Software development Technology Roadmaps: What They Are and How to Create One

Hotjar helps you discover and connect with the user needs that form the core of an excellent product roadmap. Always leave room for questions and feedback on your product roadmap presentation. Your stakeholders’ insights will help you improve and have better ongoing communication around your roadmap. Everyone on your team should understand the metrics you’re tracking, how to measure them, and why they matter to business goals. Certain product features may feel innovative, and like they will yield the best results. But your customers can have different ideas about what would improve their lives—that’s why you need to listen to them.

A roadmap can also be somewhere between these two options. This offers general, rough deadlines without an apparent reference to specific dates. Sometimes you can do without exact dates, but you need to determine the timelines for passing the project stages at least approximately.

stages of creating an IT roadmap

If your organization is 10,000 people then everyone might be localized to the various departmental leaders. Be sure to include all the appropriate stakeholders and decision makers. Identify a set of standardized, agreed-upon factors that help indicate a theme’s importance. The number of criteria is up to you, but aim for 4–8 factors. As a starting place, pick 2 user-oriented factors and 2 business-oriented factors.

It provides a view of the milestones that need to be reached to support a business change. An IT project roadmap is a strategic, big-picture overview of the key steps of a project. Rather than focus on specific nuances, a project roadmap conveys the key milestones and goals of a project. This makes it possible to increase the efficiency of using available technologies, resources, and time.

Step 3: Create Themes

Chiefs of StaffTrack key takeaways from executive meetings, enhance alignment across scaling teams, and amplify the CEO’s communication to help the company flourish. ProductFeatures OverviewSee how high-performing teams are using Fellow to level-up their meeting and productivity habits. An agile roadmap is focused on the goal you’re trying to achieve, and additionally incorporating your learnings from releases back into the roadmap.

stages of creating an IT roadmap

The first step is to be as clear about what your project is all about while resisting the impulse to plan low-level details. In table 2 all the different sub-activities of the development phase can be seen. At this point the technology drivers and their targets are specified and the technology alternatives that can satisfy those targets should be specified. For each of the alternatives a timeline should be estimated for how it will mature with respect to the technology driver targets.

How to Create A Roadmap That Helps You Say No

While it focuses on product roadmaps, it’s also useful for creating strategic IT roadmaps. The tool helps to prioritize tasks, capture feedback, and collaborate directly within a roadmap. Great project managers know that project roadmaps are one of the top tools in their arsenal for getting stakeholders and executives on board fast.

This is critical as it sets your company on the path to creating a specific product strategy. It is the vision of what is desired and the potential that it has to be a great product. This initial vision doesn’t have to be the final one but it starts the process of building a product roadmap so that further planning can continue. This spells out what you want your product to be at the end of the project.

The last step is to share your draft with a group of stakeholders who can provide feedback and ask questions on what they see. If you’re the project’s manager, this involves getting input from your team members and other stakeholders, so that you can get as complete of a picture as possible. The more data you can put in there, the better — it will help when you’re trying to account for all of your project’s various moving parts.

A lot of organizations create their own technology roadmap using current software tools on the market. On average, it takes six to 14 months to develop a roadmap. The process includes two types of activities (Expert Judgment/Consensus and Data and Analysis) and four phases . After a roadmap is completed, implementation and updating ensure the complete realization of the vision and goals. The technology roadmap organizes your infrastructure and tools to ensure that your product delivery goes off smoothly.

According to a project management survey by KPMG, only 33 percent of organizations deliver projects that are likely to meet original goals or business objectives. Objectives so you know when it’s done – The key milestones or steps needed to achieve those objectives. You need these because otherwise, people won’t know if/when tasks are complete! It involves dividing your project into major stages and tasks, setting approximate due dates, and plotting these stages and tasks on the timeline. Also, it is better to separate every phase of the plan by milestones. It helps meet deadlines without panic and unpleasant surprises.

You will need to think through who will do the work, how much it will cost, how long it will take to implement, and any other aspects that will require change in your organization. IT project roadmaps offer a strategic overview of essential parts of a project. Unlike project plans, no one is looking at an IT project roadmap for specific tasks, deadlines, or resource allocation. IT project roadmaps are big picture, high-level stuff for stakeholders that don’t need nitty-gritty minutiae. Roadmaps, Productboard, Roadmunk, or even Excel help you create, customize, and share professional product roadmaps. You can choose from a variety of templates and tailor the visual details to your needs—so you can take pride in every product roadmap you build.

Create foundations for the project plan

Layout the high-level tasks that’ll lead up to the milestone on the timeline. Prioritize project deliverables based on dependencies and business objectives. Document technology initiatives or projects that you “must do” first, then those in priority two, etc.

  • Together, these elements of your product strategy will inform everything that goes on your roadmap.
  • So, be prepared to spruce up your creation every now and then.
  • A specialist from an outside company (e.g., a consultant) can help with the roadmap process and interviews with stakeholders.
  • Knowing what every IT initiative achieves and what the business can gain from it always comes first.
  • You can choose from a variety of templates and tailor the visual details to your needs—so you can take pride in every product roadmap you build.
  • Comb through your inputs and create an inventory of candidate problems that you will need to solve.
  • Plus, they can convince skeptical or potential stakeholders that funding your company is a worthwhile investment.

Integrates with popular services for project management, contains chat, allows to export files, and supports different IT roadmap visualization options. The easiest and free tool to create an IT roadmap is an Excel or Google spreadsheet. They can include all the necessary information – about goals and objectives, responsible persons, deadlines, status, etc. The disadvantages of spreadsheets are the lack of clarity and the inability to quickly edit. Whether your company joins a larger organization or inherits the digital assets of a smaller partner, your technology roadmap must be adjusted.

They could get to their destination, but it’ll take longer than necessary and they’re more likely to go in circles or miss a crucial turn along the way. A roadmap is the foundation for every project, because it defines how you will reach your goal — your ultimate purpose. Tell them what you’re planning on doing and see if they have any additional information that might be helpful in better understanding the final result. Otherwise, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.

What characterizes product roadmaps is that they are easy to make, practical, and it helps organizations predict how successful their product will be. This, with time, helps them optimize their time and resources. The most common types of projects that use roadmaps are software development projects, product development projects, and marketing campaigns. The first phase to any information technology roadmap is to identify your goals.

Product Roadmap Classification

Your roadmap should address how your product will ideally affect your target market and improve the end user’s day-to-day life. Fellow for EnterpriseSupport company leaders with Fellow’s uniform meeting templates, collaborative one-on-one meetings, and feedback tools. Objectives Stay on top of your team’s goals by clearly recording, defining, and tracking the progress of your OKRs in Fellow’s Objectives tool. 👉 After considering the trade-offs, you should whittle down your list and pick the features that are high impact and highly aligned to your product strategy. If your resourcing requirements exceed team capacity, then you need to consider dropping items from your list unless getting more resources is an option. It is unwise to think your team will achieve good results if you just cram something into the roadmap.

stages of creating an IT roadmap

Our strategy roadmap tool Jibility was created around the six-step method outlined above. Full traceability from why to what means that it’s easy to update the strategy roadmap when things change. When you have defined the actions, it’s time to group related ones into packages of work.

High-level roadmaps help keep the team safe from stakeholder interference. At the same time, stakeholders stay focused on the roadmap without worrying about the day-to-day project activities. what is an IT roadmap Project roadmaps keep stakeholders updated on the project objectives, progress, and roadblocks. That way stakeholders can make decisions at the right time to keep a project on track.

The Management Tool You Never Knew You Needed

Once you identify your customers’ unmet needs and the growth opportunities to address, you can begin brainstorming ideas and initiatives to add to your roadmap. The success of your product strategy depends on your ability to deeply understand and describe your customers. Product strategy is a bridge between vision and execution. It involves laying out major areas of investment, so you can prioritize what matters most and achieve your product goals. Hotjar helps you discover and connect with the user needs that form the core of a great product roadmap.

How to Create a Resource Heatmap

In summary, the roadmap provides a macro perspective of the project. Whereas the project plan provides a more micro-level view. Learn how to plan a project timeline in eight actionable steps. Growing a project plan out of a roadmap keeps both stakeholders and the team on the same page.

When you have a clear view of your current strategy, you have more space to launch new strategic initiatives. Having your IT projects organized, it’s easier to identify what you’re missing to reach your company’s broader strategic goals and prioritize initiatives accordingly. You can always create a roadmap using a spreadsheet or a template.

Project Roadmap v/s Project Plan

It’s also worthwhile to give roadmaps a holistic and comprehensive review regularly, to be sure you haven’t missed anything. Comparing it to the current project plan—which is updated far more often—is an excellent place to start. Like any other roadmap, an out-of-date IT project roadmap runs the risk of stakeholders operating with old information. When you learn of any delays or divergences from what’s already published and shared, promptly create a new version and get it into everyone’s hands. As a bonus, roadmaps serve as an excellent tool for project kick-off.

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