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Roadmapping: An Essential Planning Practice to Deliver Outcomes

Part III: Investment and capacity planning, roadmapping, and more

Roadmapping

In part II of this series, Strategic Planning: The Types of Planning That Bring Your Strategy to Life, we reviewed the first three planning types from the eBook, “Planning Deconstructed: 5 Types of Planning Crucial to Delivering on Strategy with a Dynamic and Continuous Approach,” covering financial and budgeting project plans, strategic planning, and program planning. In this edition, we’ll look at the remaining four planning types: investment and capacity planning, roadmapping, release planning, and technology portfolio planning. Let’s get started.

Investment and Capacity Planning

With the right planning process, organizations can strategically manage funding from the initial strategy development to the execution of their initiatives, all the while adapting to change.

This approach requires you to continually analyze investments against new demands in the context of the whole portfolio. It requires capital plans that integrate strategic and organizational financials to promote visibility and drive performance in an evolving environment. You should be able to continually assess portfolio priorities against capacity to determine which combination best advances the company’s growth, innovation, or transformational goals; and make investment decisions in the context of the overall portfolio of investment.

This planning type will also help you understand the impact of any trade-off decisions while delivering on the portfolio’s target goals within your financial and capacity budgets. Further, you’ll be able to identify resource capacity bottlenecks that can impact your portfolio budget and capacity constraints.

Outcome Planning and Roadmapping

This planning type will help you identify what’s needed to deliver on your strategic goals. Outcomes are the results that you hope your investments deliver. They define the products, services, technologies, applications, or other types of deliverables necessary to meet the organization’s strategic plan.

Understanding these outcomes will help you break down silos during the planning process and bring together the right expertise across products, technology, applications, and services into a plan that crosses business units, teams, and geographies.

People engaged in this planning type will work with project managers to create a schedule of milestones and releases to establish an expected set of outcomes. You’ll likely also need approvals from the financial planning staff and strategic planners. An ongoing outcome lifecycle will ensure that the correct people approve and review outcomes as they are prototyped, tested, developed, and later refined.

The roadmapping aspect of this planning type defines timelines and dependencies of strategic programs and projects that deliver outcomes. It requires a true dynamic strategic roadmap that operates across the enterprise, depicting the milestones, connected applications and technology, and projected investments to reach your goals.

Roadmaps can then be updated when necessary to respond to the daily twists and turns of executing the plan that can affect resource and capacity constraints. As you learn new information, you can adjust the plan to continuously evaluate, update, and optimize the roadmap, which feeds into prioritization and capacity planning.

As you follow this planning type, you should be able to:

  • Define the outcomes needed to make your strategic plan successful
  • Estimate the costs, benefits and revenue associated with each outcome
  • Define a roadmap for your outcomes based on dates throughout the entire lifecycle of the project leading up to the end delivery
  • Determine how the outcome is delivered through strategic programs and projects along with when and what resources will be needed across multiple organizations.

Planning Deconstructed

And…

As you plan for the final development of your product, applications or services, you have to determine how you control the way you build, maintain, and launch them. Release planning provides the tools to help you take and maintain control of the launch process.

Through proper release management, you can improve the way you track and manage releases and their associated products and projects by planning product and management requirements that prioritize resources and eliminate overloads.

This planning type also makes it easier to bundle features and changes into a targeted release to avoid incremental changes or updates. And you can more accurately predict resource demands to support those product changes.

With a clear and consistent release plan, you can improve how you communicate release dates to customers and internal stakeholders. That way, you’ll have the resources you need for each release and to maintain your product roadmap schedule.

Technology Portfolio Planning

As you work to deliver innovative projects and programs across your enterprise, you’ll need to assess, identify, and optimize the technology and applications you’ll need to get the job done.  Technology planning and roadmapping helps internal leaders understand the value the proposed technology portfolio will bring to the table.

Technology portfolio planning provides the critical transparency business stakeholders and technology owners need in their joint efforts to drive innovation and realize their digital strategies.

This planning type can help you answer questions about the applications and technologies deployed across your organization, and who owns them. It can predict which applications and technologies will soon reach their end of life and go unsupported and their effect on projects and services.

But also, with the insights from technology portfolio planning, you predict and choose what additional applications and technologies you’ll need to complete future objectives.

That wraps up all the planning types we’ll discuss in this blog series. In our next edition, we’ll recap the entire series and show you how to deconstruct your current planning processes and incorporate our approach to help you complete you goals and objectives.

For a complete look at this overall discussion, take a peek at our eBook, “Planning Deconstructed: 5 Types of Planning Crucial to Delivering on Strategy with a Dynamic and Continuous Approach.” There, you’ll find additional details around the types of planning discussed in this series, as well as tips to assess your capabilities across each type, thus determining your organization’s maturity level.

Planning Deconstructed

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Heather Westmoreland
Heather loves to think creatively. As a product manager, she uses her creativity, along with user experience, to expand the usability and understanding of Planview’s planning capabilities. After spending 3 years as a Planview Consultant, and 10 as a customer, Heather took this customer-driven focus to the Product Management group. She applies this knowledge, and creative approach to uncover product opportunities and drive innovation within the planning side of Planview Enterprise One. Heather is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.