This article is dedicated to one of the most important tools for business and marketing. A “roadmap” is the object of our study. This is the most detailed article in which you will find out an answer to the question “what is a road map”, learn why it is used for, in what fields it is applied, and how to create a professional for your business.
What is the roadmap?
Let’s begin our discussion from the roadmap definition. The roadmap is a graphic representation of the business plan on which the main stages, key goals, milestones, and deadlines are depicted. This is the main document for implementing the business or marketing strategy. This is a multipurpose tool for planning and synchronizing work on any projects.
A successful start of a project is impossible without planning. A strategy is the basis of the plan, but for its implementation, you will need an auxiliary tool – this is a roadmap. The tool has long been used in industry and the development of complex technical products, but it is no less useful in internet marketing and project management.
One more point to consider is the difference between roadmap vs road map. In order not to confuse them, it should be said that these are synonyms. They can replace each other. Initially, the term “road map” was used. It meant a certain plan of action developed to achieve certain objectives. Lately, it was replaced by a fused version “roadmap”. They can be interrelated.
Where are roadmaps used?
According to their functions and fields of application, there are different types of roadmaps:
- These are scenarios for the development of a product or product line over time.
- In this case, road maps are created for technology development plans.
- Development schemes for entire industries, market segments, industry sectors.
- Action plans for the development of the company, achievement of key goals and indicators. Here, it is important not to confuse the roadmap with a business plan, since the first one is a strategic and long-term document.
- Training and learning programs. These include, for example, employee roadmaps – individual plans for improving skills and training.
- Project roadmaps. Quite frequently, managers, businessmen or office employees create a road map for project management. These include plans of project implementation, indicating the main stages, time limits, and a predetermined target corridor.
How to create the roadmap?
The process of creating roadmaps is called roadmapping. When considering the roadmapping definition, it is necessary to remember that before structuring information, it is necessary to think over its content. Thoroughly consider the topics and gather all the necessary data. It should include the following information:
+ Description of a company’s business model. First of all, you should indicate what type of service or marketing you want to provide. For example, an online store, an e-commerce model.
+ Business goals. At this stage, primary and secondary tasks and goals are determined. For example, the main objective is to double the margin, intermediate goals: increase conversion and repeat sales, reduce failures, returns, etc.
+ Terms of implementation. Next, it is necessary to set the time period for which the road map project is made. For example, the total period is three years, divided into quarters, analysis, and adjustment at marker points.
+ The target audience. This point includes information about your consumers. For instance, men and women from 35 to 55 years old, with a constant average income, active Internet users.
+ Conclusions on competitive analysis. Here, you should evaluate your position in comparison with your competitors. For example, the level of development corresponds to the average in the region but lags behind market leaders and federal aggregators.
+ Audit of the current site and Internet marketing.
+ Promotion channels and tools for working with them. Here, you should describe the tools and channels chosen for product promotion. For instance, SEO, SMM, content and video marketing.
In addition to the obligatory elements, you can add your own points to the roadmap.
What features does the roadmap should have?
- You must provide several ways to achieve the main goal.
- Long-term character. This is primarily a strategic planning tool.
- Economic effect. The map should clearly demonstrate the positive outcome of its implementation.
- There must be the possibility of adjustments and some flexibility.
- There should be uniform metrics for evaluating the results, accessible to all participants.
Now that you have a development strategy, deadlines, milestones, and objectives are defined, and actions are divided into stages, you can proceed directly to the compilation of the roadmap. You can do this in several ways: manually in spreadsheets, using presentations or special online services. Now, let’s consider each of the provided methods.
Utilities for roadmap creation
Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or other spreadsheet editors allow users to create layouts in the form of tables. With their help, you can compile ideas, initiatives, designate doers, set deadlines and milestones.
+ It is easy to create and update documents.
– A low level of visualization, which is insufficient to represent a full-scale strategic plan.
– Tables are a static document that requires manual updating.
In this option, you can use any program or service for presentations: for example, PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides.
+ A wide range of opportunities for visualization.
– A static document that requires manual updating.
These are professionally developed online services that allow creating roadmaps on the Internet.
+ Lots of opportunities for visualization.
+ Synchronous update for all team members and partners.
+ Wide functionality – allows you to connect a global strategy with the processes in the roadmap.
+ The ability to integrate with third-party services.
– These are paid services.
– Time to study is required.
Convenient professional tools for roadmap creation using presentations (Free Templates)
Do you want to use a premade PowerPoint, Google Slides or Keynote roadmap template for presentation creation? Presentations serve as one of the most popular and useful tools for roadmap creation. Although there are few options, hundreds of employees prefer the use of presentations. That is why we want to make a brief overview of a professional online service on which you’ll find dozens of hundreds of premade slides for your presentations.
HiSlide.io is a real library of professional high-quality presentation templates. Multipurpose elements for different topics and types of projects are offered on the site. Here is the link to the section where all roadmap templates are gathered. There, you can find any Keynote, PowerPoint, or Google Slide roadmap template you need.
Below, we provide some links to the most popular ones. These are either separate slides or premade packs. What is more pleasant is that some of them are absolutely free!
This is a roadmap presentation example in ppt. The template helps create roadmaps and visualize all the necessary information. It is a unique slide that has a high quality, equipped with all built-in tools, and can be used for different projects and presentations. What is more pleasant is that you can download the element in one click and absolutely for free.
Visualization is an important part of topic consideration. That is why it is necessary to know how to vividly and clearly display information. This is one more free product roadmap template that will help create comprehensible roadmaps. It reminds of a timeline where on a long bar points with text blocks are labeled. The template serves as perfect assistance for hundreds of businessmen and office employees.
This is a great pack that comprises 21 unique slides. Different types of roadmap templates are gathered in the pack. Due to such a variety of elements, users will be able to choose a unique slide for every new project. This pack is designed for PowerPoint but if you want to get a roadmap Keynote template, you’ll also find it on the site. Roadmap templates are vivid, have creative structures and designs. It is a useful tool for businessmen and managers. It is obvious that among such a diversity of slides, you’ll find the right one for your presentation.
Here is another free slide for a roadmap presentation in ppt. It is a rather vivid element and will diversify your presentation. A curved road, on which cars are depicted and points are labeled, is provided with text blocks. This visual element will draw attention and make presentations livelier. In addition, it is a free element. Every user can download it and try its quality and ease of use.
This roadmap template consists of 20 unique slides. Multicolored unique elements with creative designs will definitely attract attention and diversify your digital projects. Due to a great variety of slides gathered in the pack, it is possible to choose different elements for various projects. Slides perfectly visualize information and look excellent on all types of equipment.
Although here, we provide links to exclusively PowerPoint elements, on the site, there are identical templates for three most popular presentation utilities. Thus, site visitors have an opportunity to choose any PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides roadmap template.
Summarizing: what should you remember about roadmaps?
The roadmap provides flexible management and improvement of each process through the use of the Deming Cycle (PDCA), the abbreviation stands for “Plan-Do-Check-Act”. The Deming cycle is an abbreviation of scientific methodology:
- Planning – the definition of strategy, goal setting.
- Fulfillment – the identification of the main milestones and steps, listing the first actions.
- Verification – monitoring the effectiveness of the actions taken.
- Correction and action – audit, adjustments, and formation of the standard.
Roadmaps will come in handy in the following cases:
- You start a new project.
- A company or its workflow has undergone significant changes.
- Competition has intensified.
- It is necessary to draw up a strategic plan for considering competitive development.
The roadmap is the main document of a product manager or a project manager. Its task is to convey ideas and progress in work to the customer or team members. The roadmap should be sufficiently comprehensible and flexible so that it will be possible to clarify steps and update plans.
The roadmap needs to be adapted to different audiences:
- For customers and partners – the road map focuses on the main benefits of the product. Since this is an external document, it should be visually attractive, understandable, and accessible.
- For sales managers – the emphasis is on the available features and customer benefits.
- For developers, the focus is on sprints, breakpoints, releases, and features.
Also, documents differ for different development methodologies – Agile or Waterfall. At Agile, goals are focused on customer satisfaction and consist of quarters, which are divided by sprints. Teams work simultaneously, the document itself is more flexible. The roadmaps for teams that work based on the Waterfall method are focused on business goals, cover a one- or two-year period.
As you see, roadmaps serve as a useful strategic tool for marketing and business. Its field of use is not limited by these two spheres. Roadmaps can be found in other spheres. Nevertheless, in business, they perform a useful function. There are several tools for roadmap creation and display. We hope that we gave a detailed answer to your question: “what is project roadmap” and you do not have questions anymore.