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Roadmaps and Roadmapping

Roadmapping enables a team to plan and execute a path to achieve their objectives, just as a roadmap enables a traveler to decide among alternative routes to reach a destination. Roadmaps link strategy to future actions and explicitly incorporate a plan for needed capabilities and technologies to be in place at the right times.
  • Product-Technology Roadmaps link market and competitive strategy to product plans to technology strategy with quantitative targets and plans for achieving objectives.
  • Industry Roadmaps provide a shared industry vision and the path for the industry to achieve that vision.
  • Science and Technology Roadmaps enable teams to link applications, technical challenges, and technology development for science-driven technologies.
  • Capability Roadmaps help service organizations -- such as manufacturing or IT -- create plans for future capabilities and technologies to meet the needs of customers or clients.
A facilitated roadmapping process directs a team to set their strategy based on the most important market/customer needs and to determine linked product drivers, product feature evolution, and technology plans. The roadmap includes future actions needed to implement the strategy along with key risks to the plan. The roadmap serves as a guide during the team's journey, enabling them to recognize and act on events that require a change in direction. The roadmap also communicates the plan to decision makers, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. In an organization, roadmaps provide the basis for integrated management of product and technology portfolios. Learning by doing helps an organization acquire roadmapping skills and instill a culture of collaborative planning.

An important part of roadmapping is creating visualizations of your plans and the relationships of plan elements. We've worked to improve roadmap visualization and find ways to make visualizations of complex information readable and maintainable. We developed and used visualization tools to enhance facilitated roadmapping processes.

A Roadmap Template
A roadmap includes four major sections. Drivers link the sections connecting the product and technology plans to the market and competitive strategy.
Product Technology Roadmap

More on roadmap architecture: A common roadmap framework

More on Roadmapping:

Roadmapping metrics: Measuring the Value of Roadmapping: A Roadmapping Scorecard
A short essay on value: Ten Reasons to Roadmap