In this video, I answer the question, what is a Project Roadmap? And I also look at why we use them, how they differ from a Gantt Chart, and how to create a Roadmap.
This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy
Project Roadmap Templates for PowerPoint, SLides, or Keynote
The ‘What’ of a Project Roadmap
What is a Project Roadmap
A project roadmap is a visual overview of the project’s goals, benefits realization, major work streams, and key milestones, presented on a timeline.
It is a strategic tool, so can also include other things that help create a high-level understanding of your project. So, you may also include things like resources, risk, dependencies, and deliverables.
Why Do We Use Project Roadmaps?
There are many good reasons for using a Project Roadmap. It will help you to:
- Articulate your ideas
- Clarify those ideas
- Identify project priorities, key milestones, and dependencies within and outside your project
- Focus on strategic tier objectives
- Convey important information quickly and in one view for briefings and strategic discussion. This will help your to communicate ideas and expectations with your team and with your stakeholders
- Coordinate resources with other teams.
How does a Project Roadmap Differ from a Gantt Chart?
A Gantt Chart typically works at the task level, with ‘rolled-up’ summaries. Its purpose is to visualize all the detail of your plan.
Roadmaps work at the level of full functionality deliverables and significant outcomes (sometimes with some narrative that breaks them into their key components). They offer a high-level, strategic view that avoids the day-to-day tasks.
So, it’s largely a matter of degree.
Also, Gantt Charts have strictly linear time scales (ie the same distance on the chart always means the same amount of time).
Roadmaps have no formalism, so they can – and sometimes do – adopt the rolling-wave approach that near-term timeframes are shown with greater degrees of detail and cover more space, while longer-term events are compressed into smaller distances.
Because these plans and roadmaps both have a different, but valuable, purpose, project managers should use them both.
First, develop your roadmap to show a strategic overview of your project. Then break the strategic goals and milestones into the task-level details of the project plan.
The ‘How’ of a Project Roadmap
What Goes into a Project Roadmap?
What you put into your roadmap needs to focus on only what is most essential – remember, it is a high-level, strategic overview. So, this list is of items you may consider. But only include what really matters to you, your stakeholders, and your project.
- Goals, Objectives, and other success measures
- Key milestones, such as critical delivery dates, or internal and external deadlines
- Project timeline
- Delivery of major project benefits – and of key deliverables.
- Resources and key individuals
- Significant initiatives, activities, major workstreams, and project phases
- Major project risks
How to Create a Project Roadmap
Develop your Project Roadmap before you create a detailed project plan. It is a great tool to brief your team at your project Kick-off Meeting.
When you create your Project Roadmap, here are the essential steps:
- Break down your project into phases and workstreams.
- Map these out against a timeline in quarters or, at most detail, months.
- Identify dependencies between work streams or phases and between these and external events.
- Identify key benefits and deliverables, and when they will be delivered (quarter- or month ends). Add in other Project milestones.
- Add additional information that team members and other stakeholders may need. Consider having alternate views that highlight different information.
- Keep your roadmap updated.
Recommended Videos to Help with Planning
Carefully curated video recommendations for you:
- What is a Gantt Chart? | Video
- How to Create a Gantt Chart in 9 Easy Steps | Video
- The Key Deliverable of Your Project Plan | Video
- Project Planning Process – How to Build Effective Project Plans | Video
- Building a Project Plan – Conversation with Kristina Kushner | Video
- How to Use Machine Learning in Project Estimating, Scheduling, & Planning
Recommended Articles to Help with Planning
- Project Planning Process: Navigate the Many Steps You Need
- 12 Project Planning Mistakes… and How to Fix Them
- Beyond Gantt Charts: How to Boost your Project with the Critical Chain Method
- How to Restore Order: Your Ultimate Guide to Project Replanning
What Kit does a Project Manager Need?
I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own.
Note that the links are affiliated.
Learn Still More
For more great Project Management videos, please subscribe to the OnlinePMCourses YouTube channel.
If you want basic Management Courses – free training hosted on YouTube, with 2 new management lessons a week, check out our sister channel, Management Courses.
For more of our Project Management videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.
For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management.