What is a Project Roadmap? Pros and Cons

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What is a Project Roadmap?

A project roadmap is a visual outline of all the major milestones to be accomplished during the product development. It helps to provide clarity over what the next step should be and helps to visualize the end picture of the project. 

Project roadmap consists of:

  • Why the project is undertaken
  • Realistic Timelines
  • Required resources and their distribution
  • Milestones and their objectives

It is a detailed map of what course the project will take and what tasks the teams should accomplish from time to time. Project managers use this tool to keep the team members and stakeholders informed about the progress and plan of the company. 

Most stakeholders invest in any company based on the potential that they believe the company has. This potential is expressed through project roadmaps to inform the company objectives and increase the company’s credibility. 

Why is a Project Roadmap needed? 

Project roadmap acts as a point of reference for every team member and managers. In case of adaptation or changes, a single point of reference makes it easier to re-allocate resources, budget, and tasks with a lesser hassle. 

An overview of the tasks already undertaken and to be undertaken without getting into tiny details is provided through a roadmap. In short, a Macro-level view of any project is provided through Project roadmaps. 

To keep stakeholders informed about the scope and progress of the project, especially to adapt to differing business conditions, project maps come handy. 

What is the distinction between Project Roadmaps and Product Roadmaps?

On one hand, the project roadmaps note a series of milestones needed to be accomplished within a set frame of time in congruence with the company’s objectives. The project is considered complete when the objective has been met. As you notice, the nature of the project roadmap is finite and it starts to end somewhere. Project roadmaps also tend to have rigid timelines of completion. 

On the other hand, product roadmaps consist of one or more project roadmaps. They are more fluid in nature to reprioritize certain projects over others or to suit business conditions. 

They track the development of a product or a service. Contrary to project roadmaps, they are likely to be infinite in nature and do not necessarily end. They are marked by a continuous nature of production. 

What are the pros of having a Project Roadmap?

  • Helps everyone to be on the same page. 
  • Keep the stakeholders informed about the scope of certain projects.
  • Facilitates better communication within and beyond the project team. 
  • Aids prioritizing or reprioritizing tasks.

What are the cons of having a Project Roadmap?

  • Likelihood of unrealistic timelines 
  • Need to be updated regularly and yet not too frequently.
  • Difficulty comprehending the roadmap because provision of excessive details can make it seem tedious. 
  • Roadmaps may change the focus from testing and feedback to research and execution creating work imbalance. 

FAQs

Q: What is a project roadmap?

A: A project roadmap is an outline of milestones and objectives that need to be achieved while working on a project. It also allocates resources, division of tasks, and provides clarity on what the next step will be. 

Q: What are the advantages of project roadmaps? 

A: Project roadmaps facilitate easy communication within and beyond the team members to keep everyone on the same page, it provides stakeholders with the scope of the project and its objectives favoring good business conditions, and it helps to prioritize and reprioritize tasks in case of adaptation. 

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