Roadmaps in the PMO: connecting strategy to execution

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

Roadmaps can help your organization to execute your strategy in the best possible way.

Roadmaps, timelines, and planning software are part of getting the strategy to the desired result.

A good roadmap links all the initiatives of the organization’s projects, processes, and products. It doesn’t just tell you where to go, but it can highlight the roadblocks to get there.

In this way, roadmaps are planning and communication rolled into one. It doesn’t just show what you’re going to do it also articulates what must be changed, why it must be changed, and in what sequence the change should be carried out.

The benefit of roadmaps

  • Provide focus and direction
  • Enable strategic thinking
  • Clarify objectives
  • Help demonstrate value
  • Align the organization

In short, it allows all the stakeholders to plan according to their needs while still fulfilling the organization’s strategy.

How to design a good roadmap

Designing your roadmap happens after the strategy has been defined but before execution.

The detail level can vary, depending on what you want to show, such as illustrating initiatives and visualizing deadlines in different parts of the organization or on a more detailed project level.

“With a roadmap, you can look at the imminent initiatives and see where the current priorities lie – this means you can see if what you’re doing aligns with where you want to go.”

There are different roadmap types that can be used depending on what you’re highlighting:

  • Classic roadmaps: the roadmaps that provide an overview of all initiatives on a timeline. The benefit of roadmaps here is that they can link the strategy across products to include projects and other initiatives.
  • Strategy roadmaps: roadmaps that are divided according to strategy, e.g., OKR, giving you an overview of how the strategy is supported and if it’s evenly balanced.
  • Product roadmaps: these are pretty popular. They’re a great way to show the lifecycle of a product, from launch to development to end-of-life – but less interesting for the PMO.
  • Custom roadmaps: software that can filter and change the roadmap view allows you to customize roadmaps to show what’s important, e.g., filtering out maintenance projects.

Once you’ve decided which roadmap is right for you, then there’s a couple of simple steps to get you from strategy to roadmap, ready for execution.

Step 1: Set a goal for your organization

Your organization should have clear, measurable goals that allow you to determine whether the initiatives support your organization.

We recommend using OKRs if you’re in a hybrid organization to define where your organization is going and then set up clear metrics that can track your progress. This ensures that the roadmap will continuously provide value.

Step 2: Prioritize & balance initiatives

All projects and initiatives should be prioritized and balanced beforehand. Roadmaps might illuminate difficulties, but they should be done according to budget, resources, and strategy.

Step 3: Visualize

Once you have all your projects and initiatives, it’s time to decide on the visualization. Most people choose something that looks like a Gantt chart because the timeline gives insight into the investment and any dependencies that might be necessary to mitigate.

However, the visualization could be anything that supports your organization in understanding the various milestones, projects, or roadblocks.

An example of a roadmap visualized as a Gantt chart in Power PPM.

Step 4: Communicate & Adjust

With the new visualization, you can communicate the direction to the organization. The roadmap helps people in the organization to identify unknown issues or spot potentials that haven’t been seen before.

This step is also the most exciting because this is where the individual departments form their own plans based on the roadmap.

Step 5: Monitor your roadmap

Using the steps and metrics, regular check-ins with the roadmap means that you can always identify if you’re going off track. Sometimes strategies change, or projects deliver unexpected results. With the roadmap, it becomes easier to identify the consequences of this – and do something about it!

Software & tools for roadmaps

Roadmaps require a lot of data and information on current projects. We always recommend doing the work to have a full and comprehensive understanding of current and upcoming initiatives and projects.

With SPM solutions, like Power PPM, it’s possible to do just that. All your data is available within the platform, including information on risk, stakeholders, projected costs, resources, and anything else that might be relevant for your organization.

With Power PPM, you can design your own roadmap according to which overview you want, be it the classic view, strategy, custom view, or product roadmaps. It taps into the information you already have, and initiatives can be easily adjusted or modified and updated in real-time.

If you’re looking to learn more, click here to get your free demo of how to work with roadmaps in our strategic portfolio management solution, Power PPM.

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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.

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