The desired outcome of competency #3 is to identify the vital few solutions you need to develop to ensure profitable growth. This eliminates the watering-down of your limited resources by focusing them on the high-value opportunities, while maintaining your competitive position. Incidentally, a better way to state this competency is the ability to develop, optimize, and use “solution roadmaps.” This is based on the assumption that customers purchase solutions to their problems. We feel “product roadmap” — while deeply ingrained in product companies — may create the impression that you are in the product development business. In reality, you are in the value creation business. You must develop solutions to your customer’s problems — faster than your competitors. Solution Roadmaps are essential. Every organization has finite resources. Thus, the ability to make critical decisions to ensure a constant fl ow of new products/solutions that deliver superior value to the targeted customer groups is indispensable. Solutions Roadmaps are not lists of projects currently under development, nor a listing of all the activities of your R&D organization. Rather, roadmaps are the result of in depth “market sensing” to understand the direction of your market segments, careful financial analysis and also the courage to make decisions to select and maintain a few vital projects that will be funded, developed, and taken to market. !!Fundamental Questions * Can your product roadmap be mapped against your market segmentation in a harmonized fashion? * Can you demonstrate that your product roadmap is a clear reflection of your organization’s strategic imperatives? * Do you review and update your product roadmaps every quarter to ensure they are flexible based on market conditions? * Do you require all product proposals to make the business case based on customer-centric segmentation and connected to the Solution Roadmap? !!Starting Points * Do an in-depth assessment of the value and utilization of your current product roadmap against a clear set of criteria, including your strategic imperatives * Transform your Product Roadmaps into a “Solution Roadmap” and require the identifi cation of your offering based on helping customer achieve their outcomes. * Ensure that your marketing and appropriate R&D leaders acquire the skills, knowledge and abilities to develop, use and optimize product roadmaps.