Roadmaps A Complete Guide with Examples, Tools & Tutorials

A strategic IT roadmap is a critical governance tool for not just an initiative but also the entire IT organization. Before getting into tactical planning, agree on the initiatives or large areas of work that will help you achieve your goals. Whether you call these initiatives, themes, or epics, it is crucial that you visually link them to the goals on your technology roadmap.

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Leadership can gain the ability to forecast business needs and implement proactive maintenance and improvements before technology becomes a problem. An IT Roadmap can be layered i.e. multiple roadmaps at different degrees of generalization can be created. If you do not have an IT provider and want to discuss how an IT roadmap could benefit your business, you can schedule a consultation with WEBIT Services.

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This means moving from an inward focus to a customer-driven approach — with more emphasis on long-term outcomes and delivering the most value to the business. To do it well, you need an IT roadmap — so you can focus on delivering the essential work that is best aligned with your IT strategy. Roadmap refers to the plan that will guide the team members and show them how to reach the desired goals.

what is an IT roadmap

It has separate grouping areas for each technology area and also incorporates service quality and trends. It does a great job of combining projects that may not directly align with one it area and projects that do. Best of all, the template is available for download and can be used with your favorite spreadsheet application. Saint Louis University has done a very good job with their Strategic Technology Roadmap Summary. It has a listing of all their IT projects and which goal they align with. This is an excellent addition that gives leaders some indication as to which goals are at risk.

What is a product roadmap?

Building an IT roadmap is the first step in taking your IT systems seriously. However, if you’ve previously been haphazardly adding to your IT structure with no real plan, you likely have a tangle of systems and no real goal or way to streamline the process. When you pass a spreadsheet around to multiple teams, who then have different outputs to add, it makes it hard to track when and where changes were made. It’s especially hard to stay on top of everything if the strategy for updating teams is to email a file every time something gets updated. Show your stakeholders that you’re on top of your strategy using this roadmap template. Things like key dates and milestones can create a linear visualization for stakeholders to keep track of everything that’s going on at the organization.

  • If the answer to this one is yes, a technology roadmap can help deliver practical, real-world rationale to tech investment decisions.
  • For example, if you’re still using local software when a cloud-based solution might be better, without a technology roadmap to highlight the age of your systems, the issue could fly under the radar.
  • You may have very little time to prepare your presentation for an important meeting with a client or a manager.
  • You can’t create a complete project plan from start to finish without knowing what roadblocks you’re going to face on your way.
  • A marketing roadmap shows marketing goals and related activities that support overall business objectives.
  • However, it can be useful to include feature details when sharing the roadmap with the engineers and operators who will be completing the work.

Because a product roadmap is a visual plan, it plays really well in a presentation — making it a great tool for PMs to align all stakeholders on their one high-level product strategy. Most product roadmaps show major releases over a specific time frame and link those to goals and initiatives. You can adjust the type of information and level of detail you want to share based on your audience and roadmap tool. For example, you may want to include specific features or cross-functional dependencies that will impact your plan. An IT roadmap is the key to moving forward with your technology in the best, most strategic way.

For example, you might want to highlight specific features or cross-functional dependencies that influence the course of your plan. Roadmaps have a flexible format for presenting strategic information, so there’s no industry standard we should follow. Alignment – clearly stating the vision and the objectives of a project, a roadmap aligns teams, portfolios, or areas of the same business. A thorough guide to effectively building and using a roadmap through definitions, examples, tools and tutorials. The exact timeline and details that you include on your roadmap will depend on who you will be presenting it to. For instance, executives want crucial information about the business context and outcomes, while engineers require more technical details.

Real-time updates are key

This is because they are less concerned about the product’s specific features and are more concerned about the bigger picture. Therefore, users will appreciate the product’s value, and the team will be able to see the direction in which it is evolving. Despite this, it is important to visualize this flow from goal to potential solutions and note how many different paths can lead to the same result.

A marketing roadmap shows marketing goals and related activities that support overall business objectives. Depending on the complexity of the organization, you might have a marketing roadmap that separates work by function or that visualizes major campaigns linked to specific products. Product managers use roadmaps to coordinate a cross-functional product team around a common goal, such as the launch of a new product or a major release. Product roadmaps are particularly useful for communicating high-level product plans to company leadership, partners, and customers. This can be an extremely effective planning approach because it provides a clear way to visualize and communicate what you want to accomplish and when. You can share your roadmap with a variety of audiences — including executives, teammates, other groups in your organization, and customers.

what is an IT roadmap

For more than a decade, we’ve provided unbiased, real-time business and technology solutions that are flexible and cost-effective. Clients look to us for software development, as well as cybersecurity and cloud migration services. Rely on Afidence for IT project management and IT consultation, in addition to digital transformation and technology staff augmentation. Consider which audiences will view your technology roadmap, so you can build it using language all involved will understand. If you plan to share the roadmap with more than one department, web-based roadmap software is once again the prime choice.

Here is a brief overview of the structure of this type of roadmap. Your roadmap will not be perfect from the start, but you can fine-tune it to ensure that your product arrives exactly as you intended. If you are developing an agile roadmap, you must be adaptable to all unexpected changes that may arise and deal with them accordingly to achieve success.

Audience-awareness – customize your roadmap according to your intended public and outcome. Depending on the audience, you will establish what to highlight during your presentation. A customer-facing roadmap presentation, on the other hand, might show only a general description of features and approximate release dates. Once you have covered all the steps above, you can then proceed to actually building your visual either by using a roadmap template or a dedicated roadmap tool.

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It mainly includes a step-by-step plan for achieving the milestone. A roadmap is also a tool that consists of the ‘why’ behind the ultimate goal and the plan. The feature roadmap outlines the key features of a product and allows monitoring of its development and release. Clients and team members can use it to understand the next step.

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And it is difficult to share your roadmaps and collaborate with teammates. You can link goals to detailed work and show the time frame for achievement, given what is an IT roadmap your resources and capacity. Roadmaps are also a useful tool for communicating plans to stakeholders and tracking progress against your objectives.

By creating an IT roadmap, your department’s goals will align with the company’s vision and help you to create more value as a team or department. The exact timeline and details that you include on your roadmap will depend on your audience. For instance, executives often want crucial information about the business context and financial outcomes, while engineers may require more technical details. Ideally, you will build a roadmap that can be easily customized for your intended audience.

what is an IT roadmap

With a solid software roadmap in place, you can eliminate the element of surprise. Living, breathing document which reacts dynamically to the conditions of the business and the progress of its projects. Airfocusallows you to gain instant oversight of your development process — just zoom out and see the year ahead broken down into quarters, months, or weeks. Just like baking a cake, if you want to know how to develop a technology roadmap, you first need to know the ingredients. If the answer to this one is yes, a technology roadmap can help deliver practical, real-world rationale to tech investment decisions.

What Are Some Roadmap Examples?

This type of roadmap is my favorite way to show senior IT leadership when specific models of gear will be retired. You may have put together a technology roadmap at the beginning of the year — but have you updated it recently? That way, people can navigate to the details they need and locate the status of work-in-progress. Roadmaps — roadmapping software that includes workspaces purpose-built for IT teams.

Set realistic timelines

Make impressive multi-level timelines and roadmaps with the Pro+ add-in for PowerPoint. The product roadmap outlines the entire lifecycle of a product. On the other hand, a strategy will have some roadmap components. It will also include the business side of your target markets, revenue your business generates, competitors, and so on. This roadmap type increased for internal teams to operate and strategize the work efficiently.

Once your IT provider knows the technology at your disposal, they may recommend updating older systems. They will also create a timeline outlining when specific technology needs to be replaced for optimum efficiency. This information for current and future upgrade projects will be added to your IT roadmap. Usually, your IT provider will meet with you during onboarding to create the initial version of this document or review any existing plans or roadmaps you have.

This is because they carry complex projects containing multiple dependencies and product management teams. A technology roadmap outlines the major technological milestones that must be met to release a new product. Technology roadmaps are typically targeted at production and development teams. Product-related marketing activities are described in a marketing roadmap, which serves as a guide for engineering, project, development, and sales teams. Marketing teams and product managers generally create marketing roadmaps, but they also help keep wider teams informed of their contribution to the marketing process.

Releases on this strategic roadmap can unfurl to show specific features and related dependencies. Progress bars show how close the team is to achieving the goals. You can show direction, visualize timing, and discuss challenges. Many IT professionals feel that resources are wasted because they are stuck in a reactive pattern of responding to business user needs. Instead of being able to focus on the future, IT personnel are busy dealing with improvements and risk mitigation on an as-needed basis.

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