Shape Up, Basecamp’s way of building products, doesn’t use roadmaps. The team’s latest blog posts cite several reasons why they don’t use roadmaps and what they use instead. Options.

An option is something you can do but don’t have to do. All our product ideas are exactly that: options we may exercise in some future cycle—or never.

Without a roadmap, without a stated plan, we can completely change course without paying a penalty. We don’t set any expectations internally or externally that these things are actually going to happen.

Options, Not Roadmaps

They make an excellent case for options when it comes to product development.

The temptation to build a roadmap for Caddieclix has always been there. However, it’s being able to commit to that roadmap over time that has put me off putting a roadmap together.

Development on Caddieclix has taken a back seat over the summer months. I’m spending more time with my family, playing more golf and over-seeing the junior section at the golf club. With the season almost over though, I am looking towards picking up the development of Caddieclix again. And with no roadmap to commit to, I can implement the features that suit me.

It’s better for me to be flexible and have options instead.