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Roadmapping: Implementing Strategy

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Roadmaps change and fluctuate based on strategy, capacity and based on what was and what wasn’t delivered, but it is important to know manage your roadmap against the business needs, not the calendar.   To that end, I just took a video on demand session a couple of weeks ago or so in my spare time, but I wanted to get it done since in fact I’m starting a new gig and more education is always a good thing.  So with a little extra time on my calendar lately, I was able to sit through the Pragmatic Roadmapping session which was a very reasonable online course which made me think a bunch about planning and managing successfully towards a strategic initiative.

Roadmaps: The Vision Translator

Everyone wants to be a visionary and create a roadmap isn’t the time for vision – it is time for distillation of the existing strategy goals, plans and vision.    Another way to look at it is sometimes you just need to manage the business to get things done and as product manager with little authority, but all the accountability having an executive approved artifact can be a good tool to get everyone aligned.  Ultimately, The roadmap should connect strategy to execution –  where big ideas meet math, time and priority.    Strategy translated into revenue is the roadmap, revenue goals aligned to delivery time lines are releases and features to drive revenue are sprint, iterations or builds – whatever it is in your software shop.

Release Plans are Roadmap Derivatives

I got to start some release planning at the old gig and realized that it appeared that we jumped from big ideas to features.   In this mode, roadmaps are schedules, not strategic plans or commitments.  Don’t get me wrong, release planning is a vital step in delivering on the strategic goals and visions for the business and is a very exciting time, but it should be how you translate an agree to plan into action.

Roadmaps: Committing to the Business, Committing to the Market and your Customers

Growth is one of the most exciting things to pursue in technology, but requires plans, deliverables, commitments and accountability.   This is where the roadmap fits in.  Many organizations invest significant time and energy into revitalizing their strategy, but often fall back into the quarterly or semi-annual release planning mode and not looking at the deliverables required to position successful growth.  Revenue, dates, systems, people, products and customers are all part of the roadmap development.

The video which Steve presented covers not just delivering features and time lines, but focuses on connecting strategy to project/tactics.  One way to look at a roadmap just might be as a commitment for product managers to the business and a tool for prioritizing delivery.  The roadmap essentially becomes the contract which product managers manage against to ensure they are driving towards the desired goals and deliverables for the business.

If this is of interest to you, you can use the following discount code for $100 off – S06RM09.  I think it was originally god for like 30 days and due to my slacking there is probably only like 7 days left – so get on it!

Overall it was a very productive session on focusing on delivering on the strategic themes for the business…it definitely made me think more about roadmaps than I have in a long time.  Many thank to the folks at Pragmatic Marketing for putting this together and letting me share with y’all a little discount.