What is a Project Roadmap? Roadmap Basics for Beginners

What is a project roadmap?

This guide will explain the important parts of a Project Roadmap. It includes workstreams, activities, timelines, risk levels and other elements needed for an effective project roadmap.

What is a Project Roadmap used for?

1. Quickly communicates project plans and goals.
2. Manages stakeholder expectations.
3. Generates a shared understanding across the teams involved.
4. Communicates plans with other important teams/organisations.

What is a Project Roadmap?

It is a simple diagram format, that shows your project plans over time.Step-by-step Keynote Roadmap Template Example
IMPORTANT: A Project Roadmap IS NOT the place for detailed project plans and detailed information.

What does a Project Roadmap include?

1. Must Have: The Project Goals articulated; at least in the deliverables listed.
2. Must Have: A timeline – to show when things will happen.
3. Must Have: The high level titles for the big deliverables (don’t get into the detail!!).
4. Should Have: The workstreams in separate “Swim Lanes”.
5. Should Have: Milestones of key events, when you expect them.
6. Could Have: Areas of high risk.
7. Could Have: Areas where you have dependencies.

What are the Key Characteristics of a Project Roadmap?

It gives a sense of the Project Goals: Either explicitly in plain words: “The goal is …”.
It shows the plans for a project in simple terms: not too detailed – just the high-level titles! (keep to 4 or less in each workstream).
It fits on 1 side of paper (or 1 slide in a presentation) to keep it simple!
It shows project plans alongside a timeline.
You can read it and understand it in 3 minutes or less.
It avoids acronyms and team jargon, so that anyone can understand it!
It has your name on it – so people can contact you with questions.

Step-by-Step guide to creating a Roadmap

See our Creating a Roadmap guide here.

Creating a Roadmap can have useful side-effects

The process of creating a roadmap, with key project stakeholders and team members, can be a very useful exercise for your team, because it:-

  1. Ensures that the team and stakeholders understand capacity
  2. Forces priority decisions
  3. Promotes a shared understanding in the wider team

Roadmap Examples and Samples

This Transition Plan Powerpoint template is the perfect way to show your plans and important business milestones. Show worksteams, milestones,…

This Business Roadmap Template includes business planning Workstreams, risk level, SWOT, PESTLE, Timeline, Milestones and two different styles so that…

The Microsoft Excel Transition Plan Template presents your transition in simple roadmap graphic, so that anyone can understand it rapidly.…

This Keynote Roadmap Template contains 3 simple, MAC compatible Roadmaps. Easily editable on MAC Keynote. The design is neutral to…

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Last Updated : June 18th, 2020

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