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?
A Project Roadmap is a simple presentation of project ambitions and goals alongside a timeline. It tells a story of the project plan, and communicates important project information quickly.
IMPORTANT: A Project Roadmap IS NOT the place for detailed project plans and detailed information.
What is a Project Roadmap used for?
- Quickly communicates project plans and goals
- Manages stakeholder expectations
- Generates a shared understanding across the teams involved
- Communicates plans with other important teams/organisations
What does a Project Roadmap include?
- Must Have: The Project Goals articulated; at least in the deliverables listed
- Must Have: A timeline – to show when things will happen
- Must Have: The high level titles for the big deliverables (don’t get into the detail!!)
- Should Have: The workstreams in separate “Swim Lanes”
- Should Have: Milestones of key events, when you expect them
- Could Have: Areas of high risk
- Could Have: Areas where you have dependencies
Key Characteristics of a Project Roadmap
- It gives a sense of the Project Goals:
- Either explicitly in plain words “The goal is …”
- Or in the deliverables listed
- It shows the plans for a project in simple terms:
- not too detailed
- Just the high-level titles for each deliverable
- You should not have more than 4 per year for any workstream
- It is on 1 side of paper (or 1 slide in a presentation) to keep it simple!
- It shows project plans alongside a timeline
- It shows the order of the deliverables; what’s first, and what comes next!
- You can read it and understand it in 3 minutes or less
- Anyone who picks it up can understand what it is about:
- The titles and deliverables are in plain language
- It avoids acronyms and team jargon
- 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:-
- Ensures that the team and stakeholders understand capacity
- Forces priority decisions
- Promotes a shared understanding in the wider team
Roadmap Examples and Samples