The Now, Next, Later roadmap is a simplified, yet powerful roadmap format that makes it easy to convey a product’s current and future endeavors at a glance.
It is free of dates and dependencies, making it easy to put together and great for communicating “here’s what I’m doing with my product” to team members, peers, and even company leadership.
It focuses on what’s going on now, what’s coming up soon, and what’s in the future for a given product.
By simplifying the roadmap structure and putting less importance on dates, the Now, Next, Later roadmap leans into Agile principles by allowing ultimate flexibility in the roadmap. It shows features in a format similar to a team’s backlog, where features can be prioritized, and re-prioritized as a team responds to change.
Additionally, Now, Next, Later roadmaps implicitly acknowledge that definitive dates in software are elusive and that requirements are rarely set in stone. The Now, Next, Later format more easily accommodates change compared with other roadmap formats.
That said, roadmap types or formats are not mutually exclusive and may peacefully coexist. While a Now, Next, Later roadmap may be more truthful and grounded in reality, a timeline roadmap is helpful in communicating with investors and current and prospective customers.