In this second installment to our Ultimate Guide to Technology Roadmaps, we're going to unpack a creative exercise to help guide you in the formation of your roadmap. If you missed the previous article, you can go back to it here. Let's dive right now:
When it comes to technology, how do you know what investments will get you to your desired outcomes? Depending on your starting knowledge, you might have no idea what technology will help your business or hold it back. Sometimes, it’s too much to think of your end goal, and you need to do something else to get the creative juices flowing. If you find yourself here, start making lists. You’ll need these lists anyway as you continue building your Technology Roadmap.
First, think in big categories about the technology you use every day:
- Communications and Collaboration
- Product or Services tracking
- Data creation, queries, or storage
- Specific functions, like Finance, Marketing, or Sales
Use this format to facilitate the critical review of a specific category:
For example, let’s focus on communication tools. These can include:
- Email (i.e. Outlook or Gmail, and mass email tools like MailChimp)
- Chat (i.e. Slack or Teams)
- Phone (i.e. a VoIP system)
- Video Conferencing (i.e. Zoom)
- Anything else that connects you with coworkers or customers
Using the questions above, ask yourself what communication tools are essential to your business? Are any of these tools underperforming? Is a common technology missing (for example, text messages)?
The answers to these questions should go into lists, which in turn you can visualize on a Tech Roadmap diagram or drawing.
Example of how Lists eventually capture your overall situation:
Next Exercise: Build Upon Your Lists