J.D. Meier's Blog

Software Engineering, Project Management, and Effectiveness

Visualizing Roadmaps for Execution Excellence

Visualizing Roadmaps for Execution Excellence

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One of the first things I do to get a handle on execution is to map out the work in flight in the form of a roadmap.

When there are multiple teams shipping stuff, one of the best ways to improve coordination, collaboration, and planning is to make a simple roadmap.

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Just even putting the roadmap together is an exercise in clarity.

The simple roadmap of key events is a great way to set expectations and communicate what’s going on.  When there is a lot going on, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of the various trains leaving the station.  A simple one-page view helps you stay on top of the trains and anticipate where focus and energy will be.

When you have multiple workstreams and dependencies, such as with vTeams and initiatives, it’s also helpful to put together a simple roadmap of the workstreams to illustrate the interactions.

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One of the key points of creating effective visualizations of roadmaps is to keep them simple.   You can always drill into details with detailed schedules or detailed Gant charts.  The point of the visualization in this case is to have a very simple, “at a glance” of the work in flight across multiple teams.

You know you’ve done a good job when you can “glance and go” vs. “stop and stare.”