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Project roadmap: what is it and how to create it correctly

[ BLOG ]

Table of contents of the article

A roadmap is not the same as a development plan. To develop a plan, you need a deep dive into each of the business processes, the study of promotion, budget, marketing issues and KPIs. The map does not have a step-by-step strategy for how the project should develop. It prescribes the overall picture without any specifics. Both the roadmap and the development plan are developed before the launch of the project. Many companies use the roadmap in building digital marketing.

The Road Map is the plan according to which the project will develop. It sets out the main goals and tasks set to achieve them. Also, the performers, the key stages of the project implementation are indicated here, the result that needs to be achieved using certain means is formulated.
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Types of roadmaps

Road maps are classified depending on their purpose for project and for government agencies.

  • Project

They are used in the business sphere for project management. Such maps contain the stages of implementation, goals, deadlines, expected results and persons who are responsible.

  • For government agencies

Such maps are used exclusively in government structures and are designed to solve global problems: in society, in the field of market development, in various areas of the economy, etc.

What are roadmaps used for?

These documents allow you to solve a number of business tasks.

  • Visualize the strategy

With the help of roadmaps, you can visualize how you will develop a project, improve a product, establish new connections, build work with staff, etc.

  • Optimize planning

Thanks to the maps, you will not get confused in the large-scale and intermediate stages, in their general structure. Planning becomes more visual, functional and clear.

  • Remind about areas of responsibility

The map allows you to understand what and when a particular employee should do, what his pool of responsibilities is and what points you need to focus on.

  • Synchronize staff actions

With the help of Road Map, you optimize the interaction between the specialists involved in the implementation of the project and monitor compliance with the strategic plan.

  • Demonstrate clearly how the project is developing

The roadmap can be studied by both the company's staff and other persons interested in cooperation. Including future investors and sponsors of the project.
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Roadmap development services

Even Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel are suitable for creating a Road Map. However, they have some disadvantages:

  • These are complex tools that you spend a lot of time working with. You need to manually enter information into all cells of the table and use data that has not been processed.

  • The result does not always look aesthetically pleasing. In the absence of expertise in Excel or Powerpoint, it is very difficult to create an attractive-looking map. We have to develop a design from scratch (icons, color palettes, other elements).

  • You can't work on a map together with someone if we are talking about Microsoft office services. A Road Map is a document for which flexibility is important, the ability to transform quickly and it needs to be created collectively. You also need to keep track of who made the changes, when and which ones, version synchronization, etc.
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Therefore, to create roadmaps, it is better to use special programs and services that do not have the above problems.

Let's look at the most effective and popular of them.

It's pretty easy to create standard tables, make lists, and build Gantt charts. You can export the results to any formats and distribute files, as well as use the service for teamwork.

With its help, you can create infographics, transform information and changes occurring with it into a visual format. It is convenient to export the results to PNG and PDF, manage icons, typography, design maps and edit images. The service allows you to share links to the project. There is a training mode and free access.

A significant advantage of this site is practicality and a modern approach to the development of road maps. If we compare the service with Vennpage, there are much more available formats in which you can export the project, including HTML and PPT. The constructor has non-standard functions, for example, you can create one large map from several small ones. There are many different templates available, so it takes only a few minutes to create an aesthetic Road Map. The cells already contain arbitrary data, you just need to replace them with your own. There is a two-week free period.

We have given only a few examples of popular services for working with Road Map. This list is much broader. For example, there is a cloud Productboard that allows you to plan complex business processes, GanttPRO for creating Gantt charts, Aha platform! with a large number of integrations and a flexible approach to program development, as well as a ClickUp for creating maps of small complexity. Each of these services has free access, but some functions may be limited.
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The algorithm of actions in the development of the roadmap

Stage 1 – preparatory

First you need to determine how the project will develop in the long term. Then describe in what ways you will solve the tasks. Here we need to focus on one or two features. It is important to clearly understand how the development of the project should take place over several months and years. This is a prerequisite for the development of the roadmap.

Stage 2 – setting goals

You can choose from what map development services offer. Just open one of them and view the goals presented there.

At this stage, it is also important to determine the main metrics by which you will track the achievement of goals. This is, for example, the transition to the final stage of the release or a certain percentage.

Stage 3 – appointment of responsible persons

In the finished table, you add the names and positions of those specialists who are associated with the implementation of the project.

Stage 4 – determination of deadlines

This is necessary in order to track the completion of assigned tasks. Deadline – the exact date when you need to submit the finished work. It is better to specify not only the end date, but also the start date of the work in order to understand how much time it took to implement.

Stage 5 – identification of the main tools needed to solve the tasks

It's about choosing a specific program or methodology that you will use to implement the project. To understand what tools you need, it is enough to answer a few questions:

  • With the help of which tool will you be able to solve the tasks and achieve the goals faster?
  • How many specialists do you need to attract?
  • What should I do to avoid breaking the deadline?
  • How to optimize solutions for the tasks?
Correct planning is half of the success of the project. A roadmap is a great technique for preparing a project. Big companies have set this trend for a long time and if you haven't used this method in your planning yet, be sure to try it out.


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