The Startup Guy with a Digital Marketing head.
Project Roadmap: How is it Different from the Project Plan?
Before understanding how a project roadmap works, it is necessary to ascertain the aspects of a project plan. Project managers create plans which include all the task-level insights and details of the concerned venture, paired cohesively with the exact timelines. In simpler words, a project plan is more of a granular representation of the processes, best used by the project team as an internal resource.
Image Source: Infodiagram.com
A project roadmap, on the other hand, is more of a strategic view of the project with approximate timelines, prepared specifically for the stakeholders, top-level leadership, and coordinating with other adjoining teams.
It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that both the project plan and roadmap are necessary while defining project management standards and guidelines. Besides that, if you are a project manager who is looking to define the scope of an assignment for the executives, without having them delve deep into the technicalities of the project, a roadmap comes across as a handy resource.
How Does a Cohesive IT Roadmap Look?
Unlike a project plan that chalks out all the minute details from a more technical perspective, the roadmap needs to be more graphical while talking more about the goal and associated deliverables. Here are some of the most essential aspects of an IT project roadmap:
- Project objectives
- Existing goals, both long and short term
- Essential deliverables
- Project milestones to track the progress
- Existing risks
- Project dependencies
Significance of the Roadmap Entities
Every IT project has some sort of strategic importance, like financial gains, philanthropic ideologies, or anything else. The roadmap considers these objectives and ensures that the team is committed towards the same, not necessarily in a planned way. Therefore, even if the project plans change, due to cost-cutting, revamped budgeting, or any other reason, the roadmap is most likely to remain constant.
Even if the task-centric, minute details change due to a shift in priorities, the roadmap is expected to cover the same, in the form of project milestones. Besides that, the project deliverables, risks, and dependencies often need to be conveyed to the stakeholders and high-level executives, who can then identify priorities, investments, and overall expectations.
Each one of the mentioned elements of an IT project roadmap offers a perspective regarding the progress of the project. Top-level professionals aren’t always interested in the technical status and mostly look for strategic-level updates, best voiced by the roadmap.
Image Source: Pinterest.com
IT Roadmap Tools, Resources, and Templates
If you are serious about an upcoming IT project, you will first consider a roadmap and then move onto the finer details. As mentioned, developing the roadmap helps you envision the end-result of the project, something that stakeholders would be interested in. However, for presenting the roadmap for evaluation, you must always resort to high-functioning templates.
Regardless of the preferred resource, it is advisable to stick to the same for a significant period of time, as organizations who keep switching between apps and tools experience an almost
Corroborating Project Management Strategies using Roadmaps
When IT projects are concerned, roadmaps are difficult to create as there would be stakeholders who would want to learn a bit more about the technical whereabouts of the product or service development process. This is where exceptional project templates are required to pair the technical details with the strategic objectives, to create the most holistic roadmap ever.
Tools like Roadmunk are extremely efficient as they allow you to create a basic roadmap while supporting extrapolated, technical viewing, if and when desired.
Updates, Updates, and More Updates!!!
Each one of the mentioned aspects, if taken care of, can help you create a complete IT project roadmap. While we did mention everything, right from the segregation, processes, roadmaps essentials, and tools, it is necessary to keep the roadmap updated.
Make sure you update it based on the existing status of the project, addition or removal of team members, changing threat landscape, and especially the evolving dependencies in the post-COVID19 era.
Lead image Source: RoadmapPlanner.io