End-to-end simply refers to every step of a product’s development from start to finish. The phrase can be used to mean a product is ready for launch, i.e. that the roadmap has been achieved, from end-to-end.
But designers can also adopt an end-to-end view of the development journey as a whole. In this instance, designers are not just concerned with the building of the software, they’re also involved in carrying the initial design concept through to launch, and providing ongoing customer support to increase its value.
Once product teams have this they might involve launching an MVP to establish a user base and gather feedback — adding new features and refining performance creates a more efficient, satisfying product over time.
So we can view roadmaps from end-to-end, and teams can be involved in a product’s development from start to finish, but there are other ways to use the phrase "end-to-end", too.
For one: suppliers can be end-to-end. You may have cause to work with an end-to-end marketing agency, who handle everything from advertising ideas right the way through to social media management and performance tracking. You may be an end-to-end supplier yourself, delivering the full breadth of a product or service, without the support of third-party vendors.
We can view the user experience from end-to-end also. In fact, understanding the holistic user journey from first exposure to your product to — hopefully! — loyal advocacy can nurture a more meaningful partnership, increasing lifetime value and commercial results.