How to Create an Effective Digital Roadmap

Sally Yau

Sally Yau

Marketing Coordinator

Are you not making enough progress on your digital roadmap? To set any project on the right course – a company must first identify its desired outcome and the steps to achieve it. This involves having a comprehensive roadmap to ensure your digital initiatives achieve your end goal.

But what exactly is a digital roadmap and how do you ensure your roadmap is effective?

What is a digital roadmap?

A digital roadmap is a high-level plan that outlines a goal and the incremental set of deliverables needed to reach it. It incorporates strategy, a timeline and tools that can assist you in achieving your end goal.

Your digital roadmap should enable your organisation to convert a business vision into an achievable step-by-step plan. It also serves to help you mitigate risk and ensure your digital initiatives contribute to your overarching goal.

Why you need a digital roadmap

A digital roadmap allows businesses to see where they are at and where they are heading, with an end goal in mind. Without clear targets and a plan in place – organisations can risk making unfocused decisions that fail to deliver impact on their end goal and blowout deadlines.

Digital roadmaps can also help introduce flexibility. When planning your roadmap it is important that it can evolve in line with new insights and external developments. This is the key to success in ever-changing environments. 

In addition, a digital roadmap can help estimate the resources and risks involved. Formulating a plan can help your team drill into details and estimate the resources, talent and corresponding costs. It can also help assess whether your organisation has the capabilities to weather associated risks if your project requires extra budget or worst-case scenario, does not come to fruition. 

But as important as it is to have a digital roadmap in place, it’s just as crucial to have an effective one.

Attributes of an effective digital roadmap

“Failing to meet deadlines and deliverables with no form of tracking why and how it failed – is a common symptom of ineffective roadmaps. An underlying issue is organisations tend to focus on isolated initiatives vs the bigger picture. This is because the roadmap is often not referenced enough – allowing stakeholders to lose sight of the overarching goal.” – Ed Wong, Head of Strategy

Below are some attributes to incorporate when planning your digital roadmap to ensure its effectiveness –

  1. Clearly defined goals and means to track them

    A roadmap needs to have a clear overarching goal and well-articulated milestones from the get-go. Milestones must also be accompanied by key performance indicators to measure the progress and success of each digital initiative. They should be ambitious but achievable checkpoints that bring you closer to your end goal. TLDR – ensure your milestones are S.M.A.R.T. and relevant.
  1. Built-in flexibility

    Roadmaps should be flexible to updates in line with changing business needs and external factors like the market and its competitors. It should be a document that grows with the company’s broader business goals. 
  1. Encourages collaboration & communication between stakeholders

    A digital roadmap should not be gatekept by one person. Roadmaps should be reviewed and maintained by all stakeholders involved. This ensures the digital initiatives within the roadmap deliver value to a shared business goal, instead of mismatched isolated one-off projects. 

What’s next?

It’s important to keep in mind a roadmap in isolation is not enough to bring your project to completion. It also depends heavily on having the right teams, technology and practices to drive sustainable growth. But with an effective digital roadmap in place, it can give you the guidance and foresight you need to successfully mitigate downfalls and increase your rate of success.

If you need help with setting up your digital roadmap or want an external perspective on your existing plan – feel free to reach out to us here.

Interested to find out more about digital roadmaps? Watch the video below with our Head of Strategy, Ed Wong.

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