Product Roadmap Guide: Why Its Important And Types You Should Know

You can best view the technology roadmap as a visual display of documents and illustrations that point out the technological organization’s plan. When your technology roadmap is ready to share with key stakeholders, you should call a meeting with them. At this stage, you should have a compelling message about why this technology change will help the business and a clear vision of how you plan to execute it. This assessment will give you the perspective you need to make smart choices about how to respond when things don’t go as planned. For these reasons, a business should use a technology roadmap to strategically plan any complex adjustment to its IT environment, including addressing technical debt. Using a technology roadmap can help a company plan out the best way to introduce a technological change in the business.

stages of creating an IT roadmap

If the company implements a change without thinking through the implications, it could create problems for the business’s operations. And even if the company addresses these risks, the change itself could be disruptive. Our free app, Jibility, takes you through the above 6 steps, but it also supports a 4-step approach that skips Capabilities and Actions for when you need an even faster result. Find about more about this approach with our nonprofit example.

No matter the approach you choose for your roadmap, you’ll follow a general roadmapping process to get the ball rolling. It can also create quicker learning loops for your team by quickly understanding when something didn’t work so the team can dig deeper to see why whatever was implemented didn’t change user behavior. Most stakeholders don’t really care about a specific feature you are working on implementing. Instead, they want to understand what problems the team is working to solve. This section should identify clear business objectives/problems and shouldn’t change.

Project Management Tools and Why They Matter

You should have some data supporting your plans and goals somewhere in the roadmap. ” — and place your brief response at the top of your technology roadmap. Your executive staff might freeze budgets across the company while your technology implementation is only halfway complete. Or an IT emergency in the company might force your team to pause on this project while you address that urgent problem. Appointing an IT steering committee comprised of leaders from IT and other key departments can facilitate communication and help overcome departmental or individualistic thinking.

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. Clustering facilitates discussion and alignment among roadmap creators — the goal being to arrive at a shared understanding of potential high-level problems that need to be solved.

Input and participation from different parts of the organization (e.g., marketing, R&D, the strategic business units) with different planning horizons and perspectives. The swimlane view (Figure 1.) of the information technology roadmap is particularly helpful for getting a high-level understanding of what’s going on in IT for each department. Marketing will be able to understand, at a glance, the status of the latest tech to be added or upgraded.

Different types of IT roadmaps

Managers should focus on the broad steps first before ironing out the nitty-gritty details. This step is typically the most time-consuming due to the research and preparation. Support – Operational support includes automation tools and IT employees on stand-by that streamline processes and resolve issues. By creating a roadmap with the previous components, companies can successfully integrate systems to create a universal interface. This strategic overview of the organization’s goals and relevant IT initiatives showcases a simple way to highlight what goals are at risk. Scaling up is quite different, as you should focus on building a strong basis for continuous growth.

stages of creating an IT roadmap

Your customers seek security system solutions among many others. Technology innovation projects are generally expensive and require both human and capital resources. Adequate considerations should be included in your technology roadmap to ensure significant investments being meted out on the technology initiatives can meet the project’s technological requirements.

Chances are people who are invested in the ‘final’ roadmap will want a say in it. For instance, if upgrading your servers will impact product development speeds, your product managers and dev team will probably have a few concerns about when that should happen. The concept of technology roadmapping is broad, that’s why there are so many incarnations. But it’s also why figuring out why the hell you need the doc beforehand is so crucial. Once you have the purpose down pat, you can effectively move forward with the next steps of creating a roadmap.


Technology roadmap, or an IT roadmap, is an umbrella term with multiple use cases. The most common case is creating an inventory of the tools, systems, and processes used in your organization. This approach helps align the technology stack with the strategic business goals and plan the evolution timeline and milestones that will demonstrate actual improvements. There’s the IT systems roadmap we introduced in our last chapter, or there are roadmaps meant for aligning your org on how your IT strategy ties into your business strategy.

However, if you do everything right, good results will not keep you waiting. A well-designed project roadmap includes all the necessary information about project implementation and keeps everyone involved up to date. When the document is completed, share it with stakeholders to ensure your roadmap meets their expectations and provides an overall view of the project.

stages of creating an IT roadmap

Ganttpro is the best app for small team management because it’s super user-friendly and has a lot of features. Creating outcome-oriented roadmaps will leave full power to the team to define the solution. Once your stakeholders align on those themes, you and the team can nest epics beneath those themes.

How Does Agile Development Affect Today’s Roadmaps?

Be wary of front-loading your roadmap, i.e. trying to do everything in the first horizon. Keep focus by doing the high priority initiatives early rather than trying to do everything straight up. At this stage it is good to identify ball park costs and benefits to help you with prioritization in the next step. Having developed a great pitch deck, backed by a solid business plan showing financial projections for growth, you are now seeking funding to establish your startup or scale your operations.

  • Before introducing any IT changes to your organization, you need to think through how the change will affect the business.
  • It’s key at this stage to prioritize initiatives that move the dial on your objectives with the least effort.
  • Roadmaps must have a clear purpose, stakeholder support, and buy-in in order to be effective.
  • They’re dynamic visualizations that showcase the outcomes the product team is working towards and how they support the organization’s overarching goals.
  • Maybe it’s “raise $500k in seed funding” in response to your current funding challenge.
  • To be useful and profitable, these products and services must be developed, released, and updated, and dev roadmap helps oversee this situation.

And, thanks to distributed architecture styles like microservices, this roadmap is arguably more essential than ever. A strategic IT roadmap is a critical governance tool for not just an initiative but also the entire IT organization. However, business stakeholders shouldn’t pay attention to every detail of every sprint. The dev roadmap isn’t a project management control panel with all the tasks, deadlines, bug reports, etc. A number of organizations don’t seem to understand the importance of mapping out what technology they’re currently using, and what technology they will need in the future.

Summarize the key risks and mitigation strategies

In the table above, you saw how different types of roadmaps help to highlight different elements. As you build and customize your product roadmap, you can make additional decisions about which details to include so that the information portrayed it roadmap is relevant to whoever is viewing it. Roadmapping is an essential part of your strategic planning process. The exercise of building a product roadmap can be the impetus for conversations about where you will invest your efforts and why.

Roadmapping Tools

Unfortunately, big technology initiatives can be expensive so you have to analyze what’s best for you when buying a new product. What will your business need to maintain its competitiveness in 5 years? Answering that question can help you establish a long-term vision. BeyondTrust combines remote support, encryption, and computer security services to secure all your digital assets.

Better implement your technology roadmap with the introduction of an IT steering committee to oversee all the technology roadmap strategies. Adequately empower the IT steering committee to ensure the strategies are well implemented in providing technological solutions while also tracking the progress of the technology project. The strategies you utilize in your technology roadmap should be in direct correlation with your organization’s goals and objectives.

Your work as a product manager impacts other groups, and you need their input and participation to deliver a Complete Product Experience . The roadmap is a central place to come together around your CPE — the visibility into what is coming next helps the entire organization prioritize and plan for the new experience you will deliver. One of the broadest—and most universal—applications of this type of roadmap, however, is defining and documenting the administration of an organization’s internal IT system.

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