Roadmaps are a key tool that many organisations create as a link between strategy and actions. For organisations that don't have a history or background in creating roadmaps however, the time and effort needed to create one can be a barrier. The benefits can be significant though so it's worth exploring some of the signals your organisation may be exhibiting that indicate roadmapping is a good idea.
This is often the key sign that something is missing. Your organisation has gone to the time and effort of working out a strategy (whatever form that might take). Everyone is excited about it at the time, but then somehow those important strategies never get implemented.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, but a common one is that those strategies are not easily translated into projects for change. A properly defined roadmap would create that translation, define the projects that implement the strategy and feed into a programme of work.
Sometimes what happens is that an initiative is kicked off to solve a particular problem, but the problem either lacks executive buy-in or isn't recognised as being important. So it will gain a bit of momentum with a particular group and then run out of steam.
Often the problem here is that the initiative has not been clearly linked to something strategic. So when the sponsor goes to get funding to move it forward, they find it difficult to justify and prioritise over other initiatives. If the initiative had been generated from a previously accepted roadmap then this situation may have been avoided.
In any given organisation there is limited time and resources available for investing change initiatives. This means that deciding how to prioritise those that are going to provide the most benefit to the organisation is key.
Without a clear roadmap this can be challenging. A good roadmap will always make it very clear which initiatives will provide the most value in a particular timeframe, for a given investment. This means that choices can be made as objectively as possible on where to invest first.
If you are seeing one or more of the signs above in your organisation, it may be worth your while to consider taking the time to put a roadmap together.