You might have heard of roadmaps before—they’re great for planning, communicating, and aligning organizations on key initiatives and strategies.
But, without the right tools, creating a comprehensive roadmap from your existing strategy and planning documents can take time and effort (and a lot of head-banging). And the human factor means that you’ll inevitably have to deal with inaccuracies and manual updating.
In this article, we’ll give you seven business roadmap examples and templates to get you started on the right foot with your roadmap planning.
We'll also cover the benefits business roadmaps can offer your organization and show you how to build one in 5 easy steps.
Here’s what we’re going to cover:
- What Is A Business Roadmap?
- Business Roadmap Example
- More Business Roadmap Examples And Roadmap Templates
- How Do You Create A Business Roadmap?
- Create And Track Your Roadmap With Cascade 🚀
What Is A Business Roadmap?
A business roadmap is a visual strategic planning tool that presents a company’s strategies, strategic and operational objectives, and action plans in a Gantt chart.
Business roadmaps serve as a guide, illustrating your business plan from the present to your envisioned success. They provide a holistic view of the organization's business goals across different departments and can be crucial for communicating big-picture initiatives to stakeholders.
They can also help you:
- Keep everyone focused on critical strategic initiatives.
- Encourage cross-functional collaboration by breaking down silos.
- Monitor critical milestones, dependencies between projects, and bottlenecks in your business strategy.
- Identify underperforming areas and risks so you can decide your next move before it’s too late.
Business Roadmap Example
This Business Roadmap Template is a solid foundation to build a business roadmap from scratch.
It comes prefilled with examples including:
- Focus areas: The main strategic priorities that you and your teams will be working on.
- Strategic objectives: The outcomes you want to achieve.
- Projects: A group of actions to be executed to achieve the desired outcome.
- KPIs: Metrics that will help you measure your progress toward objectives.
With this template, you can turn your business plan into a comprehensive strategic roadmap that can guide your strategic decisions and efficiently communicate the necessary steps, people involved, and timelines to stakeholders.
💡 Best for: Business owners, entrepreneurs, or leaders who want a solid template to create roadmaps in their business and strategic planning process.
💪 Tips to customize your roadmap in Cascade:
1. Get your template and sign up to Cascade for free. The template will be automatically added to your workspace.
2. Customize your template with your organization’s goals, business objectives, and KPIs.
3. Switch to the Timeline view to visualize your strategic plan as a Gantt-style roadmap.
4. Make adjustments and track progress to keep your business roadmap updated.
5. Bring your team on board to collaborate on your roadmap and ensure everyone is working toward the same outcomes.
More Business Roadmap Examples And Roadmap Templates
Looking for something more specific? Here are our top picks for other types of business roadmaps you can use to ensure you’re moving forward toward your goals. Each template comes pre-filled with examples and has the key elements of an effective business roadmap.
A strategy roadmap helps streamline the strategic planning process, providing a clear and concise guide that helps organizations accomplish their strategic goals effectively.
Try our Strategy Roadmap Template if you’d like to create a strategic roadmap for your business. It has all the features you’ll need to plan and visualize your business's long-term goals.
💡 Best for: C-level professionals, business managers, and team leaders who want to take a more strategic approach to planning and goal-setting.
Business Development Roadmap
A business development roadmap helps to guide your business as it expands and evolves. It assists leadership teams or even sales teams in setting clear overall goals and outlines the strategies needed to win in the long term.
Our Business Development Roadmap Template is ideal for those looking to develop and execute a strategic growth strategy that is comprehensive but easy to communicate. Use it to clarify your organization's growth objectives, pinpoint opportunities, and craft a strategic approach to make the most of them.
💡 Best for: Executives, and business development managers responsible for taking their business's growth and development to a new level. Applicable to organizations of any size.
A project roadmap helps teams articulate project plans, achieve goals, and monitor progress. It should guide project teams, ensuring projects remain on track, within budget, and on schedule.
Use our Project Roadmap Template to help focus your planning efforts and ensure smooth and successful execution. It has everything you need to outline scopes, establish goals and objectives, allocate resources, and plot deliverables on realistic timelines.
💡 Best for: Project teams, project managers, and project portfolio managers who want to streamline project planning, management, and execution.
A product roadmap is instrumental in product management by simplifying the complex product creation cycles and communicating imperatives in your product development process.
If you're looking for a comprehensive framework to steer teams through your product strategy, our Product Roadmap Template will start you off on the right foot.
Use it to outline your new product vision, set clear objectives, and pinpoint the necessary actions and resources to reach critical milestones.
💡 Best for: R&D teams, product leaders, and product teams looking to enhance their product development and planning approach.
A technology roadmap provides clear paths for organizations to achieve strategic technological goals and stay competitive through ongoing innovation. It’s also crucial for giving context to long-term technology goals that are often hard to communicate.
Using a visual tool like a roadmap can assist CTOs and CIOs in identifying, executing, and monitoring their technology strategies to support business growth and innovation.
Our Technology Roadmap Template is a great starting point for planning your technology strategy and making sure it runs smoothly. With it, you can establish clear objectives, prioritize projects, allocate resources, and set realistic timelines.
💡 Best for: CTOs, CIOs, and IT leaders planning their technology strategy.
Marketing roadmaps help you outline key marketing goals, KPIs, and projects. They can also help maintain a clear project direction and timeline and keep teams focused on results.
If you want to build your marketing roadmap, our Marketing Strategy Roadmap Template offers a comprehensive framework to start with your own. Use it to streamline your marketing planning with a comprehensive framework to guide your team through goal setting, objective identification, and action planning.
With this template, you’ll be able to craft a world-class strategic marketing plan that your organization understands and buys into.
💡 Best for: CMOs, team leads, and marketing professionals who want to build a solid marketing roadmap to drive effective marketing campaigns for their business.
The Benefits Of A Business Roadmap
A business roadmap or any other type of roadmap tool can make a big difference in your planning and execution. Here are the key benefits business roadmaps offer:
- Improved prioritization: Business roadmaps can help identify and prioritize the most impactful actions. This approach ensures that high-priority initiatives receive attention, driving growth and progress more efficiently.
- Increased transparency: For a plan to be successful, you need buy-in at every level. By visually displaying objectives, initiatives, and progress, a business roadmap opens up your strategy to stakeholders. This, in turn, can help build trust, shared ownership, and accountability among team members.
- Confident decision-making: A business roadmap is an instrumental asset for real-time decision-making by providing valuable metrics and context in one place. With them, you get a 4D perspective on performance and quickly identify what is working and where to optimize.
- Greater adaptability: A well-designed business roadmap allows organizations to respond effectively to market, industry, or internal changes. With all data in one place, you get better visibility into how your business performs at every level. This helps you make the right decisions at the right time.
- Focused execution: Strategic roadmaps bring structure and simplicity to building strategies by breaking them down into high-level objectives, business metrics, and a series of initiatives, milestones, and programs that are executable and trackable. This drives ownership among those responsible for the execution and business outcomes.
How Do You Create A Business Roadmap?
If you grabbed one of the templates above, then you’re already halfway there. You just need to adjust the pre-filled “dummy data” to make them your own. Click on any element (like focus area, objective, or KPI) and edit away!
If you want to build a custom roadmap from scratch and truly tailor it to your organization's needs, then follow this five-step approach below.
💡Tip: You can use the same step-by-step process if you want to build your roadmap in manual tools like Excel. However, using Cascade offers additional free benefits such as drag-and-drop dashboards and data integrations to automate your performance tracking in one place.
1. Create your objectives for each focus area
Start by defining your focus areas, which are high-level categories that group your objectives. For example, you might choose Operational Efficiency as one of your focus areas.
Then, outline short-term and long-term objectives for each focus area, focusing on specific, measurable, and achievable goals.
💡A key thing to remember: Less is better. Focus on your most critical strategic objectives. This will set the tone for strategic decision-making and ensure everyone is on the same page.
2. Add KPIs to measure performance
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are crucial for tracking progress, evaluating the effectiveness of initiatives, and informing data-driven decision-making.
In Cascade, you can add KPI to each objective. Define KPIs that are relevant and aligned with your objectives. These will help you monitor progress, identify potential problems, and act before it’s too late.
3. Assign initiatives and responsibilities
Successful execution requires action and ownership. In Cascade’s Planner, you can assign key initiatives and projects under each objective.
This functionality will allow you to co-create project and action plans with your team members and ensure you clearly understand capacities and possible constraints ahead of time. You can also add owners and collaborators to each initiative and KPI to ensure accountability across your organization.
4. Define milestones and a timeline
Milestones and timeframes help set realistic expectations and keep the organization on track. They are also crucial for prioritizing different initiatives in your strategy and ensuring your plan aligns with the company’s broader strategic initiatives.
Establish milestones that mark significant progress and create a timeline to visualize the expected completion of each initiative.
In Cascade, you can switch to the Timeline View to get a roadmap view of your strategy, planning, and execution. This feature makes it easy to identify which projects are on track and where you need to course-correct.
5. Execute and track progress
With Cascade, maintaining momentum in your strategy execution couldn't be easier. Use real-time dashboards to track critical metrics and create regular strategy reports to communicate priorities, inform decision-making, and keep everyone moving in the right direction.
Create And Track Your Roadmap With Cascade 🚀
If you want to get the most out of your strategy, roadmaps are a great addition to your toolkit.
But creating a roadmap with outdated tools and disconnected platforms is an uphill battle. Don't let multiple spreadsheets, siloed information, and static tools hold you back. You risk running your operations blindfolded and too slow to recognize and seize the opportunity.
“Cascade provides a readily accessible platform for hosting our strategy and enables us to generate live updates at the push of a button. It has increased transparency and accountability for our strategic priorities and has allowed us to remove silo working and improve alignment. The real game changer from my perspective is the reporting function. Cascade has turned a labor-intensive manual process into something which can be completed in minutes.” - Enterprise customer from Construction Industry (Source: G2 review)
With Cascade, effective strategic planning and strategy execution doesn’t have to be complex or chaotic where everyone works in different directions. We bring clarity to chaos by bringing together all components of successful strategy execution.
Ready to take Cascade for a spin?