How to empower teams to run Roadmaps (part 2)
The second part touches on the Roadmap day
I’ve written about the Roadmap Week and the Roadmap Pack that comes with it. Now it’s time to go deeper into Roadmap Day.
But before we go into the Day, here’s what you should know:
1. It’s critically important to both compile a good Roadmap Pack as well as run solid Roadmap Sessions during the week. This is what equips teams to understand the Opportunity space and design a performant Solution space.
2. During the previous days (even weeks), each squad should’ve saved time for thinking, discussing and going through their learnings over the past quarter. If this wasn’t done, Roadmap Day won’t be as effective.
Now onto Roadmap Day👇
Generally the day starts with a Kickoff that sets the agenda and delivers a Key Message. The message should be around company focus. Maybe it’s growth. Maybe it’s profitability. Maybe it’s innovating. Maybe it’s consolidation. You generally have an underlying message that narrates the OKRs. This aligns all squad mindsets.
Then the first hour is focused on Data, Metrics and Squad KPIs. The questions I ask are “Are you tracking the right metrics? What visualizations are you missing? What did you learn from your metric progress?”. This refreshes people’s focus on moving numbers and guarantees we always go into quarter with data.
The rest of the morning is focused on Opportunity space. Using a Tree approach (generally Teresa Torres OST serves as the backdrop) the team lines up the opportunities linked to their main goals. These should be connected to insights from the Roadmap Pack.
In the afternoon each team jumps into Solution space. The goal is to create tree branches of hypothesis to seize identified opportunities. We aim to go wider (more ideas) rather then deeper (defined scopes).
During Opportunity and Solution design, we also encourage teams to add Tech Debt and Carry Overs since these will impact capacity.
The final part of the day are Tree Presentations (making the work transparent pushes teams to do their best) and Mix & Match (where people from different squads dive into other roadmaps and offer suggestions).
By the end you should have a solid tree with opportunities, solutions and a basis to create initiatives (epics). These aren’t the scopes for the quarter (you still need to run epic discovery). Of course, the next step is a follow up with relevant stakeholders, alignment of priorities with Product Leaders and assessing your team capacities.
PS: thanks Tim Gregory for inspiring me to go deeper into the outcome of Roadmap week.