Product Flow Diagram

Visualise how you will build your product or service to give value early

How does this work?
The following two steps can be done iteratively until you are satisfied that you have a reasonable plan for building the new product iteratively.

Step 1: Identify which components in the PBS can be assembled to deliver the greatest value early on

You start with the Product Breakdown Structure (PBS); divide each component product into functional sub products or features that can work on their own.

The Product Breakdown Structure is used to get a common view and understanding of all the component products that make up the project product

Step 2: Create the “build road map” or “product flow diagram” from the components identified in step 1

Start to build the road map by selecting the combination of features from the different component products that will deliver the right capability and value to the end user.
The image below is a simple road map illustrating a high level schedule for developing the components products for an e-commerce solution. Notice how the Customer Component Product has been divided into three sub-components

  • 2.1 Customer Registration & Information
  • 23.1 Customer Order Information
  • 23.2 TO DO
  • The road map shows how the team will incrementally build up the component products to deliver the project product

    What can we use a well-formed Road Map diagram for?

  • As a high level schedule and build plan to communicate to the wider audience of stakeholders
  • To get feedback from interested parties and to make sure we are delivering the greatest value early on in the build process.
  • Identifying which component products or features should be developed in sequence and which can be developed in parallel.
  • Plan work for distributed teams.
  • Use the road map to plan when to develop the more detailed User Scenarios and Acceptance Tests. This will enable the team to use time effectively and efficiently. This supports the concept of rolling wave planning
  • To support the agile concept of testing and releasing usable products often, while incrementally building the project product.
  • Use the road map as a communication tool for progress reporting

    Use the road map as a communication tool

    The difference between focusing on delivering capability and building components.

    There is a subtle difference in focusing on delivering working capability rather than on delivering a component product from the end users perspective. When you deliver capability, the end user can do something with that capability and fulfil a need of some sort.

    When do we start to build the “Build Road Map” / Product Flow Diagram?

    The product flow diagram is an output of the design process in management stage 1. You start gathering information on what is important for the end users during the initial discovery process. As part of your note taking during discovery identify what components or sub components will deliver the most value to the end users, this will help to define the road map before going into the design process.