An unbreakable approach to roadmap
There are two common problems with roadmaps - they are build to impress or they are build to only resolve the current, immediate issues. Rather, a roadmap should try to look into the future - both of the market and the company itself, and lay a strategic path to it.
Here is a simple approach to that. First, few things need to be in place:
understanding of the market and where is it moving to
understanding of the complementing markets and where are they moving to
understanding of the company history, culture and future plans
Then - don’t think about timeframes and when is the next management meeting, this is going to be the very last step of the process.
Instead, get your team and brainstorm together. Ask them what is their view and listen. They will know things you don’t, they will have ideas that might have slipped on you. The key is to ask them before they know what you know (see above). And then ask them again after you tell them what you know.
Next, order the information you gathered in two columns - by importance and by urgency. The top items on those lists are the best candidates for the roadmap. Based on your team’s capacity assign a time estimation for each item and plot them on a timeline.
Finally, check the roadmap and see if it sits well with you. If there are items you’d like to accomplish sooner than what your estimate shows, you have two options - get creative with your resources and processes or ask for a budget. Either way, you now know what to do and why.