Dragan Babic enables design.
Illustration of a decision tree roadmap as a diagram

Better roadmaps

The usefulness of roadmaps is arguable, but their goal is to provide clarity on plan and progress of projects.

Old school: timeline-based roadmaps

Their purpose is to give a sense of scope, and provide a visualization of the potential reality for stakeholders as a plan of execution. In reality they need constant grooming, and never end up looking like what they looked like in the beginning. The worst part is that they are completely fictional, and inherently full of usually overly-optimistic assumptions.

New school: decision tree roadmaps

Instead of using time as a scale for a single desired scenario, we try to cover many possible scenarios in order to be able to visualize many realistic realities for our work which lays ahead. Change and adaptation is built-in from the get-go, which sets much more realistic expectations.

In my opinion roadmaps are an excellent asset which enables a shared understanding of the work which needs to be done, and the dependencies between individual components of said work. The problem occurs with their misuse, meaning they are communicated and understood as a literal plan whose change is perceived as a failure of product management.

Roadmaps are really cool, just use them correctly!


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Dragan Babic is a design consultant enabling creatively challenged organizations to nurture design, and work with design professionals in productive ways.

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