Building And Executing A Product Roadmap: Rajsi Rana, Senior PM @ Oracle Cloud

Daniel Adea
Jul 20, 2020 · 3 min read

RISE is a remote internship alternative created for students by students due to the vacuum of internships left by COVID-19. We created opportunities for product managers, software developers, and designers to come together and build a summer project. On July 6, we hosted Rajsi Rana for a workshop on building a product roadmap from an idea.

Rajsi is a senior PM at Oracle Cloud, where she works on strategic goals to help OCI grow its business. Prior to OCI, she was at Amazon where she owned critical security goals enabling your shopping experience on Amazon websites world-wide. She’s a mentor at Alchemist Accelerator & is passionate about diversity and inclusion in tech and recently started a coaching/mentorship program( with the goal of enabling people to break into top tech companies and multiplying their impact there. She sits on the Board of Tiny Trees providing growth and scale advice.

Rajsi has plenty of experience creating the product vision and setting goals and we were very fortunate to have her give us a presentation on creating a product roadmap from scratch.

Key Takeaways on Building A Product Roadmap

💡Define your problem statement:

Start by focusing on two questions:

  1. What are you building?
  2. Why are you building this?

It is important to have a vision, answering the why and the what before jumping into project execution.

💡Define goals: PMs are in charge of “So what exactly are we going to build from all possibilities in this idea”- aka- prioritizing. The scope of a project (or your product) has to be cut down to a feasible set of goals. Write down all potential goals you are considering; classify unimportant ones as non-goals and give a reason for each. Rajsi says: “When everything is important; nothing is important.” Your product goals enable prioritization of further broken down actionable features.

💡Establish milestones: Once you have a set of features you’re working with, use milestones as a checkpoint to measure the health of your product’s development lifecycle. It is important to work with engineering/design/sales/marketing. An easy way is to use a Gantt Chart to create a road map and track progress. Store and visualize task data through Excel. Assign work to engineers and keep them accountable by putting their name next to their tasks.

💡Develop the product: For short-term projects, use the waterfall model to create the initial scope. Get the best of both worlds and move to an agile process during the project. Work in sprints and reprioritize constantly when you get feedback. Schedule retrospectives at the halfway point or even after every milestone. It’s important to know what to start, stop, and continue doing. Get rid of blockers. It is your job as PM to make sure everything is running in parallel so people don’t have to wait for others to do their work.

💡Sell it on your resume: Talk about your impact on users. You can use quantitative and actionable measures “sped up processes by x %” or qualitative measures like quotes of how a user believes you’ve improved their experience. Write accomplishments in a brag book during your project to keep track of what you’ve done.

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