What is an IT Roadmap, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of an IT Roadmap
An IT Roadmap is a strategic tool used to plot out at what stages and which technologies will be used to support and implement a new project. An IT Roadmap can be used to explain why a project is important and why the related technological support is required. Generally, an IT Roadmap is shared with the IT team, the operations team or senior leaders in the organization.
Description of IT Roadmap
Well Structured IT Roadmaps contain the following elements:
- A Strategy Statement that lists what specific goals the project aims to accomplish and what technologies will be needed to support the project.
- A timeline of the project. This should include the beginning and end of the project, how long the project is expected to take as well as how long it should take to reach its milestones and the scale of the project.
- A list of what opportunities exists to improve business operations. First concentrate on the opportunities that are most important. Notably, this list should be jointly created by senior leaders as well as the IT or technology department to make sure there are technologies that can support these potential projects.
- A justification for the projects that the organization chooses to take on. Projects that are expected to take over 1 year should have more of a rationale than those that are thought to take less than a year to complete.
- The cost of each project as well as its predicted duration. Notably, the expenses for each project are just estimations.
- The individual who will be in charge of each project. More specifically, this individual will make project decisions or allocate tasks to project team members. If the project is expected to last more than a year, this individual will be the owning executive rather than one specific project leader.
After it is created, the IT Roadmap is usually used in three ways:
- As a presentation tool for meetings with senior leaders. The IT roadmap clearly delineates what projects the organization is planning on enacting to improve its internal functions. In this way, the leadership team can make informed decisions on what projects to invest in and how to allocate the company budget.
- As a decision-making aid for the IT department when they are determining how to distribute their resources and what tasks to assign their team members. Additionally, the roadmap will give the department a sense of how much money they will spend and select their vendor.
- As a tool for department heads to understand what to expect. More specifically, the IT roadmap will help department heads make decisions on how to balance current tasks with those that they will need to complete for future projects and how the project will affect their daily operations.
Tools & Templates
The IT Roadmap can be created using document software, spreadsheets, or presentation software. Roadmaps needs to contain concrete timelines and information, but do this in a visual format that is easy to understand.
upBOARD's Online IT Roadmap Tools & Templates
Unlike most traditional IT Roadmapping techniques, upBOARD’s online IT Roadmap collaboration software tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other project management best practice tools and templates including:
Action Item List, Agile Project Management, Benefits Realization Methodology, Critical Chain Project Management, Critical Path Chart, Critical Path Method, Event Chain Methodology, Extreme Project Management, Gantt Chart, Integrated Project Management, Issue Tracker, IT Roadmap, Lean Project Management, Lean Six Sigma, Plan of Intent (PoI), Plan of Record (PoR), PMBOK Project Management, PRINCE2 Project Management, PRiSM Project Management, Process-Based Project Management, Program Management, Project Budgeting, Project Charter, Project Dashboard, Project Portfolio Management (PPM), Project Portfolio Timeline, Project Risk Management, Project Rollup, Project Schedule, Project Scorecard, Project Timeline, Project Tracker, Requirements Breakdown Structure, SCRUM Project Management, Skills Requirement Checklist, Task List, Time Card, To Do List, Waterfall Project Management, and Work Breakdown Structure.