Mastering Product Roadmaps with a Free Google Sheets Template
Google Sheets is the go-to secret weapon that companies rely on for everything from accounting, project management, data analysis, reporting, and more.
With that said, it’s no surprise that you’ve found yourself searching for a Google Sheets template for your product roadmap! 🙂
There’s no need to worry, we’ve included 2 free templates in this article – one for Google Sheets, and one for Google Docs. All you’ll have to do is make a copy and you can create a roadmap in minutes.
While we’re happy to share them, there are also some reasons why Google Sheets, as amazing as it is, isn’t always the ideal tool for creating a roadmap. But we’ll get to that later.
First, let’s give you the templates we promised.
Where can I find a roadmap template in Google Sheets?
The real question is: does Google Sheets have a roadmap template?
And the answer is not natively. Unlike other tools like Miro who heavily rely on the templates built by the community, Google doesn’t offer many templates.
However, you can find several templates on the internet, including our own template below.
How to create a roadmap using Google Sheets
You can start by using our template, and feel free to customize it as you see fit.
Here’s the free Google Sheet Roadmap Template that we’ve built for you:
To use it yourself, simply:
- Open the Google Sheet Roadmap Template
- Go to File > Make a Copy
- Save it in your Google Drive
In the template, you will see we’ve added two ways of scoring effort. In reality, there are many ways to do it but the two most common methods are using t-shirt sizes (XS, S, M, L) or the estimated number of days to assess how difficult it would be to build a specific feature or product.
The way companies set a priority score also varies from one organization to another. We suggest you start with 3 or 4 different levels of priorities (Low, Quick Wins, Strategic, Hard Slogs) as we do in ProdCamp.
Can I make a roadmap with Google Docs?
Yes, you can. However, it's much easier to build it using Google Sheets instead of Google Docs.
If you still want to, here’s a Google Doc Roadmap Template that will help save you some time.
If instead, you want to do it yourself, you can create a table inside your Google Doc with headings for:
Plus anything else you see fit. Just be aware because of the available space you will need to simplify it to the point where you will be left with minimal insights.
Why Google Sheets isn’t an ideal solution for roadmapping...
There are some understandable reasons why you might be considering Google Sheets:
- Ease of use – Everyone on your team already knows how to use Google Sheets so you can avoid the learning curve of using a new tool.
- Quick – Creating a new sheet can be done in a few minutes, without the need for your development team to start coding.
- Flexible – Google Sheets is incredibly flexible and can handle many basic tasks using formulae.
- Cloud-based – Everything’s available online and easily shared with teammates in your company's Google Drive.
However...there’s no denying that as Google Sheets wasn’t purpose-built for building roadmaps, it’s lacking a lot of essential functionality you need. Unless your needs are very basic, you’ll pay the price in terms of both money and time.
Here are some things to consider:
Auto-updating your roadmap
You might not find it hard to build your roadmap in Google Sheets, but it will become very hard and time-consuming to maintain it. Remember, you’ll only be able to share a view-only copy with your customers so the onus will be on you to keep it up to date.
Every time a customer wants to upvote a feature request, someone on the team will need to manually update the spreadsheet, check your CRM for their account value, and copy any comments. As it takes this long to do, inevitably some customer requests won’t be added by your team and you’ll miss out on valuable data.
Professional branding and image
Sharing a Google Sheet is not exactly the most professional way to showcase your company to your customers. Especially when contrasted with other tools like ProdCamp that allow you to use your domain, logo, favicon, and more.
Collecting new customer and team ideas
The only viable way to collect new customer ideas would be to create an add-on form using Google Forms. It’s doable, but not efficient. You’ll have to manually process all the ideas, add them to your spreadsheet, look up their account value, etc
Adding comments to roadmap items
If you share an editable version of your Google Sheet with customers, they could delete or change anything on the spreadsheet – so that option is off the table. While if you share a view-only version, customers can’t easily add comments and notes to provide details about feature requests they want to upvote.
Without customer comments, you’ll lack insights and context resulting in poorly designed features that don’t address your customers’ real needs.
Keeping customers in the loop
Customers need to be informed of progress. Are you going to go ahead with their product idea? If so, is their idea progressing well? When’s it expected to be built? What functionality will it include?
With a dedicated roadmap tool like ProdCamp, customers can be automatically kept in the loop as roadmap items change status. But with Google Sheets, it would be far too time-consuming for most companies to even contemplate. You’d need to look up the customer details of each request, and manually email them all whenever there’s an update. Multiply this process by each request and change in status and that’s a lot of emails.
When you don’t inform customers about progress on your roadmap, they’ll start to feel undervalued. They’ll wonder; are you really listening to their needs? Do you really care about their feedback? And they’ll respond by either not providing any further ideas, or worse, churning.
An easier way to roadmap: ProdCamp
Not only does it do all the things we mentioned that Google Sheets can’t do, but you can also:
Create categories and tags to segment and organize features
Drag and drop to organize your roadmap
Close the feedback loop with a changelog, release list, and automated notifications
Collect and analyze feedback for your roadmap from anywhere
You deserve so much better than Google Sheets for your roadmap
Just consider the huge amount of time that will be required to maintain your Google Sheet, the feedback that won’t get collected, the unprofessional impression you’ll leave customers with, and all the missing beneficial features you could have...