What Is Website Roadmap Planning?

by | Sep 28, 2020 | eCommerce, Websites

Creating a website is an exciting process that combines input and creativity from many minds. The end product can be attractive enough to represent your business proudly when all goes well! Expectations can cause a website design and development project to go frustratingly off the rails. Sometimes, clients envision an outcome one way only to find out later that their agency partner had pictured it differently than what they were promised or led them to believe before starting work together. Situations like this can lead to missed deadlines and budget issues from both parties involved because of drastic changes. Ultimately, the cause is a lack of planning from both parties early in the project. Changing customer needs (goal post shifts) while having different expectations set at each results in frustration from both sides. This to disappointment and escalating costs. Roadmapping is a practice that helps teams create shared vision and roadmaps for projects. It provides an open meeting place to discuss expectations, avoiding miscommunication later on down the line, with each member having their idea of what they want from this website or project.

Why is Road Map important?

The importance behind roadmapping can not be underestimated as it allows people involved in any agreement about where things are headed together before getting started. Less time is wasted re-doing work due to a simple lack of cohesive communication. Road map your way to a website that’s perfect for you! New Horizon Digital and our clients have enjoyed fruitful relationships, and we’ve worked on numerous successful projects with clients using this process. It does provide an exciting result – one where all of those ideas come true in the form of beautiful websites designed just how YOU want them to be represented online. The result of working with New Horizon Digital is more than just an impressive website; it’s the realization and execution of your business’ dream. We don’t take road maps alone – we give them life through creativity, strategy development, and design thinking. Hence, you have all aspects covered to get what matters most, a unique digital presence!

What Does Road Map Plan Look Like?

Your website is the first impression to your potential clients. It needs to be professional, creative, and engaging for your business goals to be met while still meeting user expectations! A website roadmap meeting is an interactive planning session that brings all team members working on the project and stakeholders together to identify what’s required for them to achieve desired outcomes. We take pride in our ability to create custom websites that are clean, creative, and unique for each client. This starts with collaborating closely together during the planning phase and listening so you can be sure your needs are met at every step along the way. The road mapping session takes place to agree upon the overarching goal before any design or development work begins. At New Horizon Digital, the project lead assigned to a project usually hosts the client for a half-day or more, in person or virtually, to roadmap their website design project.

What Happens During a Website Road Map Session?

Clients report that they have a lot of fun during their Roadmapping session. If you’ve ever seen Agile Roadmapping in action for a website or another kind of project, you likely have an image of a lot of colorful index cards taped to the wall. Your project team prepares an initial roadmap draft and will present their understanding of the website project. During the internal session, they’ll share information transferred during the sales process or kickoff meetings to define the purpose and goal of the website, platform selection, and approach, as well as any risks or critical project behaviors to communicate to stakeholders.

Parts of a Website Design Roadmap

The roadmap lays out the components of your website project visually, under specific groupings.

Epics: Roadmapping a website design process starts with the broadest category of ideas, epics.

Stories: These are the features or functions of the project, something that will be delivered.

Use Cases: Each story has its use cases, including desired outcomes and success criteria.

Issues: Stories can also have problems, which are questions or factors yet to be determined. Noting these helps ensure that they don’t get forgotten. The road mapping exercise’s highly visual and collaborative nature allows everyone to process and retain the information and accounts for different learning styles—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. All participants in the room are encouraged to suggest items to add or ask questions. The rules of road mapping are simple—carry on one conversation and only go as fast as the slowest team member. These rules create a safe space for innovation and project understanding and are critical to success.

What Factors Make A Website Roadmap Plan Successful?

1. Big-Picture Thinking When you join a website roadmap, you’ll be challenged to think about your business in a new way. Your digital agency will try to get you to think about what your business will look like in five years, possibly 10. Understanding your vision for your long-term goals will help them lay out the best plan to ensure you don’t waste time building a solution that only lasts a few years. This is the beauty of road mapping—a team of experts working together to ensure you’re made for growth and scalability.

2. Attention to Detail Roadmapping works best when the process is as exhaustive as possible. Leave no stone unturned when thinking through the steps and potential contingencies. Only assumed or implied factors often lead to misunderstandings and poor outcomes. An experienced web development partner can help in this area since they anticipate many common issues. On the other hand, you know your company best, so you can help think through ideas like which internal stakeholders need to approve things and their potential objections.

3. Collaboration All stakeholders on both sides of the partnership—client and project team—should contribute to the road mapping process to make it successful. Everyone owns a piece of the work when you build the project together, which ensures alignment among all parties and accountability for the project’s success.

What Outcomes Can You Expect from Roadmapping?

You will come away from a road mapping session with clearly defined next steps to know when to expect updates and specific deliverables. The most likely items to follow your roadmap are:

  • Defined scope and deliverables
  • Timeline and milestones
  • Homework or additional meetings

Start Your Website Roadmap Planning With New Horizon Digital

From roadmap planning to going live, our talented team is ready to make your website plan come together. With your website project, you’ll get a dedicated delivery team of website strategists, UX/UI designers, front-end and back-end developers and marketers hand-selected based on your requirements. Let’s discuss how we can help you achieve your goals and make those outcomes a reality.

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