Towards value-oriented product development roadmapping

Software companies have problems connecting business goals to actual software development tasks. This means that a lot of software development is done without linkage to business goals, which can lead to wasting time and money, and to bloated- and hard to maintain software and failed software projects. Roadmapping is a popular method to communicate future product development efforts but a problem with roadmaps is that they usually do not communicate the value the roadmapped future work is expected to create. This thesis presents an action oriented case study on three software planning techniques that fit into a lean software product development organization. The case study is about benefits of using Lean canvas, Impact mapping and Lego serious play as tools for value-oriented product development planning. Lean canvas and Impact mapping are promising techniques for helping a company connect business goals to actual software development tasks. They therefore aid in avoiding waste and creating value through putting effort only on the development tasks that create value. Lego serious play is an strategic planning method that utilizes Lego bricks and the knowledge of the whole development team to improve decision making and building shared knowledge. Results from the study show that Lean canvas proved to fulfil its promises to be a lightweight technique that improves shared understanding of the business model. Lego serious play has a similar benefit of improving shared understanding in the team, but it is more geared towards visualizing problems and finding solutions for them. Impact mapping was proved to be an effective way to find value creating tasks and to visualize the value assumptions behind each task. Based on these findings, an approach for value-oriented roadmapping is sketched.

Juuso Hytönen (University of Helsinki):  Towards value-oriented product development roadmapping