7 Roadmap Items To Consider Outsourcing

Person working on product roadmap

Learn Which Items You Can Accelerate With Outside Help

When done right, seeking outside expertise can accelerate your product development and create a positive impact on your development team. The roadmap items you choose will determine if your strategy is effective or not. Certain items that are ideal to outsource will accelerate the rest of your roadmap. But, there are also items that may cause more trouble taking outside than keeping in house.

Every product roadmap is unique and managers should make decisions based on their team’s distinct needs. The purpose of any initiative should be to accelerate product development. Whether you choose to outsource or stay in-house, you need to make the choices that will get your product to market on time and on budget.

Related Link: “Accelerated Product Development Vs. Outsourcing”

Let’s look at 7 roadmap items you should consider outsourcing to accelerate your development.

1 | Roadmap Items With Tight Deadlines

Your team is down to the wire and this item is key to delivering your product to market on time. Maybe you don’t have enough hands to meet the deadline without working 24/7. Are you willing to risk burnout to meet your deadline?

Tight deadlines are the perfect opportunity to bring in outside help to accelerate development and avoid burnout. You can delegate the final item to the external team or choose another to allow your team to focus on the high priority tasks without falling behind.

2 | Roadmap Items That Need To Scale To Meet Growth Needs

Your product is gaining traction and more users. Congratulations! While the original product development ended, you are always upgrading, debugging, and tweaking delivery of your product. Really the road trip never ends and how you manage your new ongoing roadmap could be the rise or fall of your product.

A common place we see a need for this is in DevOps, where ad hoc delivery needs to be replaced by sustainable systems and automation. Few team members or lack of expertise in CI/CD creates bottlenecks in delivery that can threaten your entire progress.

Bringing in outside help can free up your developers to focus on upgrades and crucial bug fixes. Outside experts can also help you refine and manage your delivery process to ensure your product and hard work continues to scale with your growth.

3| Roadmap Items That Continue to Produce Technical Debt -- And Reduce Your Team’s Time

Every product has bugs. But, when your developers defer those bugs to focus on other high-priority items, they could come back to bite you. Prioritizing is essential but items pushed further down the waitlist will accumulate bad technical debt that threatens to stall your progress.

How do you clean up the bugs without stealing time from the more important roadmap items? Yes, you guessed it - bring in outside help. They can fix the bugs and clean up your product while your team focuses on the high-priority items to keep your development moving forward.

4 | Roadmap Items that Require Skills Outside Your Team’s Core Competencies

Your business and product require some core capabilities and technologies. You’ve hired the right people to fill those requirements. But, sometimes there are features or components of your product's tech stack that require skills outside your business’ core competencies.

For example, a company offering advanced columnar databases may hire for its back-end development, but outsource its front-end development. Their focus is on creating the best database possible. Allocating development of the front-end to outside experts saves time and money.

If you bring in outside experts for those items outside your core business, you can avoid expensive training and allow your team to focus on strengthening the core features of your product.

5 | Roadmap Items that Require Niche Skills or Technologies

Similar to items outside your core business, niche skills are better outsourced than trained or hired. Often times these skills are used one time for a specific feature. That feature could be core to your product so it’s essential that you develop it right. Outside experts can help you ensure you incorporate niche technologies correctly and avoid incurring technical debt.

You may be asking yourself “How does my team maintain the feature after the outside team finishes”?

A big benefit of bringing in outside experts to work with your team is your developers will be educated throughout the development process. You’ll have experts working double time to educate your team while simultaneously ensuring the niche tech is built into your product correctly the first time.

6 | Roadmap Items that Require a Strong Focus on UX/UI

User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) is growing into its own speciality, like programming or data science. You could build the most cutting-edge tech but, if your user can’t easily figure out how to use your product, it will fail.

As technology becomes more accessible and the market becomes more saturated, companies are seeing UX/UI as a differentiator. Even giant tech unicorns, like Slack, outsource UX/UI because it has a significant impact on the success or failure of a product.

Bringing in outside experts can again save you time and money while ensuring your UX/UI is spotless. Particularly for advanced software products, it's important to hire experts who understand your software and its complexity. If not, they could look over important factors when designing the user experience. Do your research and make sure the company you choose has experience designing user experience for your tech stack.

7 | Roadmap Items you Need Help Planning

It’s not just developers that need to accelerate sometimes. Managers can utilize outside experts to help layout their product roadmap, pick the right tech stacks, and even determine what’s best to outsource.

A well-planned roadmap is much more likely to succeed than a roadmap littered with vague requirements and unaddressed technical debt. Former managers and executives with experience building advanced technology have been where you are. Leverage their experience to help guide you through critical decisions that can make or break your product.

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.”

-Warren Buffett

Why live through the pain of needless mistakes when you can leverage someone else’s experience towards building your own success?

When you are planning or reevaluating your roadmap, look for the opportunities where you could accelerate with outside expertise. If you want to profit from outside help, it’s all about choosing the right roadmap items that will save your team time and money while accelerating your development.


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