Digital Roadmap: Focus on Problems, Not Features

If you use a roadmap as a key planning for your digital efforts, there’s a good chance you’ve fallen into some of the same traps experienced by so many others. Is your digital roadmap changing more often than you’d like, especially for near-term time horizons of a quarter or two? Did your organization create a roadmap, only to then have it disappear until the next annual planning process? Was your roadmap created by your marketing team, or your IT team, without full buy-in and ownership from the other? Or worse, do you have multiple and possibly even conflicting roadmaps?

If yes to any of the above, you’re not alone. You’re probably in the majority. One possible solution is to restructure your digital roadmap to be focused on solving specific problems, rather than on implementing features or functionality. Examples:

  • Eliminate redundancies in tech stack to lower costs 
  • Reduce time to market for product information changes to less than one day
  • Automate e-commerce returns process in back-end systems
  • Explore digital promotion capabilities to increase average order size
  • Determine method for calculating and reporting on digital cost-per-lead

With this approach, the digital roadmap helps reinforce a culture of true business-oriented problem solving that will eliminate the all-too-common problem of investing for little or no incremental improvements. This approach also avoids the trap of identifying a specific solution too early in the process. Instead of a tactical goal such as implement a CRM, the team can stay focused and be held accountable for a more business-oriented goal such as increase customer retention. By doing so, your roadmap becomes a strategic tool that can increase collaboration between various teams and partners that are contributors to success.


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