Understanding the importance of digital roadmaps.

When it comes to business transformation, one of the most important things to consider is how you can grow your offering in line with your key performance indicators (KPIs), whilst maintaining the performance that your customers expect in your day-to-day operations.  

Growth is all about planning and forward thinking, and one of the tools that is most commonly used is a digital roadmap. 

Recently we spoke to Jon Seal, Experience Director at Mando about creating a digital roadmap to help your business flourish and the importance of fleshing out a strategy and vision that will deliver improved performance in the future. 

Jon covers a range of topics in the video including:  

  • What is a digital roadmap? 
  • Why is it important to include one in your digital strategy 
  • What problems does a digital roadmap help to alleviate? 

You can see the full video below: 

 

What is a digital roadmap? 

A digital roadmap is a high-level document or workflow that offers a birds-eye view of your current positioning through to what your business wants to achieve. The roadmap helps identify the digital initiatives that can help you get from A to B. 

Whenever we talk about a roadmap, we find ourselves answering the question, where are we now and where do we want to get to? We also look at the big features along the way that give you the confidence to bridge the gap and let you get to that final position. 

Your strategy is the process of identifying how investment in digital technologies and approaches can maximise competitive advantage, growth, profit, and value for clients.  

Aligning your strategy to a roadmap to make sure that you are able to reinvest in certain areas is a priority. If there is a scalable approach in place to make sure that a positive return on digital investments can be put towards a cadence of new tooling and digital elements, the cycle becomes self-perpetuating.  

Typically, we like to work in a way that highlights how to:  

  • Create a vision statement that sets out how digital will support the business ambition.  
  • Build a mechanism to connect business goals with performance insights, ensuring a tangible pathway to achieve and prove success.  
  • Design a framework to help identify and address the operational gaps, risks, and issues in delivering on the digital vision.  
  • Factor in a Now/Next/Future view of potential digital initiatives across common digital themes. 

Jon supports this and tells us: “We tend to think about different swim lanes relating to the now, next and future and you need to think about how you want to progress all aspects of your strategy.  

“It’s really important that when those working on the digital roadmap create something that is easy to explain to the wider stakeholders, but which shows a detailed timeline of events to work towards.”  

Why is it important to include a roadmap as part of your digital strategy? 

 There are several reasons for including a digital roadmap. Here’s our quick checklist of reasons to include one in your strategy. 

  1. You need direction - It is often the case that companies without a digital strategy are also missing a clear goal for what they want their online presence to achieve. Brands need to consider key goals such as reducing the cost to serve their customers and must invest in the areas that are going to have the greatest impact. 
  2. Your audience isn’t clear or clearly catered for - If you haven’t properly researched your audience, then you won’t know what the demand is for your online services. Thinking about adding in audits to your roadmap process is a surefire way of getting evidence-based data that can determine pain points and areas of high user pressure on your website. The results of auditing this data are plentiful and allow you to become laser focused on delivering the best experience. 
  3. It builds loyalty and develops your brand proposition - Your online value proposition is where you tailor your brand to your different audiences. It will help you to differentiate your online service so that you can encourage existing and new customers to engage. Good UX in this area leads to increased customer satisfaction and builds loyalty. 
  4. Moving customers online - With a roadmap and a long-term plan, the majority of businesses can move their products or services online, and the transition to selling products or services offline to online can be simple. In nearly every case it is the most cost-effective way of spending the budget and offers long-term stability and security. 
  5. A typical cadence for moving customers online and understanding their needs could be written as follows: 
    Discover – at this stage you need to gain a deep understanding of your brand, vision, market, and audience needs, to clearly capture project requirements. 
    Design - designing an experience to deliver the project vision, including all supporting detail needed for the solution to be created and rolled-out successfully. 
    Deliver - transforming the design from concept to reality, ensuring the solution not only meets the agreed scope but also achieves wider business outcomes.  
    Support, maintain and optimise – this commences when a new service or product goes live. This is when you start to monitor the performance of the solution, whether it be infrastructure performance or benefits tracking against KPIs (Key Performance Indicators). 

Final thoughts  

Planning is one of the most vital parts of business development and whilst there is often a grey area as to where strategy ends and day-to-day planning begins, a roadmap offers you the best possible cadence. As Jon mentions there are endless opportunities to review your now, next and future, so that you are in the best place to optimise, innovate and adapt. 

If you want to find out more about how we implement digital roadmaps for enterprise-sized clients, then why not get in touch?