What is a Roadmap?
By Jibility co-founder Chuen Seet
There are many different types of roadmap: strategic, product, technology, marketing and even career roadmaps.
A roadmap shows what is required to navigate from here to there by achieving a series of key outcomes along the way over a given timeframe. It’s a high-level description of the “What is required?” and “Why is it required?”, and provides contextual information for the detailed implementation planning, i.e. the “How to deliver?”.
Similar to a street map, the navigation path can be articulated as a set of turn-by-turn instructions, such as complete Initiative X followed by Y then Z, or as a visualization showing a line from X to Y then to Z.
Most roadmaps are presented as visualizations – like the example above – because these are much easier to digest and contextualize.
Strategic roadmaps set out initiatives that must be implemented to deliver capability changes in order to achieve strategic goals or intent.
Product roadmaps plot a set of features or offerings that must be released to meet the organization’s vision and the customers’ expectations.
Technology roadmaps show a set of applications, infrastructure or technical capabilities that must be implemented or upgraded to meet the organization’s future requirements.
Marketing roadmaps comprise a set of events or campaigns that must be held to promote and achieve the organization’s sales and marketing goals.
Career roadmaps lay out a set of skills that must be developed, or roles to aim for, in order to reach a personal goal.
Strategic Roadmap Example
This example features three strategic themes: Customers & Growth, Products & Innovation, and Operational Efficiency. The strategic initiatives that the company must achieve in each year are along each theme.
Product Roadmap Example
In this example, the organization has a one-year roadmap to develop the user registration and subscription features of their product. These features correspond to transition of Product X from a single user file-based product to a multi-user and fully cloud product.
Technology Roadmap Example
This example shows an organization planning to transition their inhouse servers to the cloud and then to serverless solutions. In parallel with this transition, they will be implementing new data analytics and machine learning technologies.
Marketing Roadmap Example
This example shows how a marketing function have roadmapped the next two years. In it, they have considered a new brand strategy and marketing plan to build a strong digital marketing capability, which will support their key sales channel: major international conferences.
Career Roadmap Example
In this final example, John is a Solution Architect with aspirations to be a Chief Technology Officer of a small organization in five years. John knows that his career progression is not just a matter of updating his technical skills, so he also accounts for the need to develop soft skills and promote his personal brand.
An App for Building Roadmaps
The five examples above were all created using Jibility.
Jibility is a simple visual tool designed to make it quick and easy to build a roadmap. The app has been specifically designed to improve and accelerate the development of strategic roadmaps, but it also has the adaptability to be used for many other kinds of roadmap.