Every organization needs some clear guidance with regard to its own goals, mission, and long-term aspirations. Without clear guidance in place, it might never be really easy for the said companies to achieve their objectives and stay operational indefinitely. That is where the roadmap comes in.
But just what is a roadmap? In what ways can it help an organization reach its intended corporate objectives? What are the various steps that are involved in drafting a roadmap? Could there be some hidden dangers of not implementing one for your organization? We answer these and many more here below.
What is a Roadmap?
For a start, a roadmap is a strategic masterplan that spells out the goals that an organization is supposed to achieve within a given timeframe as well as the corresponding desired outcomes. These goals are also accompanied by the steps that have to be taken to achieve them.
Other than its core role of spelling out the direction that a company is supposed to head, this document also serves a couple of secondary purposes. It acts as a conduit through which the long-term goals of a company may be communicated and channeled to every player in the said firm, to name but a few!
How a Roadmap Helps in Achieving Goals
A roadmap helps organizations in achieving their goals in several ways and means. Below are but a few of the many ways in which this strategic plan may facilitate the performance of a company in the long run:
Keep you posted on your progress
It keeps every stakeholder in the organization posted on the Progress of the firm. Each player may, at a glance, know where the company is at any given time and how long it might take to get where it is supposed to be. At the same time, it also stipulates the steps to be taken to get there.
Helps in mobilizing resources
Given that it displays every step, resource, and strategy that the company is supposed to take to get where it is supposed to, this roadmap plays a significant role in mobilizing the various stakeholders to achieve the corporate objectives of the firm. That way, each person gets to ‘read from the same script.’
Maintains your focus
A roadmap gives you every resource and direction you need to get where you are supposed to be. Thus, it indirectly aids you in maintaining your own focus as you move along. Chances of you straying and pursuing other non-essentials in the course of working out are hence severely diminished.
Aids in communications
The tool may also aid in disseminating crucial communications within an organizational structure. It simplifies everything that an organization stands for. Just by looking at it, any player within the organization can straightaway know where the said organization is at any given time and what it needs to do to get where it is supposed to.
Identifies flaws and gaps
Considering that it splits and lays bare every step that an organization is supposed to take to get wherever it is supposed to, the document may also aid in identifying gaps and other flaws in the system. Thus, it serves to minimize any confusion and unnecessary time wastage that often arises when executing an organizational goal.
Aligns investments and research with organizational goals
Its comprehensive nature also helps in aligning the investments and research together with the organizational goals and strategies. In doing this, it expedites the execution of those services, not to mention making it easier for the various stakeholders to work together.
Some tasks require consensus among the various stakeholders. Yet again, a roadmap helps them to reach this particular consensus. It does so primarily by displaying the paths that the firm is currently on, as well as what the various players ought to do to help the firm reach where it is supposed to be.
May be used for references
If in the course of executing the organizational goals, issues, or disputes arise, the roadmap template may be used for references. The various stakeholders and workers in that organization may refer to it for inspiration and guidance in just what ought to be done next.
How to Plan a Roadmap
Planning a roadmap is just as awesome as executing it. Moreover, how you plan the roadmap has a great say in the kind of experience you are naturally bound to reap from it. Here below, we showcase the steps involved in the planning the roadmap and putting it firmly in place:
Step I: Display your vision
Start by displaying your vision. It is the vision that is the long-term goal you plan to achieve in the long run. The vision is the one that gives you the fire and the focus you need to meet the objectives of your firm. Define it clearly to be able to know what to do to achieve the full end.
Step II: Spell out your Core Values
After your vision, comes the core values. These are the principles you intend to adhere to while attempting to achieve the long-term vision of your company. They also form the bedrock of how you intend to interact with the other stakeholders in the course of doing that.
Step III: List down the critical goals
Now break down the critical goals you plan to achieve or hit along your way as you work to achieve the vision you laid forth earlier. These goals have to be listed chronologically and the weights attached to them in terms of their relative importance.
Step IV: Explain the strategies you intend to use to achieve those ends
Delineating the goals in and of themselves is not enough. You have to go further down to explain the strategies you intend to make use of to achieve those ends. These strategies are the ones that shall offer guidance to the various stakeholders who shall be involved in executing them at a later date.
Step V: Demonstrate the tactics you intend to employ to do that
Other than merely listing the goals and steps, you have also to demonstrate the tactics you intend to employ to achieve them. The strategies have to be directly related to the goals themselves. You have to be mindful of the capacity of the various players in meeting and attaining those strategies.
Step VI: Identify some possible impediments to the attainment of your goals
Every goal is often subject to some impediments or roadblocks. You have to be mindful of these as well. Be honest and real with yourself here. Do not overlook any serious issue that might imperil the attainment of your goals. Just state them out forthright and know how to deal with the same.
Step VII: Point out some key milestones and when you plan to achieve them
Lastly, do point out some key milestones and when you plan to achieve them. These are goals that you must attain at specific timelines or intervals. They are the ones that infer your Progress and prove that you are actually on the right track.
Knowing how to draft a proper roadmap is definitely a wise thing to do. Unfortunately, many people lack the wherewithal needed to achieve this end and draft a proper roadmap. That is why the use of the templates is highly recommended. These templates basically contain the skeletons against which the finer details are filled.
They simplify the process of drafting the roadmap principally by providing rough sketches against which the finer details may be conveniently filled at a later date. Also, being simpler and easier to follow, they enable even a person who has no skill to be able to easily follow through and achieve an awesome end.
Accessibility Roadmap Template 01
Product Roadmap Template for Excel
Roadmap Template for PowerPoint
Sample Roadmap Template 04
Sample Roadmap Template 05
Differences between Roadmap, Backlist, and Task Management
Two other plans and documents are often confused with the roadmap. These are task management and backlist, respectively. Though often used interchangeably, these are not one and the same thing. They differ markedly in the following regards:
A roadmap is a plan or strategy that is intended to offer guidance in achieving a particular goal. It is broader and more comprehensive in scope as it incorporates every vital element that may be needed to fulfill those goals. Moreover, it is also long-term in nature.
It is a list of errant employees, suppliers, and stakeholders whom the company is not supposed to transact any business with going forward. Its scope is somewhat limited to the execution of tasks and does nothing significant in furthering the agenda of the organization. Nonetheless, it aids the firms in knowing who not to transact with.
Task management refers to the processes involved in managing the execution of a given task. It handles and oversees every aspect of a task ranging from the planning to the testing to the tracking and finally reporting of the task. It is somewhat limited to the execution of the project, unlike the roadmap that is broad.
Our painstaking guide into the roadmap templates comes to an end there. We now hope and indeed expect you to appreciate them better and make good use of the same altogether. As you may see, the document is great for any organization as it acts as a guide to its functioning.
Having done our part, we now pass the ball to you. We ask you to incorporate them into your strategies as fast as you possibly can. How soon do you plan to set out to use the same? Do give us the feedback in the comments section hereunder.