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Roadmap

You’ll need a timeline and a plan of action to get your idea out into the world. A Roadmap keeps you on time and on target.

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Stats

Suggested Time

90 Minutes

Level of Difficulty

Moderate

Materials Needed

Pens, paper, Post-its, calendar

Participants

Design team, key stakeholders and partners


Process Phase

You’ve got a concept you feel great about and you’ve tested it in the world. Now you’ll need to create a plan for how you’re going to implement it. A Roadmap helps you gather the key stakeholders in your project and collectively figure out a timeline, who is responsible for which elements of the project, and establishes key milestones. Rely on your work on the Capabilities Quicksheet and Staff Your Project to give you a full picture of how to build your Roadmap.

Steps

  1. Assemble your design team as well as all the critical stakeholders and partners responsible for implementing your idea. They’ll have information that you may not realize but is crucial to implementation.
  2. Print out a big calendar for the next year or 18 months and use it to map out what needs to happen when. Start putting Post-its on the calendar with key dates such as a Pilot launch, go-to-market date, and others.
  3. It’s easy to get lost in all that needs to happen so think about your calendar in chunks. Answer questions like What needs to happen in the next month? In three months? In a year? Themes will emerge around the various tracks of work that will need to take place. 
  4. Think about the major milestones in your project timeline—when you go to market, when you need to start manufacturing, when you launch your website— and get them on the calendar. Use a different colored Post-it for milestones—perhaps even flip them so they look like diamonds instead of squares to stand out. 
  5. As you add Post-its to the calendar, assign a team member or partner to each track of work. Find someone to own or champion each element of your project and prepare to hold them accountable to the tasks.