Benefits of having a solid roadmap and timeline on your next big project – and how to make one.
The best thing about having a well made plan for your next big project is that it keeps the momentum going, organizes your team and makes sure everybody knows what they have to do. It comes in very useful when you need to communicate changes or updates to other departments involved with your project. Here are some benefits of having an effective roadmap and timeline:
1. Helps you to set a clear goal.
2. Allows you to split your project into milestones and allocate resources accordingly.
3. You can manage the expectations of your stakeholders.
4. Makes it easy for you to communicate with other members in a team.
5. It helps visualize when something is due and what should be next in line.
6. Allow managers to give proper guidance in terms of timelines and deliverables.
7. Keeps you on track, no matter how many distractions come along the way.
8. Sets up a schedule that everyone can follow and do work accordingly without worrying about missing deadlines or going out of rhythm with the rest of the team members.
9. Helps you get rid of stress and stay focused on the big picture.
10. Shows how far you’ve come and what remains ahead in the project.
A well-made roadmap will make sure there are no unnecessary meetings between team members and they can easily stay updated without breaking their workflow or compromising on project deadlines! Over time you might have learned by experience what works best for you – but if not, here’s an idea about how create one from scratch:
#1 Define milestones for each of the key deliverables – you may find the help you need from a free roadmap creator.
For each milestone include a list of all project tasks including estimates on how long they are expected to take. Also decide which activities need to be finished at what phase – this will help you identify dependencies among your tasks.
Now that you have figured out all the tasks required in each phase, put them in order according to their priority and availability of resources. Don’t forget to allow some buffers in between different deliverables so you can make changes or deal with any unforeseen circumstances without jeopardizing your deadlines. If you find yourself struggling to define what your project milestones are, it might be best to check some roadmap creators online.
#2 Once you are done estimating everything, it’s time to think about turning these numbers into actual dates.
Some projects may work well with fixed dates but more often than not, timelines are flexible. So try to be realistic, but also consider allocations for unexpected delays or additional tasks that may come up.
#3 When you are sure all your milestones and tasks are set, it’s time to break them down into smaller chunks.
So if there is a big task that will take more than one week to complete then create sub-tasks for each of the components involved in that task. Also going through this exercise helps you prioritize the most important tasks that need to be done first or require more attention from your end. You will then be able to focus on those instead of wasting time chasing after random ideas or simply pushing something down the line because it seems less urgent than another task on your list.
In addition, this will help you identify dependencies among your tasks which is especially important if you are working in an agile environment with regular sprints. Since milestones and deliverables have been decided upon ahead of time, it’s a lot easier for team members to stay on track.
#4 Once done with breaking your roadmap into individual deliverables, calculate how much time each sub-task has taken and come up with an estimated date by adding together these numbers.
Do this until you have reached the level of granularity you need for each of your sub-tasks.
Once you have your entire project stack laid out in a roadmap, you should be able to get a clear view of what needs to be done, when, and who’s going to do it. It becomes easier for team members to know what they have been assigned to work on from the next week onwards because all information is located at one place. This makes sure everyone is aware of what to do and how it all fits together. In fact, it may turn out that after breaking down everything into smaller chunks, deadlines have been set too tight for specific tasks – which is an important discovery since it gives room to work out alternative solutions without sacrificing time!
And last but not least, this will help you forecast the probable date of completion for each individual deliverable as well as the entire project in its entirety! You can then decide whether or not these dates are realistic and adjust accordingly.
#5 Don’t forget about updating everyone on progress every now and again!
So make sure to send out regular status reports including any new updates or changes in plans. By doing this, you are helping your team members stay up to date on what they need to be working on.
It also becomes simpler to communicate updates about your project plan as well as any changes that might be required. This way you can confidently inform your team about what’s going on and why a certain task is getting more or less attention than what was expected before.
#6 Finally – you might find help from an online roadmap maker free of charge!
You should be able to produce a timeline on your own if you have all of the important project details handy. But, if creating everything from scratch feels overwhelming, you can always check out an online roadmap maker to help you. There are a variety of free roadmap creators like Venngage, which is the best out there. You can easily have your very own roadmap! So go check out their website now!