Thinking Upside Down Roadmaps vs Architectures by Andy Dent December 5, 2006
How do you develop a Roadmap for a broad-ranging community, encompassing several service-oriented architectures? Here are some ideas.
I'm currently engaged in a project, with colleagues at the CSIRO, to develop a software roadmap.
The specific roadmap we're producing involves much proprietary IP and so can't be published at this time. However, I found a dearth of material on how to produce such a roadmap and so have put together some ideas, which I am allowed to publish.
At the risk of subverting the page itself, I'll include a bit of content here.
Roadmap as a Collection of Assets
(I am tempted to use the word Artefacts instead of Assets but maybe Assets best-represents things which may have existed before the roadmap development activity started)
Instead of a relatively static document, consider a roadmap as a collection of relatively small assets which can be retrieved and presented in various ways.
There would be narrative sections weaving some of these assets together, including tables that might reference and summarise many more of them.
To be able to do such varied grouping, assets need identifying as being linked. This might be explicit or implicit (eg: identifying a particular stakeholder as being linked to anything with Security implications).
Another way of putting this is to say, a roadmap is chock-full of relationships.
Ways to Index or Group Assets
Depending on your role, personality or immediate question to ask, you might want to see things by
RM-ODP Viewpoint, eg Technical
more specialised concern, eg: Security
Funding body or agreement
I'm using the term Sequence here rather than Timeline because these are not necessarily temporal.
Temporal - planned timeline
Temporal - actual delivered timeline
Conceptual Roadmap - the "spatial" analogy, representing some order based on how things appear between two points
technical, as in A can't function without B
social or project-planning
Narrative - when we use use cases or stories to describe a situation being covered by the roadmap, all the things mentioned in that narrative can be summarised in the order of the narrative.
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Andy is a free-lance developer in C++, REALbasic, Python, AJAX and other XML technologies. He works out of Perth, Western Australia for a local and international clients on cross-platform projects with a focus on usability for naive and infrequent users. Included in his range of interests are generative solutions, software usability and small-team software processes. He still bleeds six colors, even though Apple stopped, and uses migration projects from legacy Mac OS to justify the hardware collection.