Do you wish you could project your business outcomes with precision into the future? Can you see the horizons ahead of you with clarity and what you need to do now to prepare for the next horizon?

Roadmapping is one of the key best practices for aligning business functions with corporate strategy and projecting with precision into the future. Roadmaps are valuable strategy tools because at their core, they are all about making decisions and if there was ever a time to sharpen the sword and make big decisions to stay ahead of the curve and innovate successfully, now is the time.

Roads are used to map a course of action, resulting in a roadmap that provides direction. Strategic roadmapping involves manipulating the information contained in roadmaps to plan the best course of action for the future, mapping actions to align with strategic decisions.

Roadmaps provide the framework for strategy creation, effectively turns strategy into action: tying strategic into tactical measures. Thus, enabling an organisation to tie day to day planning and projects to business priorities.

Strategic data is captured on a timeline and typically relates to business vision, objectives, strategies, market requirements, product or service plans, technologies and capabilities.

Once collected, it is fed into various roadmaps which include a theme, timeline, time-based elements and the links between these elements.

Common roadmaps include: market, product, competitive, technology, supplier, and regulatory/environmental roadmaps: and they typically reflect the planning horizon over multiple time periods.  Time based elements represent the availability of a technology, product, market or decision point. Often the time of an event may not be certain. Nevertheless, placing this information in the time domain is extremely important, in the it forces the enterprise to consider its implications.

Companies use roadmaps to create, maintain, share and visualize strategic planning information across the enterprise. Roadmaps define clear communication and relationships across products and suppliers and with corporate strategies. Stakeholders can view role-based data representation and see what is important to each specific user, thus raising the level of accountability, as each element in the roadmap has a specific participant tied to it.

“What if” scenarios, technology implications, product evolution and supplier collaboration are often dedicated to subjects of detailed roadmaps that support product portfolio, merger and acquisition or investiture decisions and, end of life, divestiture decisions.  Time provides a common denominator on which any number of dimensions can be played out in advance, creating a canvas on which uncertainty and opportunity are manage into highly “probably choices” that create a company’s future. Enterprise management software such as Sopheon’s Accolade software, which includes automated roadmapping makes this process even easier.

In Summary…

By using a strategic roadmapping process, companies can quickly adapt to ever-changing conditions and be confident that they are aligning with their business objectives.

Roadmapping provides a multi-dimensional view of events and other significant milestones ass they are anticipated to take place across time to manage uncertainty effectively.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF STRATEGIC ROADMAPPING:

  • Produces greater alignment between R&D spending and product development initiatives
  • Sharpens clarity of strategic vision, resulting in better-informed decision making
  • Manages data, product plans, and goals at a high level
  • Links markets, products, technologies, capabilities, and supplier intent
  • Enables discovery of technology re-use and synergy opportunities
  • Reveals gaps, challenges, and uncertainties in product, technology, and capability plans
  • Reveals long-term strategic weaknesses before they become critical
  • Communicates and provides visibility into strategic program direction across the organization
  • Enables growth of product portfolio in line with corporate and market demands
  • Provides direction to project teams and enables them to quickly see changes in strategic events or direction

Interested in understanding more about strategic roadmapping?

Contact Prodex Systems Senior Innovation Consultant and Managing Director, Gerard Ryan gerard@prodex.com.au