Case study

Product management techniques for a higher education national infrastructure project

A wall with various print outs for project planning.

Developing a roadmap from concept to pilot

Digirati collaborated with Jisc as part of a multi-year project to initially assess feasibility, before going on to facilitate the development and delivery of a UK wide research data management shared service to support the UK’s Higher Education institutes. The phased programme of work involved multiple institutes who participated as pilots for the early stages of the project, together with a range of suppliers providing key components and services that formed part of the wider service offering.

We helped Jisc to initially validate how the program of work could be delivered, documenting and prioritising the business goals, desired impacts and possible deliverables that the service if successful, could support.

As we progressed towards the pilot phase, we needed to develop and communicate the initial emerging roadmap and develop a product backlog to support delivery. We introduced processes and tools to support:

  • Documenting and structuring the service into a coherent roadmap. We iteratively improved the approach, ensuring we could effectively engage all stakeholders in how the service could develop.
  • Validating how to best structure the roadmap and the detailed product backlog, to ensure we could manage and develop the different service elements effectively, whilst not losing sight of the big picture.
  • Documenting high level epics, user stories and tasks in a consistent way, leveraging tools and processes to manage visibility and support so that the individual teams could be effective in delivering their work.
  • Iteratively enhanced or trialled different product management techniques in how we captured and disseminated emerging user needs particularly as we moved through discovery, alpha and beta phases.

A thorough, effective approach for managing and communicating the emerging product

The structured approach to defining and managing the product roadmap and detailed backlog was an important element in helping Jisc realise their ambitions in launching the Jisc Open Research Hub service. By leveraging product management techniques, we enabled multiple development teams and institutes to effectively iterate development of the service, supported effective communication of how the product delivery aligned with the goals of the programme, and ensured stakeholders could remain informed throughout the process.

The Open Research Hub service has since evolved into separate services such as preservation ( in addition to the overarching research and data management service (

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