Being connected to start-up environment for the past few years, there were some lessons taken that i would like to share with you, and one of the most important must be “Your roadmap shouldn’t have a pause function”. I already written about the no follow of a roadmap issue, on my “5 signs that may lead your startup to failure” post , now i will take a little deeper on it.
Your roadmap shouldn’t have a pause function
A huge percentage of start-ups that i know have a well defined road-map with objective goals attached to it, goals that, when achieved, will make the start-up a success. Surprisingly there is the agile excuse to abandon the roadmap in pursue of instant trends. This behavior will be extremely dangerous, because this decision will be made using strong emotional feelings, ignoring the long weeks, even months, spent planning the company road-map.
Don’t abandon rational when deciding
Re-planning your company’s road-map is not a bad thing, if you take the needed amount of time to do it, abandoning momentarily the roadmap for an idea or light that you’ve seen while asleep, even on a conference or a casual talk with a friend is one of the most harmful things you can do to your start-up.
Everything weights more on a start-up environment
On a start-up life cycle everything maters more, an employee will often contribute with 10/20% of your startup man-power, a month is 8.33% of your yearly goal, so detouring the focus of your start-up for, let’s suppose, 2 months, will be like delaying 16.66% your yearly goal.
Forgetting about focus
Focus on a specific goal is what makes your team more productive and a start-up lives on short term goals, making the sum of this short-term goals the success of The final goal itself. Do you know what will happen if you change your goal without a plausible explanation or re-focusing the team spirit ? The team itself will be pushed to a gray area where everyone will be lost and adrift, everyone will be less productive and you’ll walk a lot less faster than needed. This will make you loose your time to market.
My suggestion must be, if you have, and you should, a roadmap, just follow it! If you feel like this needs to be changed, be rational, adapt the roadmap, do not pause, and communicate clearly to the team the reasons why you did it. Remember that focus is what will lead your start-up to success, so keep everyone on the same boat.