Product roadmaps today are filled with challenges and obstacles – from properly estimating scope and time to ensuring that all teams involved understand and work towards a common goal. Craft.io’s strategic roadmap puts all of these pieces together by providing you with a long-term view of all of your product plans in one place – systematically setting a vision and objectives, key results and milestones alongside the development work so that everyone is aligned for success.
Craft.io's roadmap view supports is designed with OKRs in mind, but the terms objectives and key results could be replaced to represent the approach you take in your company (Goals and initiatives, KPIs etc).
Here is what we'll cover in this article:
- Accessing the Strategic Roadmap
- Strategic Roadmap Components
- Strategic Roadmap Views
- Managing your Roadmap
- Sharing your Roadmap
Accessing the Strategic Roadmap
To get to the Strategic Roadmap, click on Strategic Roadmap within the Strategy section on the left navigation menu
Strategic Roadmap Components
Your Strategic Roadmap contains the following Craft.io components:
- Releases: High-level time containers which house Objectives and Key Results (i.e. outcomes), as well as Sections and Features (i.e. outputs/deliverables). Releases can be named as Releases or can be changed to quarters/months, based on the planning cadence of your company. Releases are not necessarily, and in many cases are not aligned to the development release cycles, and are serving as a product time container.
- Objectives: These are typically intentionally broad and speak to the team’s long-term mission; for example, benchmark later; for example, “Improve the user experience by addressing core product performance issues.”
- Key Results: Specific and actionable, Key Results reflect the actions you want to take to achieve your objective; for example, “Decrease average 1st page load time for United States users from 4.62 seconds in Feb 2020 to 500ms in August 2020”.
- Sections/Features: These are the deliverables that the development teams will eventually build, either in high res (sections) or low res (feature).
Tip: Feel free to change this terminology in your Workspace Settings at any time.
Strategic Roadmap Views
You can organize your roadmap via three different views, each allowing you to view your data through a different lens: the Summary View, the Strategic view, and the Sections/Features view. Switch between these three views simply by toggling the options in the top toolbar.
Let’s take a look at each of these in more detail:
Roadmap View #1: Sections/Features
The first view focuses on Sections and Features, providing you with a detailed view of how both fit into a Release. This view presents features by default: toggle the button in the top toolbar to switch the view to Sections and gain a higher-level view. Learn how to assign Sections/Features to a Release.
Roadmap View #2: Strategic
Using the Strategic View, your team can focus on the strategic picture by looking at the Release name alongside its Objectives and Key Results. This allows you to connect the dots between why you’re developing the product, which problems you’re trying to solve, and how these connect to your individual Releases. Learn how to add Objective and Key Results.
Roadmap View #3: Summary
The last view is the Summary View, which displays the breakdown of your product releases and milestones on the roadmap. This is perfect for when you require a high-level summary of a complex product roadmap. In this view, only Release names are visible, allowing you to stay focused on the bigger picture. Learn how to add a Release.
Note: When in this view, you can also choose to see more than one Workspace. While in the multi-workspace view, the roadmap becomes view only and can not be edited.
Add and edit Releases
To add a new release to your Roadmap, simply double-click anywhere on the Roadmap itself.
Once added, you can:
- Take a closer look at a specific Release by single-clicking on the Release name. Once open, you can edit the Release name, description, color, and statistics or assign new Objectives, Key Results, and Features.
- Set the color of each Release using the ‘3-dots’ icon which appears beside a Release name.
- Drag and drop Releases into a different position, row, or lane. You can also drag and drop Objectives and Key Results inside and between Release containers.
- For any Release container, drag and drop its “diamond” edge to set its actual duration.
Add Objectives & Key Results
To create Objectives and Key Results, you have two easy options:
Create them directly inside your Strategic Roadmap whilst in the Strategic view. To do so, hover over the ‘+’ button beside the Release name and click ‘Add Objective'. To add Key Results, hover over the ‘+’ button beside the Objective name and click ‘Add Key Result’, or alternatively select from the dropdown list that appears beneath the Objective.
- Navigate to the Strategic Inputs screen under the Strategy section and create them there using the editor
Assign Sections/Features to a Release
While in the Sections/Features view of the Strategic Roadmap you can assign both Sections and Features to specific Releases.
Hover over the release you would like to assign the items to, and you’ll see the “+” icon for assigning features.
- Click on the “+” button and select which Sections/Features which you like to assign to that Release.
- To add a new Section or Feature not already listed in Craft.io, open up the Assign Sections/Features menu box as per the previous step, then hover beside either the Product name or the first Section title and click the ‘+’ button to add Sections and Features, respectively.
Managing your Roadmap
- To update the dates visible in your roadmap view, click on the dates dropdown to either set your roadmap start and end dates or to switch to dateless mode. Craft.io will remember your preferences and load them on your next visit.
- If you manage multiple Workspaces and wish to make two or more visible in your roadmap, click on the Multiple Workspaces icon below your user icon. Remember that when in the multi-workspace view, the roadmap becomes view only and can not be edited.
Using lanes in your Craft.io roadmap allows you to efficiently organize your various roadmap layers with a click of a mouse. You can create as many lanes as you want to set your release containers apart and give them more meaningful categorization. For example, you might want to name your lanes as “Infrastructure”, “Marketing Campaigns” or “Front End Development”.
You can add a new lane by clicking the blue ‘+’ button at the top right toolbar and select ‘Lane’.
To minimize, move, or rename your lanes, click on the 3-dot icon beside the name of Lane.
Milestones are a lightweight entity representing a significant event you’d like to mark on your Strategic Roadmap. For example, you could use milestones to mark a meaningful company event or a conference your team plans to attend.
Milestones consist of a name and a date (when the dateless setting is off) and can be added either by hovering over the lane title bar and, once you see the flag icon, clicking the location where you want to add your milestone. Alternatively, use the ‘+’ button and select ‘Milestone’ from the top toolbar. Click on the flag to rename or delete an existing milestone.
Using the Release panel
The Release panel can be accessed in any of the Strategic Roadmap views and gives you instant insight into the progress and structure of a specific Release.
Clicking on a Release name in the main screen will open the release panel on the right-hand side to provide you with a high-level overview.
The Release panel allows you to:
- Set the date, name, and description of the Release
- Track progress statistics, including:
- Progress Bar: toggle between “Set by Time” to show time passed since the start of the Release, and “Manual” to manually set the progress of the release.
- Features Done: see how many Features have been completed on the Release.
- Accumulated number of Effort, Value, and Story Points.
- See the connected Objectives and Key Results associated with the Release.
- Review the parent/child hierarchy tree that outlines how Sections and their respective Features fall under the Product.
- Discuss the progress of the Release with your team: at the bottom of the Release panel, you can comment, tag team members, and touch base on specific Releases using Craft.io’s standard ‘Talk’ feature.
Sharing your roadmap
There are two main ways to share your strategic roadmap with stakeholders:
- LiveShare (recommended): Clicking on the 'Share' button on the top right of any view on Craft.io, including the strategic roadmap, generates a view-only link of the page you’re on in Craft.io. If required, you can configure password protection for your view-only link.
Sharing a LiveShare view does not require a special login or license to access it, and anyone with the LiveShare view will always see a current, live version of the roadmap, which is automatically updated when changes are made.
- Export PDF: Another option for sharing your strategic roadmap is exporting it to a PDF file. Simply click on the 'Export button and a PDF file with your strategic roadmap will be generated, and once ready, downloaded.