No one knows your stakeholders better than you. Communicating your roadmap to stakeholders at the right level of detail is key to not only achieving buy-in around your plan, but also to the success of your relationship with them in general.
There is no "one size fits all" visualization of your roadmap that works for everyone, and you must interact with a wide variety of folks that have a vested interest in your roadmap. Choosing the right visual report based on that stakeholder persona is key to plan alignment and overall partnership.
Click any of the following links to skip ahead:
- Executive sponsors and strategic programs
- Development teams
- Project and Program Management
- That "special" stakeholder
Executive sponsors and strategic programs
When you are reporting your roadmap status to an executive sponsor or a strategic program owner, they want to hear the general "are we good" summary. The level of questions will be similar to the following: "Are we on track to meet our business objectives?," or "Which success metrics are being attacked this quarter?"
Program sponsors are often transferring your roadmap information to higher-level team members, as well. For this reason, their recurring update should be a summary level. They also are looking for how they can help you, with leverage on escalations if needed.
The Roadmaps > Strategy is a valuable lead-in report for this level of stakeholder, as they are typically interested in high-level initiatives that link directly to business goals. They want to ensure that everything is on track.
You can also consider the Roadmaps > Diagram for this audience if the focus of the discussion is that strategic goals/initiatives have roadmap coverage. Have a potential drill-down view like the Roadmaps > Features roadmap "at the ready" for detail backup.
Technical teams like developers and engineers need to feel confident that they are building what matters and that there's passion and buy-in about their daily activities supporting your product, service or program. The features roadmap is also a great way to introduce these concepts, and how both individual features and the plan roll up to important business objectives.
Note: Depending on your Aha! use case, you may refer to features by another name — user stories, activities, or tasks, for example.
Sharing this even at earlier stages of planning is also a great way to leverage the development team's expertise on slight prioritization changes for features, in case there's a key technical efficiency to be gained with development timing.
As part of the planning process, it's also important to ensure that they have all of the detail required to develop the features. In this case, a custom Roadmaps > List report of features and requirements will be a powerful visual view to efficiently confirm that a large effort has the right level of feature definition to execute.
Finally, every development team cares about capacity. Ambitious goals are meaningless unless they are tied to a team with the bandwidth to work towards them. The Roadmaps > Capacity report breaks down each month into users and the features assigned to them. And through integrations with developer tools, development teams can populate this report with accurate effort estimations.
Project and Program Management
Managers of programs and projects are often "seeing around corners" and looking for risks across products and releases. For this type of discussion across roadmap owners, the Releases > Gantt report can be used to easily visualize key milestones across workspaces and releases and how they depend upon or affect each other.
Quickly create dependencies across any two releases in your portfolio, to show what must be completed to keep your upcoming release on track.
For detailed status on features within a roadmap plan, utilize the Roadmaps > Features report with feature status enabled under Customize Features; add filters for specific initiatives or goals as needed depending on the program owner's area of responsibility.
Finally, project and program managers often need insight into the team's capacity for a given project. Knowing who has available bandwidth — and who is overburdened with work — helps them manage risk of deadlines slipping and make triage decisions early. The Roadmaps > Capacity report fits this need perfectly.
For customers, you want a roadmap that creates excitement, while still sharing only what you're ready to share. Leverage the Roadmaps > Features report with external dates at the level of precision you are comfortable sharing with that audience, and hide any features from the Aha! presentation that may not be committed yet.
That "special" stakeholder
How stakeholders receive and process your roadmap message can be unique. Leverage custom reports like Roadmaps > Custom to get just that right message format that resonates with your audience.
All stakeholders can be unique in their needs regarding communication on your roadmap. By leveraging the work you've already done in your roadmap and saved reports for these stakeholders, you can provide just the updates everyone needs to gain passion, buy-in, and the right-sized information on the plan.