To help ensure your success as an ecommerce business, it is critical to have roadmap. Your organization’s roadmap may have come down from top level executives, created from a 3-5 year plan, or set at the director level with 1-2 year goals (or a combination of all 3).
A roadmap can take the form of a linear slide deck or a spreadsheet. It should read left to right, January to December, and separated into quarters. Your roadmap should include work tracks that include everything from bugs, to small project, to your biggest initiatives. Here is an example of a roadmap:
After your roadmap has all of your projects in a timeline, categorize everything ROI and priority. Here are some things to ask yourself:
- Does my timeline have the biggest ROI initiatives first? If not, is it due to budget and resources, or do you need to reshift projects around?
- Is everyone on our team aligned with this roadmap and priorities?
- Are there timelines when projects must be launched by? For example, you want Apple Pay live before holiday season, so it should be launched by the 1st week in November.
- Are there any black out dates that should be addressed in the roadmap timeline? For example, if there are seasonal spikes or big holidays, you can’t afford to make changes to the site during those timeframes.
- Do you have a solid estimate on timeline for each project? Does that timeline include project planning in the timeline, to ensure alignment before the project starts?
- Do you have the budget to do all of the projects listed?
Every good project takes a plan and is part of a bigger roadmap. Allow time for meetings to take place internally for alignment on project scope, budget, and timeline, and discuss this with your agency partner to support you with your budget and timeline goals.
With your roadmap, be sure to have realistic timelines that work for your capacity and your team and have features that fit in your budget. If you want to win in commerce, you have to pace yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Remember that your roadmap will have hundreds of features and projects, and you won’t be able to get them all done at once. By breaking your roadmap into phases, you can set priority, timeline, cost, and resource allocation to achieve your future plans.