What is a Project Roadmap?
There are going to be times when you need to present your projects to the stakeholders and upper members of staff and the endeavour can be incredibly stressful if you want to make sure you get everything right. This is where roadmaps can come into play – as a simple directive for displaying information.
The important thing to do when creating a project roadmap is to present your ideas and showcase how they could become a reality. It can offer many advantages; from saving time and money, to improving communication among the team to name just two.
Nine steps to creating a Project Roadmap
Most individuals will find that there can be a wide array of advantages that come with creating a clear, concise and realistic roadmap. Because of this, taking the time to ensure that you get it right will often be a wise idea. Fortunately for you, we’re here to give you a helping hand in making your own, with tips and advice that can be useful for practically any industry.
Here is a comprehensive guide for creating a project roadmap and the nine steps you need for a highly effective presentation:
1. Project management software will be your best asset
When road mapping projects, it’s no secret that the tools are essential. Not only are they a key asset, but the ones you choose can affect just how good of a presentation you’ll be able to make. The software you select needs to be intuitive and have the ability to access and derive data from a range of sources. Even time trackers can help you to get everything done effectively and on time.
2. Start by defining your project objectives
Make a checklist of the objectives of the project you are working on. Be sure to include the target audience, the project scope and how you will communicate with your team. While these are just a few examples, they could help to get you started and at least give you an idea of what objectives to consider.
3. Outline any relevant data points
Your objectives will need to be met at specific points throughout your project, so be sure to outline any relevant data points to stay on track. The longer you analyse the business in terms of your goals, the more these essential data points will be, so don’t be afraid to give it some time and implement changes to yield results in the long run.
4. Define a timeline for your project
Plan how long you expect the project will take and create an effective timeline. There are simply so many ways that you could do this; even using a calendar for milestones can be a great idea. For the most part, a timeline really doesn’t have to get complicated, so there’s no need to stress yourself.
5. Start with a rough draft
Once the above points have been addressed, create a rough draft of your roadmap. Defining exactly what you need immediately isn’t always an easy task, so just give yourself some time to create a loose idea of what it is you want and focus on the details a little later on.
6. Conduct a full review of your draft
When you are happy with your rough draft, test it out and see if it is going to function well in real-time. This is your opportunity to tweak things and could save you stress down the line, so don ’t be afraid to make changes or consider different options during this phase.
7. Create the real roadmap
Now that you have tested everything, it’s time to create the real roadmap. Thanks to the work you’ve done in the previous steps, this shouldn’t be too hard to do.
8. Submit your roadmap for sponsor review
As your roadmap has been created with upper staff and stakeholders in mind, submit it for review. At this point, you may only need to make a few adjustments.
9. Ongoing updates
Now that your roadmap is in place, be sure to make regular checks that everything is on schedule and make adjustments where necessary along the way.
Six key elements of Project Roadmap
Are you still stuck and wondering how to develop a roadmap for a project? Maybe you’re still unclear about the roadmap definition? The good news is that you can go online and look at examples of project roadmaps, and we have the six key elements of a roadmap below.
- Resource management
- Project timeline
- Possible risks
Each of these can play a critical role in your plans, so it’s worth looking into each one and deciphering what you can do in these areas. If you make sure to cover each of these points during the planning phase and into your roadmap, you can’t go wrong.
What are the benefits of Project Roadmap?
The ultimate benefits of a project roadmap aren’t only related to getting your project across simply and concisely. You can also better stay in contact with project members, for an array of situations. For example, you can notify everyone of the next tasks, or have the ability to share status updates and tackle issues with little fuss, all the while knowing that everybody is on the same page.
Most team members will find that they’ll be able to more efficiently manage their project from start to finish when having a clear roadmap in mind, which can certainly be of help. Here are just a few more examples of common advantages that we think you’ll want to take note of:
- It can make it easier to solve more persistent problems if you can gather accurate data whilst following your roadmap (and help to show you how to take action against said problems)
- A good roadmap can offer many ways for a company to measure its success, from analysing profits to other internal processes that have an impact on the business (like the employees, performance of products, etc.)
- Many of those who implement a project roadmap will find that it can help to save a significant amount of time and reach their organisation’s goals faster
Overall, all of these are excellent points to consider, so it really is worth taking the time to create the ideal project roadmap for your unique needs.