Road map

A roadmaps is a strategic plan that defines a goal or desired outcome & includes the major steps or milestones needed to reach it.

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It also serves as a communication tool, a high-cấp độ document that helps articulate strategic thinking—the why—behind both the goal và the plan for getting there.



Although we at generally discuss the roadmap as a strategic tool for guiding the development of products, it can be used for all types of strategic initiatives.

Indeed, businesses all over the world use our web-based roadmap software to lớn create their organizations’ kinh doanh plan, IT strategy, and others.

When it comes to lớn understanding the role of the roadmaps, perhaps the most important concept to remember is that it is a strategic document, not a document that captures all of a plan’s details. With this in mind, it is also worth reviewing what it is not.

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What a Roadmaps Is Not

It’s not a backlog.

This is another very specific type of document. A backlog is essentially a to-vì chưng list of the tasks required to lớn complete a strategic initiative sầu, ideally arranged according to priority. Roadmaps planning is often the process of creating a high-cấp độ strategy out of a collection of backlog tasks and ideas.

A roadmap, therefore, can & should work together with a backlog in the sense that the person responsible for the roadmaps (typically a sản phẩm manager in the case of a product roadmap) will translate its high-màn chơi strategic components into tasks that can be assigned & tracked throughout the project.

This leads to lớn a related thành quả that roadmaps are often confused with…

It’s not a project management tracker.

Many managers confuse roadmaps with the documents or software applications used lớn compile all of the details khổng lồ complete the initiative — the individual assignments, the personnel responsible for each task, meetings scheduled to discuss specific issues or milestones, deadlines for completing each element of the project, etc.

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These details should be tracked & updated throughout any strategic undertaking. But the tool for this will be a project management tracker, such as Trello, PivotalTracker, or JIRA.

It’s not a danh mục of features.

Finally, many sản phẩm managers mistakenly assume their planned danh sách of features or epics constitutes the roadmaps itself. But this is not the case.

As we have stated above sầu, the key characteristics of a roadmap are that it is:

1. A high-cấp độ plan, defining an overarching strategic objective và capturing the major steps planned for achieving that objective.

A list of features alone will not capture or articulate the strategic thinking behind building a product in a specific way. Creating a valid hàng hóa roadmap requires telling a cohesive sầu story — showing how all of the themes, epics, và individual features will come together & result in a product that meets specific company goals.

2. A communication tool that helps communicate the product’s strategy.

What does a danh mục of features communicate? Beyond the items on the list, not much. This is why a svào hàng hóa roadmap requires a clear và concise strategic rationale for including any feature or epic. If a hàng hóa manager cannot persuasively make a case for including a feature, she should not include it at all.


Using the Right Tool

One reason so many entrepreneurs, hàng hóa owners, và other professionals responsible for driving large strategic projects mistake the roadbản đồ for something else is that they have historically not had the proper tools.

As a result, they have defaulted khổng lồ treating other forms of documentation fundamental to lớn the process — a backlog, a project-management tracker, or a menu of the features — as the roadmaps itself. But as we have sầu discussed here, these documents often fail khổng lồ capture the key element: strategy.

For this reason, we recommkết thúc that for any strategic undertaking — whether overseeing the development of a product or updating your organization’s IT infrastructure — you use a purpose-built roadbản đồ tool. The best of these tools are web-based & dynamic, và they can be created, updated, and shared in minutes.

Perhaps the most valuable benefit of a dedicated tool is that its clean, visual display will allow you to clearly document and cốt truyện your strategic reasoning.