Digital Roadmapping and Prioritization

by Mateusz Kuczera

Published July 24, 2023

“Okay,” says Malik. “So, we know what we want. But there’s still a truckload of things.”

“There’s quite a few ideas, yeah,” replies Bjorn. “And that’s why we’ll have to prioritize and decide what we do first.”

“Honestly, if we don’t fix this invoicing problem soon, I’m going to murder someone,” says Malik.

“I get it,” says Bjorn. “Just so you know, there are dependencies in the order things should get done. If you implement one app before the other, you’ll risk having to manually populate data until the pre-required app is integrated. So, while we have some freedom is prioritizing, there are things that should get done first.”

“That’s just great,” sighs Malik. “Didn’t you talk about low something oranges or whatever?”

“Low hanging fruits, yes,” corrects Bjorn. “We’ll try to start with those of course, but like I said, some things should be first. I’ll give you an example. If you don’t create item price lists, you can’t digitize work order management. And if you don’t fix the fact that work orders are filled manually, you’ll have to do exactly as before with invoices. Instead of writing them in an excel spreadsheet, you’ll have to populate a software app. You will gain visibility on receivables and will enable invoice follow-ups, so finances should gradually recover. But be aware that significant time savings will have to wait until preliminary apps are integrated.”

“That’s fine,” replies Malik. “Let’s do invoices first and I’ll take care of populating while you fix the rest. I just can’t stand this paperwork anymore.”

“Understood,” confirms Bjorn. “Invoices therefore go first on the roadmap, closely followed with items and price lists, and then field service and work order management. Does that work?”

“Yeah, good with me,” says Malik. “What’s after that?”

Discussing priorities with business stakeholders is of course extremely important. And while it may not be the order preferred for a seamless integration, the order should be agreed upon upfront.

On Roadmaps

Roadmaps are product tools which enable to have visibility on high level timelines for product implementation. They very closely resemble Gantt charts but lack low-level details. This is intentional as their primary purpose is to provide that high-level view to allow correct prioritization of what needs implementation first.


Once on the roadmap, items should be easier to prioritize. Approximate timelines will also help understand how fast certain apps can be integrated and how long the entire project will take. At the preliminary stage however, only an approximate view of the roadmap will be available. But without a preliminary prioritized roadmap, choosing tools for pilots will be difficult.

Refine After App Selection

When the preliminary needs and requirements have been prioritized on the roadmap, selecting the software applications becomes pretty easy. As software tools are selected, the roadmap should be refined to include software implementation logic. Like the scenario between Bjorn and Malik, it is likely that when apps are selected, the order of implementation will change. For instance, creating invoices, even manually, may not be possible without electronic price lists. Price lists will therefore become a higher priority than invoicing.

Keep the Roadmap Alive

When the roadmap has been “finalized” and agreed upon, it can be fed into Agile project management. And as the different solutions get implemented, it is recommended to re-visit the roadmap to ensure that priorities are still relevant. Priorities often shift in small businesses, and re-evaluating them on a regular basis is important to ensure alignment and continued involvement of stakeholders. Reviewing roadmap is recommended after each roadmap item is delivered into production.

It also occurs quite often that as some items are delivered, the stakeholders add more needs and requirements to the scope. This is effectively called scope creep and is not surprising at all. And as scope creeps, it is important to ensure the roadmap aligns with scope. Of course, as scope creeps, the business case should also be adjusted to cater for additional cost.


The roadmap is a critical tool to ensure that the needs and requirements from the original scope and prioritized based on stakeholder expectations and software constraints. And while a preliminary version should be done early in the process, it should be continuously refined and re-visited to ensure it remains relevant and aligned with expectations.

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