Product roadmaps are one of the most powerful documents a team can build. A good roadmap makes sure that everyone working on a product – from senior executives, to product leaders, to design, to development – understands the status of work and are aligned on upcoming priorities.

Unfortunately, roadmaps can be a hassle. They’re often created in spreadsheets and slide decks, which can take an enormous amount of effort to create and keep up to date. Depending on the format they can also be difficult for stakeholders to understand. As a result, roadmaps sometimes fall by the wayside and it’s not always clear whether they reflect the actual up-to-date status of a project. People can end up opting for manual status updates via emails and meetings rather than consulting the document you took hours to create and maintain.

We’re introducing roadmaps into Jira Software’s new next-gen project experience because we want to help you make your roadmap a source of truth for your entire organization. Roadmaps in Jira Software enable you to quickly create a timeline of your plans, update your priorities as they change, and communicate the status of work to your stakeholders.

Roadmapping, made easier for your team

One thing we heard frequently when talking to customers was that building and maintaining a roadmap involved a lot of overhead. Part of that overhead comes from trying to align the roadmap with work that’s being tracked in Jira Software. After all, how can a roadmap be realistic if it’s not connected to the work the engineering team is actually doing? For agile teams, the scope and status of work is a continuous work in progress and therefore so is the roadmap. We think that by moving the roadmap into Jira Software, we’re addressing some of this pain by letting teams attach the stories and tasks in their Jira project to the actual work on their roadmap.

But being within Jira Software in and of itself doesn’t make building and maintaining a roadmap easy. That’s why we optimized for simplicity and ease-of-use with the design of the feature. We’re proud that you can create a roadmap in just a couple clicks and create new roadmap items (epics) right inline. You can also break down work into smaller tasks right from within the epic and easily adjust your timeline and its priority through drag-and-drop functionality as the scope of your work changes. (And the date fields in your epics will automatically reflect the timeline of your roadmap as it changes and vice versa!).

Jira Software’s new roadmaps feature with child and linked issues

Purpose built for collaboration and sharing across your organization

A roadmap best serves its purpose of getting all stakeholders on the same page when the roadmap-building process is collaborative. By bringing the roadmap into Jira Software, it makes it more accessible and discoverable for your teammates. This gives everyone a better sense of the bigger picture and how their work relates to it. In addition, as the scope of work changes (never happens, right?!) the roadmap is available so anyone can make the appropriate updates, which helps ensure your roadmap stays up to date.

Having your roadmap in Jira Software also makes it easier to share with stakeholders outside the team. You can easily send a link that will take people straight to your roadmap, time-stamped with the most recent change. In the near future, you’ll also be able to embed the roadmap straight into a Confluence page.

Because simplicity is a core tenet of Jira’s roadmap feature, anyone in the organization – from executives to cross functional partners – should be able to look at the roadmap and understand the status of a project. For people who need more details, they can easily drill in to find a description of the epic as well as associated issues in Jira Software.

Looking ahead with roadmaps

We’re just getting started with roadmaps. We know that not all roadmaps are designed around timelines and we’re looking to incorporate alternative styles of roadmapping into the feature. We also have some exciting updates ahead that will bolster functionality around sharing and collaborating. In the meantime, we think our roadmaps feature will be a great place to start aligning your team and stakeholders around common objectives. Let us know what you think!

Why you need roadmaps in Jira Software