We all want a sense of confidence that we know exactly where we’re going. But if there is one thing I painfully learned in more than 20 years of PMing is that we product people don’t really know :-(
This need for a sence of confidence in our direction birthed the concept of roadmaps. The futile exercise of plotting a route based the predicted outcomes of products before they are built. Roadmaps are costing our industry billions of dollars in products built on the foundations of unvalidated assumptions that go down the drain.
Why then, if we all know that roadmaps are futile aren’t we all embracing product discovery?
Because it requires embracing unknowing (which we hate) and trusting our teams that given a destination they will get there (which requires relinquishing our control).
Discovery teams don’t drive a predefined road(map). Instead they operate more like navigation apps.
* You load a map (your vision)
* You feed them with a destination (the goal).
* Then the team plots an assumed route based on the best available data (AKA their hypothesis)
* And then it starts driving in the general direction using their GPS (validation) to recalculate their route.
What discovery teams need from us is context and feedback, but most importantly they need us to BELIEVE they will get there!