For Jibility, we make a clear distinction between a roadmap and an implementation plan. To us, an implementation plan is a more detailed view of the roadmap which includes specific dates, resource, projects, duration/effort and so on. An implementation plan is typically represented in a Gantt chart format with the intent to provide a view which can be executed.
A roadmap is a visualization that helps you communicate the strategic intent. The purpose of a roadmap is to tell a story of how your organization will progress from now to the future to achieve its strategic intent or vision; it is not meant to be an executable plan.
At a high level, a roadmap should show the stages of progression (stages) and the major outcomes (initiatives) which must be achieved along the way. To simplify readability of a roadmap, related initiatives based on a common thread of change (related changes) are grouped (themes).
It looks like a London Tube map!
The visualization of the Jibility Roadmap was inspired by the London Tube map (London's underground train station map), see a snippet of a Tube diagram below.
Similar to an Underground Tube map, in Jibility each node (train stop) represents the delivery of an initiative. The linkage lines or tracks between each node shows the flow of progression from one initiative to another. An example of how this concept is applied in Jibility is shown below.
To further simplify the creation and articulation of a roadmap, Jibility introduced the concepts of themes and stages. An example of a roadmap with themes and stages is shown below.
These are the characteristics of themes:
- Themes are rows (horizontal lines) of initiatives on a roadmap;
- A theme name is given to one or more rows of initiatives that collectively deliver a common outcome;
- A theme name is often user-defined, but there are common patterns of themes which are used in creating roadmaps. Jibility provides the user with a set of pre-defined themes to fast-track the creation of roadmaps;
- A row of initiatives within a theme is called a track; and
- A theme can have one or more parallel tracks of initiatives.
These are the characteristics of stages:
- Stages are the columns (vertical lines) on a roadmap that groups initiatives, across the themes, into a delivery sequence;
- Each stage is given a name to describe the major outcome of the stage when all the initiatives (vertically) are delivered;
- Similar to themes, stages are often user-defined, but there are common patterns of stages which are used in creating a roadmap. Jibility provides a set of pre-defined stages to fast-track the creation of a roadmap;
- A column of initiatives within a stage is called a Line; and
- A stage can have one or more vertical lines of initiatives.
A summary of the roadmap components is illustrated below.