Are product roadmaps possible? It’s an old hat. Are project roadmaps still relevant? These make sense. What are business roadmaps? These are not common.
This is a common starting point. It is not common to associate roadmaps with “business” topics. It makes sense if we return to the idea of what a roadmap is in general.
There are multiple steps that will get you there. How can we make this happen? This is the question of a business roadmap. It visually explains how everything will fit together to make this vision a reality.
What is a Business Roadmap, and how can it help you?
A business plan is a key element of any business. A business plan is often used to obtain funding from investors or banks. The plan will help you identify potential opportunities, analyze the market and solve these problems.
The plan will then outline how the company can approach this opportunity in a new way. The execution details will be covered. Before getting to the financials, it may touch on the management team.
Business plans are text-heavy, dense documents. They are not visually appealing, except for some graphs and charts to help you get your points across. They are also very light on the execution part of things.
Here is where business plans can shine. They can be used to complement your business plan and bring it to life. The business plan doesn’t give much direction. The roadmap outlines what must happen, when it should happen, and who has to do it.
A business roadmap makes it easy to see how different roles, tasks, or responsibilities are connected. It’s easy to see and update, rather than reading through pages of text or going through the details of project plans.
They are essential to a business roadmap and are not like product roadmaps where dates can be discouraged. Logistics are the key to business roadmaps. Product roadmaps are more about logistics.
A roadmap is a detailed plan that outlines everything needed to make a business plan a reality. It should be carefully constructed and given careful consideration. Individual contributors and stakeholders can see the whole picture.
It shows the isolated activities of various departments within the larger context of the overall plan. It is easy to see the knock-on effects of delays and disruptions.
Beyond the Business Plan
Each business roadmap does not have to cover the entire company. They can also map out smaller topics.
All businesses must manage transformational activities. These processes can be made more efficient and easier by creating business roadmaps.
Sometimes, businesses need to make significant changes. It could be a shift in technology, suppliers, business model, or a new strategy for going to market. These kinds of projects involve many moving parts and multiple departments. A roadmap is a great tool to indicate who is responsible for what and when.
A roadmap can be a great asset to businesses when they are looking to expand their capabilities. This could include creating a new business unit, launching a new product, and supporting new platforms and partners. It’s great for creating a business roadmap because of the many dependencies and teams involved.
Also Read – Free Public Roadmap Tools
The Key Ingredients of a Business Roadmap
The audience can understand only useful business roadmaps. These aspects should be included as a baseline to make it easier for people to consume them.
Breakdown by department
It is beneficial to show what each department is working on for several reasons. The first is that it might help to highlight resourcing issues. This could lead to a reshuffle of priorities or the reassignment of tasks.
It helps other departments in the company to see what their colleagues are doing. It’s no longer a matter of “we’re working hard while they eat bon-bons” when everything is clearly visible for all to see. The visibility also increases accountability. Everyone is aware of what they are expected to do and why.
Describe the purpose of each activity
It’s great to be able to identify what everyone is working on. It’s still useful if there is a reason for the task. Business roadmap users get more context by grouping each activity in a category that identifies its purpose.
This is done by linking each activity to a strategic objective. It’s easy to see how each activity compares with the other during a given time period if it is color-coded with a strategic goal.
Milestones are usually viewed as new product releases or software updates on a roadmap. A milestone on a business plan can be any achievement or key event.
You could hit a revenue target, attend an industry event or trade show, establish a strategic partnership, meet important people, launch in a new area, etc. Any result that is a notable result of the efforts of all the involved teams. The roadmap is enhanced by the inclusion of milestones, which can add context and a sense of urgency.
Tips to Create a Successful Business Roadmap
Although business roadmaps may be different from product roadmaps in many ways, the basic principles of planning still apply.
Step 1: Vision, strategy, and goals
Business roadmaps are more execution-focused than a product roadmap and will likely have more detail. They are still meant to provide a picture. A vision of where you want it to be, a strategy for getting there, and some goals are all part of the picture.
Although the vision is not necessarily a finished product in this instance, similar conventions about what makes a great road map are still valid. The tasks in a business map should represent the steps needed to make that vision a reality per the business plan.
Step 2: Tell a Story
We have often spoken about how important it is for roadmaps to be narrative and that their creators be storytellers. The same holds true for business plans.
There is a problem to be solved and a goal for the company to reach. To get to the destination, there are steps that each part of the organization must follow. The business roadmap can paint this picture. The business roadmap can help you see how each step of the journey builds upon the previous to tell the complete story.
Step 3: Use themes
A great roadmap also includes themes for grouping things together. A business roadmap will require more concurrent activity than a product roadmap, but themes still play a significant role.
A business roadmap might include themes such as “setting the stage to transformation,” “updating key systems,” “going to market,” or “engaging channel partner.”
Step 4: Get clear results for each item.
A positive, quantifiable outcome should be provided for any significant item to make your business plan. What are we able to do now that we could not do before? Why is this important if it’s not obvious?
You now know what a business plan is. Your company might not be familiar with business roadmaps. They are a powerful tool for consolidating a lot of information into an easily-digestible, easily-visible format.