How to Build Better Roadmaps

PMO & Governance
Simon Brandstrup Sørensen
Product Owner of Power PPM - Projectum

A good roadmap is born from a clear strategy.

With it, you can communicate the direction and goals of the company to stakeholders and align the organization around a common vision.

A bad roadmap is the opposite. It has no clear connection or aim. It is a list of disconnected activities that may result in profit but with no real strategy and no opportunity for growth.

So, how do you avoid building a bad roadmap and instead ensure you’re using roadmaps right in your organization? Let’s look at some common mistakes and how to avoid them.

THE PROBLEM: You treat your roadmap like a timeline or a plan

A timeline or a plan is a definition of activities on a timeline with a specific outcome in mind. It’s the how, not the why.

THE SOLUTION: Use a roadmap to align priorities with your strategy.

Don’t just indicate when tasks are completed; explain why they matter. Your roadmap serves as your communication platform, presenting the business direction to your organization, external partners, and end-users.

Your roadmap is a communication tool

Implementing a strategic roadmap often involves change, which can be met with resistance within the organization. To manage this effectively and ensure successful implementation, you should use your roadmap. Your roadmap is a communication tool: It’s your way of presenting to the organization, externals, or end users where things are headed for the entire business. Managing this change effectively is essential to the roadmap’s successful implementation – and to do that, you must go way beyond the what and into the why.

THE PROBLEM: Your stakeholders don’t get it

Bad communication makes it hard to sell the idea to your stakeholders.

THE SOLUTION: Visualize your roadmaps.

Analyze your stakeholders and assess the visualization that makes it easier to understand. Roadmaps based on real-time data are great because they allow you to drill down into data to better answer your stakeholders’ questions and improve understanding. For example, in Power PPM, we’ve even included dependencies so you can see how everything is connected – connected to project data.

THE PROBLEM: You don’t have a clear strategy.

Without a clear strategy, your roadmap is just a list of activities that may or may not take place, but there is no real purpose, making it difficult to decide between initiatives, ideas, or whether to keep or cut running projects.

THE SOLUTION: Engage with your strategy.

Before you think about which initiatives to run, projects to cut, or ideas to implement, you need to set a strategy for the organization. This allows the roadmap to function as a link between strategy and execution.

When your strategy is in place, you can use the roadmap to identify which activities, resources, and results you need in order to achieve the strategy. For each initiative, you can ask if this supports the strategy. Or does it support a project that is important for our strategy? That creates the foundation for a roadmap that actually gets you where you want to go.

THE PROBLEM: You treat your roadmap like a static document

You forget to update your roadmap even as situations change or new information is available.

THE SOLUTION: Regularly keep your roadmap up-to-date

A strategic roadmap should be revisited and revised regularly based on new data, changes in strategic objectives, or shifts in the external environment. However, keeping the roadmap updated can be a significant challenge if it’s in a PowerPoint or hidden in a folder somewhere. With an SPM solution, such as Power PPM, you can always pull the latest data so your roadmap is updated based on the newest knowledge and results.

Building better roadmaps

Building roadmaps is an ongoing practice that requires a deep understanding of your organization, the market potential, and strategic work. The right PPM solutions can assist in building roadmaps by providing the data and creating visualizations that are easy to understand and drill down into. So you can make better roadmaps that execute your strategy.

No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
No items found.
Simon Brandstrup Sørensen
Product Owner of Power PPM - Projectum

Simon Brandstrup Sørensen serves as the Product Owner of Power PPM, where he excels at translating customer needs into actionable product improvements. With nearly a decade in Project Portfolio Management, his driving force is a deep understanding of user requirements. Simon is committed to continuous learning and innovation in processes, technology, and team dynamics to deliver a Power PPM experience that truly advances your business objectives.

Read next...

show us where it hurts.

Get in touch with our brilliant team and share your current challenges and we'll share how we think we can help.
Get in touch