What Is a Strategic Roadmap?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
Woman with hand on her hip
Woman with hand on her hip

A strategic roadmap is a document that is used within a company to indicate the path a business plans on taking to achieve a particular goal. This is often used with a general business plan to indicate how the business intends on moving forward to accomplish its goals. A strategic roadmap essentially serves the same purpose as a roadmap used in driving, to indicate where someone is, where he or she wants to be, and how that person can get there. For a company, this document indicates where the business is now, where it wants to be in the future, and the path or paths that can be used to reach that destination.

The purpose of a strategic roadmap for a company is for a document that can be used as a guide for future growth and development. If a business currently produces hard drives for computers, for example, but wants to begin making software as well, then it might create a strategic roadmap showing how that change can be made. This can be a text document, though visual aids are often prepared as well, to show the process in a more easily understandable format.

In this example, the company might state “leading hard drive manufacturer” as the current “location” for the business, indicating where the company is at professionally. The destination that the company wants to reach, however, is “leading software developer” in a particular industry or for a certain type of software. All of these specifics can vary a great deal, depending upon the particular nature of a company and the various accomplishments it wants to achieve. Between this starting point and the destination on the strategic roadmap, the company can then plan out the different steps necessary to complete this “journey.”

The strategic roadmap might indicate how many software developers and designers need to be hired on, how much this is likely to cost, and the time needed to begin and complete development of new programs. All of these steps are part of the path that the company needs to take to reach the destination, and some of these routes may present obstacles or choices just like any other roadmap. The strategic roadmap might indicate that 20 software developers could be needed to go in one direction, while only 10 could be needed to take a different route. These types of options are all planned out in advance, just like someone planning a trip using an actual map, to allow the company to move forward and adapt to different situations through continued use of a dynamic and adjustable plan.

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