Project Roadmap: Role, Importance, and Features

As we have already discussed in one of our previous articles, project management techniques are very critical in the process of implementation and deployment of any product. There is an essential technique or tool in project management that we are going to investigate in this article. Do you guess what it is? - Yeah, I’m talking about project Roadmap.

What is Project Roadmap?

The roadmap is a graphical, high-level overview of the goals and deliverables of a project presented on the timeline. You should never confuse it with a project plan where all the details are fleshed out. The roadmap, on the other hand, should be simple and free of incidental. Accordingly, the project roadmap becomes a useful tool for managing the expectations of the stakeholders, also for communicating plans as well as coordinating resources with other teams if needed.

What Should the Project Roadmap Contain?

If you wonder about what is included in the project roadmap then I’ll provide you with a satisfying response. Read the points:

  • Project goals and objectives
  • A timeline indicating the schedule
  • Important milestones and deliverables
  • Possible risks
  • Dependencies

The Role of Project Roadmap

The project roadmap acts as a guide, and because of this reason, it is also referred to as a communication tool. This is the overall documentation that defines the project strategy and identifies why that strategy is being engaged. The project roadmap supports while working on the project and helps team members to fully realize the project, regardless of the fact of what piece they may be working on.

Project roadmap includes milestones. These are major destinations en route to the project objective. These milestones are dated in a project schedule in order to break down the time assigned for the project to ensure that everything is being implemented within the acceptable timeframe.

Ownership is an essential aspect of the project roadmap. This means that all the roles and responsibilities of everyone involved in the implementation of the project are outlined. On the other hand, this roadmap defines who is doing and what is being done. Later, all these tasks are possible to track. Thanks to this technique, the tasks that are not clearly pinned down to endure in a looser time. Then they are identified and are tracked and there is no possibility that they may fall between the cracks.

How to Create a Project Roadmap?

Having discovered the role and importance of the project roadmap, you may like to create one. That’s why I’m going to introduce to you how to do it. Below I’ll present the steps:

Step #1 Define the project plan and key components. These may also be considered as the above-mentioned milestones. These critical points should be highlighted from the first glance. As it is said, if you know what is your critical objective, you easily find the best way to reach it.

Step #2 Define and assign roles and responsibilities. Everyone who is involved in project development should be aware of their duties and responsibilities. In such a way, the members work on their specific tasks and the project manager knows who should be responsible for implementing a specific assignment.

Step #3 Identify key stakeholders. The stakeholders should be informed about what to expect and when.

Step #4 Develop the project scope statement. The uses of the available capacity are demonstrated. You should also take into consideration where your resources and also the budget are allocated.

Step #5 Analyze risk and quality. It is highly recommended to pay attention to important issues and make them as few as possible. You should realize all the risks, make them clear, and try to minimize it. Add labels, in case there are areas of high risks.

Step #6 Develop a communication plan. You are recommended to keep the level of details down. Put in your milestones, and add markers for important dates. All these dates should be realistic. If a date or a milestone is tentative it should be clearly marked as well.

Step #7 Explain the roadmap. In this step, you should clearly present the status of your roadmap document. Give a version number. For instance, if it is still a draft, at the top of the document you should clearly label it with “DRAFT”. Or if the document has been signed off by even a single key stakeholder, it is also prominently marked.

What Tools Can You Use to Create a Project Roadmap?

There are multiple tools and techniques that you can use while creating a project roadmap. For the first, before committing to any electronic version, it is recommended to sketch the roadmap out in a large piece of paper. Now, let’s discuss some of the most effective tools you can use to create a project roadmap.

ProductPlan allows us to quickly and easily build a roadmap, create and move estimates, establish a consistent and standardized working process across teams and communicate plans for future work.

Roadmap Planner provides various planning, management, integration, visualization, and data exchange features. Coming to the pricing, the plan that offers basic features is free for one user. Other options that include more users and provide different features, imply subscription payment.

Hello Focus is designed to focus and get more work done. It is used as either a simple to-do list or a project management tool. The technique includes beautiful roadmaps that help to track the team activity while working on a project. Such a tool helps to skip daily stand-ups and meetings. You may also avoid coordination via emails and schedule the work.

To Sum Up

A project roadmap is a visual content - a big picture that is clear and easy to understand. It isn’t there to replace the project plan but is a piece of your project plan that comes to help when you need to easily present and coordinate everyone on the important project details.

This document helps to prevent multitasking, stay focused, as well as monitor the working progress. As a result of visualizing the critical components of the project plan, the roadmap helps to push the team as well as the project closer and closer to the finish line.

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