Managing a road map for a Saas is absolutely strategic, and very challenging. It is not easy – at all – to make sure you know what is the next feature you should work on.
Over time, I have set a very useful framework to prioritize our road map, and I hope this can be useful to other dealing with the same challenge:
First set of criteria: the output, or the type of expected impact on your business (I try to make sure we have at least 3 of those 4 outputs impacted in each new release).
- Acquisition – will bring new visitors
- Conversion – will help convert new visitors into customers
- Retention – will improve experience of existing customers
- Price – will increase my average revenue per user
Second set of criteria: the pain, or how much does this hurt not to have this now? (each new release should include features dealing with 1 or 2, and with 3 or 4).
- Can do with it for a few more weeks
- No hurt, but long term impact
Third set: the workload, or how much efforts are needed? (Look for a 40% / 40 % / 20% structure).
- Quick win
- Average feature
- Big (will require time in specifications + development + beta period, etc.)
Fourth set: who will benefit? (no rules here, excepted that 3. should always be paid by the customer).
- All customers
- Only a segment
- Individual needs
Those are my main criteria, and each line in the WisePops road map is stack ranked this way. Can not use this to prioritize automatically of course, but this helps make sure you take important factors into consideration when prioritizing.
Hope that helps, and feel free to share your own best practices!