/ Roadmaps

Roadmaps Complete: Final Artifacts

But how do I turn this into something I can send my executive team?

Honestly you shouldn't have to. Your executive team should be smart enough to be involved in the motive creation, and be observing the approach definition process. Depending on the company they may be highly involved in that part of the process. The key to turning this material into something your less connected executives might recognize is in the early alignment stages.

If you are actually executing against a model like this, you are producing at least one Rally Point per iteration to show your work. More importantly you are marching clearly, step by step, toward an approach that people felt good about prioritizing highly. That approach represents one way of solving a problem important enough that you have written it into a company level motive, something no one can argue with.

The easiest way to do this is start putting your motives out on a time line. At this stage, all you can do is show a start date, not an end. You don't know how long it will take to you to finish but you should be able to identify when you can start. Start can be as soon as you have a team available to begin defining approaches and executing.

If you only have the capacity to work on a single motive at a time, that's ok, just reflect that, and have an area where you store your motives for later. Also remember, because you are working on things in the teams that are directly aligned with a motive, and are designed to be a single step, not longer than an interaction, you can plan for a sort of motive time slicing, and move toward several. If you do this kind of splitting, it's not "done" at the motive level, just directional. We are making progress on this problem, and will prioritize it until a specific date, or when we hit our goal, whichever comes first.

Layering approaches in below the motives should give you a second layer of granularity. Approaches are likely to be big enough that your customers will notice them, but small enough that you should see real, tangible progress week over week.

Our motives are big enough that you could easily put on a roadmap document something like:

This year we will vastly improve and simplify checkout experience by:

  • Combining multiple screens into a much smaller number
  • Introduce new account system so we save your checkout information.

Even if you need back away from some portion of the account system, you can later on make the choice to either cut scope or delay it. There isn't a ton of false expectation created by this, just that we decided that simplifying our checkout experience is important, and that we are going to work on that in a substantial way.

No specific number is given on screens, just the qualitative statement. If you go from eighteen steps to ten, you have still done something valuable. You can choose later if you want to keep investing, or move on to something else.

Instead of pre-committing to these, identify your motives and approaches. Then fill in your back trail with lots and lots of progress. Trajectory towards your motive is actually a more important predictor of the future than what you think on a particular roadmap day. Your customers don't care about what you wish you could do, they care about how you have made their life better, or solved their problem. Results. If you can show that you are attacking the biggest and the right problems, and making progress toward them every day, you will find everyone wants to hear your story.

We are making this better, and we are going to keep making X better until it's great.

Is much better story than trust us, in Q4 you won't complain about this any more, all the good stuff is in v3.4

If leadership can't see and work with these kinds of structures, it's not you, it's them.