Porter’s Five Forces, 2. the Business Model Canvas, and 3. the Blue Ocean Strategy to create a concrete, actionable product roadmap for digital transformation.

Creating Actionable Product Roadmaps with Popular Business Modeling Frameworks

It’s easy to get bogged down in the academic details of a business framework. However, if you spend all of your time trying to follow any business framework to a tee, you’re simply studying its nuances rather than focusing on digital innovation and business success.

Using popular digital strategy frameworks to define a product roadmap requires each exercise to be conducted independently to glean essential information for your strategy. While Porter’s Five Forces, the Business Model Canvas, and the Blue Ocean Strategy cover more than just product strategy, there are pieces of each that help define a product roadmap capable of helping companies undergo successful digital transformation.

Porter’s Five Forces as a Product Roadmap Resource

The key piece of Porter’s Five Forces for creating a product roadmap is the SWOT analysis and analyzing the competition. However, product development teams often fall into a trap where they aren’t objective enough to successfully conduct the SWOT analysis, particularly when it comes to their own weaknesses. If you aren’t being honest with your position in the market, there’s no way you can dissect the industry and determine how to approach your digital transformation.

One way to get more value out of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats identified within Porter’s Five Forces is to conduct the exercise from your competitor’s point of view. When you understand how competitors are adapting to a more digital business world, you can take steps to making an actionable product roadmap to perform better than them.

The Business Model Canvas as a Product Roadmap Resource

The Business Model Canvas is essentially a comprehensive business framework that shows where you fit in your ecosystem and allows you to look back to determine tactical approaches for success. In terms of product development, the Business Model Canvas can help you identify white space to seek in the market.

With a focus on pricing, healthy cost structures, revenue streams, competitive analysis, and much more, the comprehensive framework lets you see what isn’t present on the canvas and which user needs haven’t been satisfied.Download the Pillars of a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy White Paper


Blue Ocean Strategy as a Product Roadmap Resource 

The Blue Ocean Strategy is most focused on innovation out of these three business modeling frameworks. Rather than finding white space in an existing market, the Blue Ocean Strategy helps businesses redefine themselves to carve out an entirely new market by infusing ideas from other industries and markets.

From a product development standpoint, this framework helps you find a niche way to approach your market to completely change the competitive playing field. Take, for example, Cirque du Soleil. Where a typical circus has animals and three rings and clowns, Cirque du Soleil creates an adult atmosphere that weaves ideas from musical theater into the typical circus model.

Taking a similar approach to Cirque du Soleil for your product roadmap can help you break ground in a new market through digital transformation.

Actionable Product Roadmaps Are Just One Piece of a Digital Transformation Project

Approaching digital transformation with these three business modeling frameworks in mind can help your product development team create a successful one-to-three-year strategic plan. However, creating a coherent product roadmap is just one aspect of a digital transformation strategy.

In our latest free white paper, The Pillars of a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy, we cover the 7 essential parts of the digital transformation process. If you want to learn how you can succeed in the digital business world, download the white paper now.

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