Friday, February 26, 2010

How To: Create a roadmap

Roadmaps are an essential communication tool to help an organisation understand how to successfully transition from the current state, via defined transition points to a desired target (future) state.

They can be used to illustrate the key aspects of a major initiative or whole programs of work. The key attributes of any Roadmap include: the timelines, resources, and the sequence of the key initiatives or stages within an initiative.

Here are some tips for creating a Roadmap:

  • Make it easy to understand and at the right level of detail for your intended audience. Often, multiple Roadmaps or 'views' are required to communicate the right detail for different audiences.

  • Always include the 'time horizon' - this is a key attribute or all Roadmaps. Typically they are a multi year view for (say) a program of works, and many months to a few years for the key stages of a major initiative.

  • Clearly identify workstreams, their composition and the relationships between workstreams. This allows people to focus on the 'building blocks' of your Roadmap and the incremental steps to achieving the overall target.

  • Include quick wins and 'low hanging fruit' to pave the way for later stages defined in the Roadmap. Equally, ensure that the goals and benefits for proceeding beyond these initial stages are clear.

  • Create themes to aid in understanding the Roadmap and its major components. 'Catchy' themes around key motivations, benefits, strategies, business drivers, etc. can help create common understanding and drive support for the initiatives in the Roadmap.

Here is a sample Roadmap illustrating the tips above...

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