Most companies depend on seamless cooperation between multiple teams and departments to achieve goals and successfully implement business initiatives. Unfortunately, coordinating so many different individuals across various levels can be a difficult task. To ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and understands the necessary steps needed to get from start to finish, organizations often rely on strategic roadmaps.
Roadmaps are communication tools. The roadmap provides a shared source of truth, outlining the project in a way that is both easy to understand, and highly comprehensive. Using roadmaps, teams can see the progress of a specific project, what next steps must be taken, and what the overall vision and objectives are.
It’s worth noting that roadmaps are not a backlog of tasks or a project tracker. Although it fulfills some of the same basic functions, the roadmap forgoes detailing the individual assignments and roles, and instead focuses on high-level strategy. In this sense, roadmaps should be used in conjunction with task backlogs and project-management trackers to ensure that all essential responsibilities are being handled and that essential tasks are accounted for. In terms of product roadmaps, product functionality and timelines for rolling out future features are the primary focus, rather than creating a complete list of what those features should be.
Roadmaps can also convey information on purpose, alignment with specific goals and strategies, dependencies, etc., making them incredibly powerful vehicles to tell the dynamic strategy story. Roadmaps enable more effective conversations and make it remarkably easier to:
- Plan across business units
- Plan across multiple business periods
- Plan for changes and understand impacts
- Consider dependencies
- Analyze pros and cons of different models