A technology roadmap is the visual representation of a company’s plan for technological improvement. Teams use this management and planning tool to direct their work and ensure company goals are achieved. Sometimes referred to as an IT roadmap, professionals also use technology roadmaps for specific projects, allowing for a smooth transition of technological change and advancement in the company’s day-to-day operations.
Why is the Technology Roadmap important?
When a company makes technical changes, it can affect its day-to-day operations. It is very important to create the technology roadmap before changing technology practices within a company. For example, suppose a company plans to replace all of its employees’ computers. In that case, the technology roadmap will consider any function or functional aspect that this change could affect, such as any records stored on older computers. In this way, professionals can plan for efficient and effective technological improvement.
Changing a company’s technology can also affect its security and put private data at risk, so it’s essential to have a comprehensive technology roadmap. Roadmaps also help simplify technology plans so professionals without IT experience can understand.
Additionally, the technology roadmap:
- Improves Communication: As professionals use roadmaps to guide their work, this planning tool ensures quality communication for the team.
- Sets the schedule: Roadmaps often include deadlines for certain expectations, keeping professionals focused and prepared for each step of the plan.
- Consider the consequences: Because creating a technology roadmap requires a lot of planning, it also helps professionals think about the effects of their plan.
Who can use the Technology Roadmap?
Internal IT teams and management members commonly use technology roadmaps. This allows everyone involved in the technology-related project to understand the group’s timeline and goals. Although these professionals often create technology roadmaps, any professional working toward technological change can benefit from using them.
While professionals primarily use technology roadmaps as a planning and management tool, roadmaps are also visual aids for presentation. In many cases, IT professionals or other experts recommend technological improvements to the company. After making this recommendation, these professionals may present their plan to department heads or other supervisors until the company’s management approves it.
How to create a technology roadmap
To create your technology roadmap, consider the following steps:
Define your goals
The first step in creating a technology roadmap is to define project objectives. Understanding what you want your team to achieve through technological change is essential to project development. Try to limit your goal and the effects it will have.
For example, if your goal is to create a company-wide messaging system, it is helpful to detail the impact you hope this change will have. This practice helps solidify your plans and motivates other professionals to work towards them.
Identify the participants
Before you begin crafting your roadmap, knowing who will be involved in the project is essential. This affects the language you use when creating your roadmap. For example, if the audience for your technology roadmap is your IT team, you can use industry jargon when writing your roadmap, as these professionals understand this language.
Define the shape
Professionals make technology roadmaps in a variety of ways. It’s essential to think about the media you want to use for your roadmap, such as printing physical copies of your roadmap or using planning software. While using the software allows you and your team members to access the roadmap at any time, physical copies may be helpful for professionals who are not tech-savvy.
Choose your roadmap sections
To organize and enhance roadmap readability, professionals separate technology roadmaps into sections. For example, professionals may separate areas in a roadmap by the status of their progress or by types of tasks.
Some professionals use a combination of organizational strategies because it is helpful to know when projects are due and what type of assignment it is. Whichever sections you choose to create, make sure your roadmap still includes the components listed above.
Assignment of responsibilities
When organizing a roadmap, it is essential to identify the professionals responsible for specific tasks. This allows professionals to learn about expectations and inform the rest of the team who to contact regarding the particular job. Then, it is depending on the size of the team; you can assign a task directly to an individual or give fundamental aspects of a project to a group of professionals.
For example, for a small-scale project, you may assign the duty to update the project’s status to one professional. Inversely, for a large-scale project, you can set the task of creating new emails for the entire company to the HR department. This team can then divide the work among themselves.
Share with the team
Once you have created your technology roadmap, please share it with any professional working on the project. This lets your entire team know well about project details and prepares them for productivity. Depending on the project, you may also have to submit your roadmap to supervisors for approval.