There is no better place for enterprises and start-ups to set up every year than in today’s modern world. The market is huge, however, it is also strictly limited at the same time. Just as in nature, only the strongest companies survive. How can you become one then?
The world moves faster than ever and the truth is that enterprises must adapt. That is why more and more business ideas are being developed. Some of them work, others may be less successful, but what you should repeat to yourself as a mantra is that trying is still worth more than standing still. It is worth even more when you decide to introduce an IT management roadmap to your company.
What is an IT management roadmap?
Many people enjoy watching The Office, but chaos is not what you want your company to be associated with. Lack of information and poor communication not only makes you and your team less effective, it also makes your clients confused when they are not receiving an appropriate service and, if running a business and managing a group of people sounds hard, why not simplify it using simple solutions? Because that is exactly what a roadmap is – the simplest solution there is.
What does it look like?
What may help your business is a plain document where you keep everything in one place, making it easy to find one clear purpose and help everyone stay updated. The roadmap tool is a graphical presentation of your project’s goals, dictating how technology will support the business strategy. Yes, you could use a project plan, but imagine a management roadmap as infographics when compared with a long, plain article. Graphics are easier to understand and memorise.
What a proper roadmap contains?
A perfect technology roadmap should be customised to your business — not only if you work in IT. Project roadmaps are also popular in marketing, manufacturing or consulting companies. There are, however, a few elements you should not forget about and these are:
- a strategy statement including a list of your business priorities that makes it clear what you and your team want to achieve,
- a timeline of all of the projects that help you keep the dates ordered and manage your time better,
- an owner of each project that improves the flow of information.
What you may also add to your management roadmap is a list of possible risks and improvement possibilities, the estimated costs and duration for each project.
Why use a management roadmap?
An IT management roadmap (and any other project roadmap) helps you and your business save both money and time. With a clear purpose and all of the information kept in one place your team becomes more effective and your company grows. Not only does it improve the cooperation between the members of your team, it also influences communication between your business and both present and, hopefully, future clients.
How to use it?
Creating an IT management roadmap is one thing and using it properly is something completely different. Remember all those New Year’s resolutions or to-do lists people claim are so effective? They often end up being forgotten or discontinued. The sad fact is they wouldn’t if only they had known how to benefit from them.
There are two main functions of roadmaps:
- inside the IT department: the team should use a technology roadmap to simplify the entire process of project planning. The graphics help save both time and money spent on resourcing needs or vendor and software selection when the IT department clearly knows what the costs, deadlines and expectations are.
- outside the IT department: a roadmap can be a very useful tool for the IT leader when used while discussing new projects with other departments. This simple visualisation helps all of the members to find a common language and thus improve their work.
Where to find it?
As people tend to say, where there is a will, there is a way. You could use Excel to create a project roadmap and it wouldn’t differ from a professional one made with an application. With the roadmap itself becoming more and more popular, an increasing number of companies are offering to create such roadmaps and set them up. As I stated at the very beginning, the market might be huge, but it is strictly limited. What is your excuse for not applying a roadmap to your business yet then?
Beata Green is Director of HeadChannel Ltd., London based bespoke software development company. She is responsible for overall strategic direction and overseeing the company’s continuing growth, building closer client relationships and maintaining best working practices. She enjoys brisk country walks with her red fox labrador and then relaxing in front of a TV crime drama with a glass of red wine.