As an experienced Product Manager, I have been involved in defining product roadmaps for other B2B SaaS solutions in different organizations and industries. Instead of discussing how to define a product roadmap, I would like to highlight what makes the road mapping exercise unique and fun at Auvenir.
At Auvenir, we have auditors and subject-matter experts participating in defining the roadmap.
“A great roadmap has a tough bouncer working the door” - The Ultimate Guide to Product Roadmaps
When you are defining a product roadmap, one big challenge faced by many product managers, even the experienced ones, is prioritization. Some questions may arise, such as:
- Why are we building feature A but not feature B at this moment?
- How will this help our users?
These challenges are much easier to tackle with the unique set-up of the product management team at Auvenir. A large portion of the Auvenir product management team is made up of experienced auditors (3 CPAs!), who have had years of hands-on auditing experience in various organizations. We also have access to “in-house” subject-matter experts, who stay on top of industry trends and regularly share their progressive insights with the product management team. By involving product managers and “in-house” experts who represent Auvenir’s target audience in the process of defining the product roadmap, it helps ensure that we have captured and prioritized the right features in our roadmap, and that we are focusing on delivering solutions that have a direct impact to our users, not only in the short-term, but also in the long-run.
It is also important to highlight the contribution of technology experts on the product management team. At Auvenir, we have product managers experienced in delivering B2B SaaS solutions. Our tech-focused product managers have helped the other product managers learn and become more fluent in software development techniques and best practices, including prioritization, user research, design thinking and more. Knowledge sharing within our product team has fostered creativity and innovation, and it has enabled us to come up with smarter solutions to address traditional problems. As Amy Yu (Product Manager at Auvenir) shared in 5 Things I Love About Working at Auvenir, we strive to help our users audit smarter by using technology. The unique set-up of the Auvenir product management team speaks to Auvenir’s mission.
At Auvenir, we have auditors interviewing auditors in user research.
“To create a product or service that satisfies its target audience, it’s important to know the story of your customer.” - Techniques for Empathy Interviews in Design Thinking
Establishing regular user research is critical, as insights learned from user research are one of the key sources of information to help prioritize the roadmap. It is a misconception to assume that having access “in-house” experts at Auvenir would result in developing less user research. This is not the case at our organization; we never under-estimate the importance of listening to our users. That’s why we regularly conduct user research sessions with both in-person and online interviews.
Our product managers have similar shared experiences with our users, and they can relate to their pain points. Our research sessions led by our product team have a unique advantage to make the user feel at ease so they can be open and transparent about their experiences. This allows us to dive deeper and explore beyond common questions, and eventually this discussion can help us reveal a solution that we might not have discovered otherwise or overcome unmet needs and challenges that we might be overlooking. Also, these sessions always end with both parties feeling open and comfortable, which helps to build long-term relationship with our users.
At Auvenir, we always collaborate with cross-functional teams to keep the roadmap up to date.
Finally, all our product managers have opportunities to collaborate with cross-functional teams and participate in customer-facing scenarios. This takes place through product demos for potential customers, partners and 3rd-party vendors, providing support in on-boarding sessions for new customers, and other direct interactions with either existing or prospective customers. Through these unique experiences, our team has gained direct access to feedback from our end-users, partners and even our end-users’ customers, which helps the overall support our product roadmap. Often, these extremely valuable data points have triggered new items being added to our product backlog, as well as it aids in the re-prioritization of existing features in the roadmap.
Although every organization has a different way to define the product roadmap, one thing holds true everywhere: a good roadmap evolves over time. With the added benefits of the unique set-up of the Auvenir product management team, as well as our close collaboration with cross-functional teams, I am confident that Auvenir’s product management team, with cross-departmental support, can maintain a healthy product roadmap that focuses on delivering the right solution to help address problems that are the most critical to our target users in a timely manner.
Want to learn more about how Auvenir can help your firm build a better audit experience? Connect with our sales team today to learn more about how we can help find the right solution for you.