Roadmapping + Trimming the Fat
Which is not what I tend to do on road trips, for the record.
At this point in the process, we’re taking the banking app wireframes we’ve designed, using the development plan we created with the developers last week and designing two roadmaps for launch. The first is an “ideal” roadmap, with all the bells and whistles we’ve included in our app. The second is a “constrained” thin-slice flow that allows the app to be created but with only the features we deem most important.
In this roadmap scenario we have 2 developers working on the app. I chose to lay out my roadmap by Flow on the left and labeled the project with who would be working on it, Developer 1 or Developer 2 (Dev 1 and Dev 2). That format made the most sense to me but later I wished I’d made Developer swim lanes with color-coded projects for easy reassigning.
In my first roadmap, my hours estimates are as follows:
Login Screen (inc. pre-login items) — 112 hours
Profile — 144 hours
Main Accounts page — 72 hours
Investment Account — 24 hours
Checking Account — 204 hours
Savings Account — 64 hours
Total — 620 hours
In this ideal scenario, the product is finished in under 60 days. I felt like the most important items to build out first were the Login page and Profile page but they weren’t dependent on each other, which is great because both developers could start work at the same time. The Profile page is an overlay with a lot of functionality that can be accessed anywhere in the app.
I spent more time than I expected to doing math and reassigning projects to make the product launch on time without the developers sitting idle or one working way more hours than the other. But it worked out pretty even, which I’m happy about.
For the second roadmap, we had to get our developer hours down to 320, or four 20-hour work weeks. My original roadmap had nearly double that so I had to trim a lot. Surprisingly, the financial modeling I’d built last quarter wasn’t very time consuming for the the developer I talked to so I kept it in. I started by removing things that felt bloated, like separate help pages for all kinds of accounts.
Instead, clicking this “Help” button would send the user to a help page in the browser:
I quickly deleted third party aspects like Creditwise and Zelle (everyone I know uses Venmo anyway). Beyond that, the Capital One app is already pretty streamlined so I was finding it hard to trim functionality while maintaining a usable app. I was taking out small features, like adding a profile pic or having the ability to change your Debit Card PIN in the app. Eventually I decided to err on the side of technology and I made the choice to delete the Deposit a Check feature in both Checking and Savings for this thin slice launch. It was a tough decision but it allowed me to add back in “smaller” elements like changing a Debit Card PIN or locking a Debit Card. In the Savings Account screen below, you can see I’ve removed the Deposit a Check function as well as the Direct Deposit Form, the Account Info and the Statements page. Those can temporarily all be accessed on the browser.
After cutting all the features I could, my new developer hours looked like this:
Login Screen (inc. pre-login items) —
112 72 hours
144 120 hours
Main Accounts page —
72 24 hours Investment Account — 24 hours I elected to delete this entirely since most of this account’s functionality is currently in the browser anyway.
Checking Account —
204 92 hours
Savings Account —
64 24 hours
620 316 hours
And here is the new roadmap, launching in under a month.
The Checking Account and Profile flows are still the largest, and you can see that Investment no longer has a little bubble.
You can see my working spreadsheet of all the screens for both versions here.