How to Create a Technology Roadmap (With an Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated December 4, 2022

Published May 11, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A technology roadmap, also known as an IT roadmap, is a technique used by professionals that facilitates the planning and organization of strategies and goals of a company by using technological tools. Managers and project leaders use IT roadmaps to monitor and visualize the progress and growth of the company after implementing technological changes. If you want to explore the IT industry, you need to know how to use this technique to improve a company's technology.

In this article, we understand what a technology roadmap is, discuss its significance, review who uses these roadmaps, explore their elements, and share an example to help you create your own.

Related: What Is a Roadmap? (And Other Frequently Asked Questions)

What is a technology roadmap?

A technology roadmap is a visualization of an organization's plans to implement technological growth within its various departments. Companies make use of this management and planning technique to create better strategies and ensure the company achieves its goals. IT professionals also use it for specific projects as it facilitates smooth technological advancements and developments for the company's daily operations, resulting in higher efficiency.

Read more: Tools of Project Management You Can Use as a Project Manager

Significance of a technology roadmap

Making technological changes can significantly affect a company's daily operations and productivity. To maintain the optimum amount of productivity, it's important to create an IT roadmap before changing the technology used by the company. Doing this ensures that the departments have enough time to understand the new technologies they want to implement. If an organization plans on replacing all the employees' desktop computers, a technology roadmap may highlight any aspects of work that this change can affect.

Changing a company's tech may affect its security and may compromise sensitive data and information stored in the company's servers and hard drives. It's essential to create a roadmap that prioritizes security and simplifies technological plans so that everyone can understand them. An IT roadmap can also:

  • Improves communication: Since companies and managers use roadmaps to create effective strategies, it ensures quality communication within the organization.

  • Helps set a time frame: Roadmaps often include deadlines and time frames for tasks, so that all employees remain focused and maintain a high level of productivity.

  • Considers repercussions: Creating a roadmap requires extensive planning and research, ensuring that the professionals consider the consequences of the changes the company wants to apply.

  • Helps monitor emerging trends: A roadmap ensures that the organization is aware of the latest technological advancements in the industry and ways to implement them.

Read more: SWOT Analysis Example, Steps and Importance at Work

Who uses technology roadmaps?

IT teams and senior members of management within the organization commonly use these roadmaps. This ensures that everyone participating in the technology-related plan can understand the schedule and the goals of the plan. Typically, these professionals are responsible for creating IT roadmaps for the organization, but any colleague working towards technological changes may benefit from it.

While companies and professionals use these roadmaps as a planning and management technique, roadmaps are also useful for presentations. IT professionals and other experts often recommend technological changes within the various departments of the organization. After delivering their recommendations, these professionals may choose to present their strategies to department heads or other supervisors using presentations so that the management of the organization approves their plans.

Related: What Is a Team Roadmap? (With Helpful Steps to Create One)

Elements of a technology roadmap

The contents of these roadmaps can vary depending on the needs and requirements of the organization. This valuable planning tool typically comprises the following core components:

Targets and goals

The goals of the company's IT roadmap may include the results and targets the organization hopes to achieve by implementing technological changes. It's essential that all employees involved in creating the roadmap clearly understand these goals, as it allows those goals to guide their work and execute their tasks efficiently. Employees can list the new skills and experiences they gained after using more advanced technologies.

Related: What Are Organizational Goals? (And Why They Are Important)

Describing the changes

Providing detailed descriptions of the changes within the company is a key function of the roadmap. It comprises a highly in-depth explanation of the aspects of the previous technological system the company wants to change and its effects on the organization's and the employee's daily work and productivity. Usually, the IT roadmap has a section that details the changes and helps the employees of the organization prepare for the new technological systems.

Time frames and deadlines

When IT professionals are creating a roadmap, they can choose to include specific time frames and deadlines. Including time frames and deadlines in a roadmap is essential, as it provides employees with a window for a step-by-step implementation of their plans. This facilitates and allows the organization to have a smoother change period between implementing the changes and it makes professionals aware of the various deadlines within the project.

Related: How to Meet the Deadline a Manager or Client Gave You

Resources

While implementing technological advancements, it's important to consider the resources that are available to the employees. Usually, roadmaps include contact information and specific responsibilities for project leads and highlight whom to contact for concerns and queries. Roadmaps also list the IT teams who handle the various queries after the organization completes the project. Professionals may also choose to include a list of outside resources. For example, a roadmap can have the contact information for external professionals available for help and hire like computer repair specialists.

Risk factors

Risk factors are challenges the company expects to face when changing or upgrading its technology. These risk factors can be internal or external and consider limits that the new technology may have or human errors that may occur during its operations. Mentioning the risk factors in the roadmap creates awareness among the employees regarding the challenges and helps them take steps to overcome those risks. Some roadmaps list preventative steps to overcome the problem. IT Teams can plan to create a user guide to help employees understand how to use the new technology and software.

Situation reports

Situation reports usually keep the employees informed and up-to-date with the latest information about the project. Leaders update this component of the roadmap as the project progresses. Situation reports have essential information and data about project deadlines, targets, accomplishments, and general announcements about the project. They build situation reports into the roadmaps by separating tasks into categories based on their completion.

Read more: What Is Strategic Marketing? (With 3 Phases and Tips)

How to create an IT roadmap

Following are the steps to help you create an IT roadmap:

1. Identify targets

The first step toward creating an effective roadmap is setting your project goals. It's important to understand what you may like your team to achieve with the technological changes is key. Try to identify both your goal and the effects it can have. If your goal is to create a company-wide platform that streamlines coordination and communication, then it's helpful to detail what effect you hope this change has.

2. Choose an effective format

You can create technology roadmaps in a variety of ways, but it's essential to consider the mediums you wish to use for the roadmap. For example, you can consider making paper copies or using a specific planning computer program. While the software allows employees to easily access the roadmap, a physical copy can be important for employees who cannot understand the new technology easily.

3. Choose the sections of your roadmap

Enhance your technology roadmap's readability by dividing your roadmap into different sections depending on the project. You may choose to separate sections in a roadmap depending on the progress or the tasks. Some professionals choose to use a blend of organizational types as it's helpful to know when projects are due.

4. Assign responsibilities and tasks

When organizing a roadmap, it's essential to specify and divide responsibilities and tasks among different employees based on their skill sets. This allows the people involved to recognize the expectations and informs the rest of the team whom to contact regarding specific tasks. Depending on the size of your team, you may directly assign a task to an individual or assign entire aspects of a project to a team.

Related: Understanding and Developing Team Members' Roles

5. Share the technology roadmap with your team

Once you've created your roadmap, you can share it with anyone who is working on the project with you. This ensures that the entire team is well-informed on the project details and expectations regarding team productivity. Depending on the project, you may also have to show your roadmap to supervisors for approval.

Example of a technology roadmap

A company has updated its hardware, which allows them to use new software previously unsupported by the old computers. Given below is an example of a technology roadmap that applies to this situation:

Deadlines:
November 30th
December 10th
December 22nd
January 2nd

Tasks:
upgrade the computers

install new programs and software
begin running the analytic software
use new systems

Integrations:
higher quality computers and better storage capacity, which supports new functions and software
enhance payroll management, analytic software, and communications processes
faster communications can increase productivity

Risk management:
backup important information and data
create tutorials and guides for new user protocols
set the software up to run automatically on its own with no intervention
double-check the analytics and introduce the new communications app

Status update:
Complete
Complete
Complete
In progress

The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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