A roadmap is a graphical representation of a strategic plan. Perhaps you are beginning a new firm, developing a new product, or heading a multi-functional project. You must have a clear vision of what you want to achieve as well as a sound plan for making your goals a reality.
A road map is the result of a strategic planning process. You can attach goals to specific tasks and show the time period for completion based on your resources and capacity. Roadmaps are also important for conveying plans to stakeholders and measuring progress toward goals.
Roadmaps have long been linked to the product development process. However, in recent years, roadmapping has gone beyond product management. It is now a common strategic planning method for many types of enterprises and teams. Most firms currently employ a variety of roadmaps, including business, technology or information technology, project, and marketing roadmaps.
Application of Roadmaps
Product managers are in charge of developing and maintaining the product plan. Many internal (and even external) stakeholders may refer to the roadmap throughout the product development process since roadmaps give a high-level framework for strategy, timing, and feature work. The roadmap ensures that everyone involved understands what is coming next and who is in charge, allowing you to stay on schedule and deliver valuable product updates.
Steps to create a Roadmap
You can create a roadmap from scratch or use a roadmap infographic template. The template will be easy to edit, and you can add your details to it. If you choose to create the roadmap fully by yourself then follow these 7 steps:-
1. Begin with research and context creation
Product roadmaps have two functions. They begin by communicating your aims and priorities. They then develop support for your plan throughout the organisation.
To begin, consider your roadmap’s target audience. The internal roadmap for your technical team likely be different from one intended for executives. Who is looking at this item, and what are they expecting to see? When it comes time to present your roadmap, having a well-defined audience will pay dividends.
2. Determine the desired outcome(s) based on a business requirement
Product roadmaps are outcome-driven planning, which is especially important for Agile teams. This indicates they are focused on the change you want to see to advance your overall strategy. The features or products that you create are merely a means to an end.
The best place to begin is with a business requirement. In other words, what is your roadmap’s targeted outcome, and why does it matter?
Revisit your strategy and vision to identify places where you can make a difference. Or, look into your other resources, such as market research, competitor analysis, internal stakeholder requests, external user requests, or even existing jobs in your backlog.
3. Identify the appropriate problems to tackle
Now is the moment to assess your product’s present condition and consider how you may improve user behaviours to get closer to your target goal.
This is what we mean by “fixing the appropriate problems.”
What user problems can you tackle to influence your metrics and business needs?
4. Establish a timetable
A destination is required for a roadmap. Set a rough but realistic timeframe based on your desired objective and the difficulties you’ve discovered.
Are these problems with apparent easy fixes that you can test in a few months? Or are you committed to major strategic changes that could take years to fully implement?
Always remember that change takes time. A product roadmap, on the other hand, should demonstrate progress early on, so you don’t commit to chasing outcomes for years on end.
5. Classify difficulties into broad topics
At this stage, you should have something resembling a reverse funnel, with a specified desired goal leading to a few impact metrics and then a long list of problems to tackle (and probably some existing backlog items that fit).
6. Incorporate features and themes into initiatives in order of importance
It’s time to get things in order. Roadmaps are a prioritisation process. You’ll have numerous options for getting to your desired result. It is up to you to choose which one to take.
7. Examine and coordinate your roadmap with other internal teams.
Creating a product strategy involves much research, consideration, and compromise. You’ll also need to balance the demands of the rest of your firm, unless you’re a one-person operation.
What are the advantages of creating a roadmap?
Roadmaps keep members of the team on the same page about the scope, objectives, and timetable of an effort. They also assist individuals in charge in promptly communicating objectives and providing status updates.
What are the disadvantages of having a roadmap?
If roadmaps aren’t updated on a regular basis, initiatives might wander off course, and unanticipated dependencies can cause projects to fail.
When road maps are not used as a living working document, they become counter-productive. That is why it is critical to use a specific road mapping application that makes it simple and straightforward to communicate in real-time with all stakeholders.
Roadmap is an amazing tool to present data. Make sure your data is suitable for a roadmap and if so select the right roadmap. Ensure to have all the right components added in your roadmap so that the data is conveyed with clarity and precision. If roadmap is not the right choice for your data then there are various other options like flowchart diagrams, fishbone templates , and mind maps.