It’s no secret that project management has its challenges, one of which is being able to communicate project plans and progress in a simple and easy way that everyone can understand. You want to keep everyone on the same page, to be able to turn complex project data into clear insights. However, a project often lives or dies by the Gantt chart—so it’s never been more important to get it right. Project professionals are tasked with adopting a solution that will save them time and create clear project roadmaps for stakeholders to understand.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the benefits of using a roadmap tool and share tips on how to create a professional project roadmap.
3 Benefits of a Project Roadmap Maker
If you’re currently presenting project information through something like PowerPoint, you probably understand the time-consuming nature of just pulling all the slides together. Adjusting graphics, fonts, colors, all take time—of which you may not have a lot to spare.
These three benefits of project roadmap software are guaranteed to make your life much easier, as well as impress leadership and communicate better with stakeholders.
1. Save time
How long does your current project review process take? For many, this process is extremely time consuming and cumbersome. Think, for example, of a company with four directors around the world who are each over a project manager (PM). Those PMs then have 10 junior PMs below them, each managing 3-5 individual projects worth $100,000 or more. How do you go about reviewing these projects with each of the four directors?
To start, you may resort to long weekly calls, where the directors can address any important project issues. But using a centralized format for your project roadmap visualizations allows you to greatly reduce your time reviewing projects.
For one, they’re easy to create and update—taking minutes instead of hours—and you are able to save any timeline as a template to later share or reuse. You can adopt the approach of “managing by exception,” where only the most important project issues are addressed in updates with leadership, saving everyone time.
2. Improve communication
With the right roadmap tool, people learn to speak the same language. Roadmap software such as Office Timeline integrate with existing work management systems, allowing direct data imports and report generation for easy distribution. Thus, project teams are able to present their work more effectively to leadership, peer groups, and key stakeholders. No more wasting time fiddling around with graphics in PowerPoint.
3. Impress your stakeholders
Everyone likes a little “sizzle” when it comes to presentations but putting in that extra effort when working out of a PowerPoint or spreadsheet can be time consuming.
But if you use professional roadmap software, you can style your roadmap with swimlanes and colors that add clarity. Highlight key points, differentiate information, and make your presentation pop. Further, impress stakeholders by customizing slides with company or client branding. You’d be amazed by the impact such a seemingly minor detail can have.
Just a few other things to keep in mind when building out your roadmap:
- Choose a time span that fits your project (days, months, years)
- Identify the key project data—important tasks and milestones
- Include swimlanes to show project phases, roles, or departments
Projects present many challenges, that much is true, but with a roadmap tool, you can keep your project on track, making your job as a project manager a bit easier and saving precious time and money.
If you’re looking to adopt a roadmap tool, you’ve come to the right place. As a Planview Portfolios user, you can easily export project data into a PowerPoint slide using the Office Timeline add-in that helps you develop visually appealing and easy-to-understand reports to share with other teams and stakeholders. To top it all off, you can sign up for a free 14-day trial for Office Timeline Pro, complete with video tutorials to learn all the quick tricks to save you time.