Planning

Planning is a continuous negotiation between product and engineering. Teams should review the strategy page for their area weekly with the Product Manager and update it at least monthly. The roadmap will become less specific and focus more on the problems we are looking to solve the further out it gets because we expect to learn a lot between defining the problem and implementation. As implementation details change and we learn more about the solution to the problem we are aiming to solve, the product manager is responsible for communicating clearly what changes.

Product / eng team backlogs

You can find the backlogs for the product teams by visiting their individual strategy pages. Teams are using different tools and processes to plan and track their work such as Jira, Productboard, or GitHub issues.

Planning artifacts

Planning requires several artifacts for communicating. This section clarifies how each artifact is used in the planning process.

Goals

Goals align teams with the company’s goals. They should be used to make prioritization decisions and help to maintain team direction and focus.

Strategy Pages

The per-team strategy pages are a roadmap where we track and prioritize larger projects that we intend to finish in the next 3-12 months.

Engineering should feel empowered to bring up that they feel strongly about in conversations with product. We want to push decisions down to people closest to those problems. It is product’s responsibility to help give insight into customer pains and feedback, strategic priorities, and to ensure consistency across the product.

The roadmap/strategy is NOT:

  • a comprehensive backlog of everything we want to do
  • a list of every bug or customer issue in our issue tracker
  • permanent or unchanging

The roadmap/strategy is:

  • a prioritized list of the most important things we intend to do
  • an indicator of relative priority to teams, customers, and users
  • a place for discussions about priority
  • updated monthly
  • where engineering and product negotiate the next most important thing to work on

Teams should work on what their strategy page says they will work on next, and not just leave it behind to work on other things. If there is a desire to work on something else, the change should be discussed and merged to the page.

We ask that teams leverage the Strategy page template when creating and updating content.

OKRs

To ensure our team objectives are aligned with the company objectives at each fiscal quarter boundary the product and engineering organization collaborate with leadership on team OKRs. This generally happens (for the next quarter) in the last weeks of the current fiscal quarter. As the quarter progresses the product manager is responsible for communicating progress towards our objectives in the OKR tracker so that we can stay aligned.

RFCs

RFCs are documents used to outline and solicit feedback on projects. They provide context around a problem that needs to be solved and are a medium for creating specifications for a project.

Generally, items in the roadmap will be big enough they require writing an RFC, though this will not always be the case. When a solution is clear, a well-detailed issue is sufficient to communicate intent, motivation, and solution.

Tracking issues

See tracking issues

Prioritizing

See prioritizing.