How to Road Map Your Way to Success

If you believe the experts, a project is only as good as its plan. But there are as many ways to plan as there are planning experts out there. If you’re tasked with project planning, it can be overwhelming thinking about how to get started. Consequently, this article takes the guess work out of planning so you can road map your way to success.

#1 Get your planning team together.

You need representatives from all departments/stakeholders involved in the project to help you define it. As a result, the best way to accomplish this is to schedule an off-site meeting and hire a facilitator if your budget allows. If not, find an impartial staff member who can lead the meeting and keep everyone focused and on task.

This initial meeting includes determining what the project is and what its objective is. Are you planning for a new product launch or perhaps a new CRM to replace a legacy system? Each project has a unique set of objectives that need to be as specific as possible.

As you define the project, also consider its scope and how you can limit it. You don’t want the project to grow out of control with scope creep. Finally, determine the deliverables of each objective and how you’ll measure them.

#2 Get your project team together.

After you’ve defined the objectives and deliverables, it’s time for the project team to determine milestones. Then determine tasks needed to achieve them. This is detailed work that the team responsible for completing the project needs to discuss and make decisions. In addition part of the process is to determine the timeframe that tasks will take and estimated dates for deliverables.

Once you have tasks, deliverables, and dates planned, you can turn your attention to the individuals or teams responsible for tasks. Planning out your resources lets you assign tasks and ensure everyone involved understands their part in the project.

#3 Determine your risk reserve and budget.

Your risk reserve takes into consideration additional time, money, or personnel that may be required to complete the project. You need to determine your risk reserves before you plan your budget. This allows you to evaluate the impact of those risks and accommodate for extra resources. Take into consideration both minor risks and your worst-case-scenario risks.

Now it’s time to create your budget. Using the data compiled to date, you should have a reasonable estimate of resources needed. As such, this includes hardware, software, staff, and other resources. If you’re using a project planning platform like hutwork.com, it’s easy to put together a budget as all of the data you need is contained in a single program.

#4 Share your road map.

All previous steps culminate in a road map that shows your team, stakeholders, upper management, and other departments impacted a high-level overview of the plan, the key deliverables and milestones, and the resources necessary to accomplish it. Sharing your road map also is easy using Hutwork because there are multiple methods for sending and sharing. You can share a link in an email, or download a road map into a PNG or other common file format to send to interested parties.

You can customize roadmaps to the audience you’re sharing them with. For example, if you’re sending a road map to upper management, you’ll want a very high-level overview that includes the major milestones and a few key deliverables. Other audiences will be interested in more details.

 

Conclusion

A road map is an essential tool for planning out projects from cradle to grave. They’re also an excellent method of communicating timeframes, deliverables, and milestones to team member, upper management, and other departments. You can use a road map to show progress and keep others informed of the project’s status.

Chris Ball

Hi, I'm a Co-Founder at Hutwork. I'm responsible for making sure everything ticks! Click here to check us out on twitter.

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