Roadmapping has always been a dirty word in agile circles. In some ways it feels inherently waterfall to plan a 6, 12, or 18 month roadmap for the team. I’m here to tell you that roadmapping is a good thing. It gives the organization context and shared direction for where the group is going.
As team members, we’re always looking for context. What is context? You’ve probably heard one of the following questions on your team.
How do I fit into where the organization is heading?
How does my contribution mix with others on my team?
How do the decisions I’m making affect other people in the organization?
How can I anticipate changes that come from other teams?
What types of features might we be building down the road that I need to understand to make good architecture today?
An old employee of mine gave me great advice as a manager: “it’s your job to anticipate and remove surprises so that the team doesn’t have to hit speed bumps.” Roadmapping gives the organization enough foresight into the future to anticipate and deal with speed bumps.