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.

What’s the best Project Roadmap presentation?

The best project roadmap presentation is one that tells your story simply and quickly. You must give a sense of time, the important project elements, and any key messages you want to highlight.
What is a project roadmap?

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

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Last Updated : October 15th, 2020

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