Product strategy & vision

7 min read

Easy Agile Roadmaps: How To Create a Product Roadmap Template

Sun Mar 21 2021
Sean Blake
Written by Sean Blake, Head of Marketing
Matt de Feudis
Artwork by Matt de Feudis, Senior Designer

Roadmaps help agile teams produce great products. They’re iterative, visual, collaborative, and they can be created directly in Jira. We designed the simplest roadmapping tool for Jira to bring the benefits of roadmaps straight to agile development teams. Use the Easy Agile Roadmaps app to create product roadmap templates that are simple to use, flexible, and integrated directly within Jira.

In a previous post, we shared a quick guide on how to create a Jira roadmap using Easy Agile Roadmaps. If you haven’t used Easy Agile Roadmaps yet, start there to install a free 30-day evaluation and create a product roadmap in Jira.

This post will cover some of the key features of our app, including how to synchronize your roadmap, schedule work from your backlog onto the timeline, create theme swimlanes, and visualize key date milestones.

The benefits of roadmapping

Roadmaps are extremely useful. Here are just a few of the things they can do:

  • Provide a big picture vision for agile teams
  • Provide a visual summary of the product development process
  • Communicate strategic initiatives and business objectives
  • Allow for real-time iterations
  • Provide a clear time frame to keep product strategy on track
  • Ensure short-term goals are met as soon as possible while still keeping an eye on long-term goals
  • Help product managers oversee and organize product releases
  • Track important release dates and product launches
  • Keep everyone up-to-date on broader business goals
  • Illustrate both a detailed and high-level overview of deliverables
  • Help product managers and team members see dependencies between issues
  • Help development teams bring constant value to external stakeholders

Plus, when you create a Jira roadmap, you have quick access to your product plans, and you always know exactly where your roadmap lives — right in our app. No more chasing down Gantt Charts or looking for one-off PowerPoint presentations!

Easy Agile Roadmaps: configuration, themes, markers, and PDF export

We designed the simplest and most flexible roadmapping tool for Jira to help agile teams work better together. Easy Agile Roadmaps create a flexible, iterative, and easy-to-use visual timeline of product development, allowing product owners to sequence the most critical features for customer delivery.

Watch our demo or follow the instructions below to:

  • Synchronize Jira start and due date fields
  • Schedule issues on the timeline
  • Add swimlane themes
  • Configure version and date markers
  • Export the roadmap as a PDF

Synchronize Jira start and due date fields

We require users to specify which date fields should be mapped directly to the roadmap for a synchronized roadmapping experience. You’ll need to choose your date fields since multiple custom date fields may exist, such as project start and end dates or contract start and end dates.

A Jira administrator is required to map date fields.

Navigate to the Jira administrative cog and click “Manage apps” from the dropdown menu. Down the left-hand side of the manage apps page, find “Easy Agile Roadmaps,” and click configuration. Here, you can select the desired date field.

product roadmap template: Easy Agile Roadmap Altassian screenshot

In each dropdown menu, you will see all of the available date fields to choose from on your Jira instance. Next, ensure that both of those date fields are associated with the screens used by your product teams.

product roadmap template: screenshot Easy Agile Roadmap teams

Once installed, Easy Agile Roadmaps can be found in the project sidebar for every Scrum and Kanban agile board. Clicking on the roadmap icon in the project sidebar will load your roadmap for your selected board. From the dropdown menu in the top right corner, you have the option to view your roadmap from a weekly, monthly, or quarterly timeline scale.

Schedule issues on the timeline

After loading your roadmap, two theme swimlanes are present on the roadmap. The first is an example roadmap titled “My theme” that can be renamed. The second is a swimlane called “issues without themes.” Any issues populated within your selected date fields will appear on the timeline in a swimlane titled “issues without themes,” located at the bottom of your roadmap.

You can use the drag-and-drop functionality to move any issue to a different theme or place it on the timeline.

product roadmap template: Moving tasks in Roadmaps by Easy Agile GIF

Issues from your board that have not been populated with start and due date fields can be added to your roadmap from the issues panel. Click on the blue “Issues” button in the top right corner of the roadmap, and simply drag an issue from the panel onto the timeline to schedule it on your roadmap.

Issues can be resized to show their expected start date, duration, and end date. To resize an issue, drag the left or right end to the desired date.

Create swimlane themes

You can slice your roadmap using theme swimlanes. These are a flexible way of grouping work and dividing the roadmap into a more visually digestible format. Theme swimlanes can represent anything suitable for your business context, from distinct themes of work to project components. Examples of themes include health and safety, customer onboarding experience, or customer satisfaction and engagement.

product roadmap template: Roadmaps by Easy Agile My Themes GIF

To create a new themed swimlane, click the “Create Theme” button located at the top of your roadmap. Name your theme, and press “Submit.” Your new theme will appear above the issues without themes swimlane and can be reordered using the arrows to the right-hand side of its name.

Configure version and date markers

Use Markers to visualize key date milestones and Jira fix versions on your roadmap.

To add Jira fix versions to your timeline, select the “Markers” button from the top of the roadmap. Click “Add Marker” to the fix versions you want to add to your roadmap.

Date markers are a flexible way of representing milestones or events, such as conferences, beta periods, or marketing campaign launches. To create a date marker, select the “Markers” button from the top of the roadmap. Select the option “Add a Date Marker.” Name your date marker or milestone, set the start and end date, and choose the marker color. Use color to signify different types of events and to add another layer of visual organization to your roadmap.

product roadmap template: Add date marker GIF from Roadmaps by Easy Agile

Export the roadmap as a PDF

The roadmap can be exported as a PDF to share with users and stakeholders who don't have access to Jira. To export your roadmap, click on the ellipses menu and select “Export to PDF.”

Select the timeframe you would like to share using the start and end date options, then press “Export.”

PDF export screenshot in Roadmaps by Easy Agile

Product roadmap template example

Below is an example product roadmap template made with Easy Agile Roadmaps. The roadmap shows product launch dates, events, and overdue tasks with vertical colored Markers. Issues are arranged and scheduled by date in themed swimlanes that further organize the roadmap.

Example of product roadmap in Easy Agile

Easy Agile Roadmaps are completely customizable, so you can establish a process that works best for your team and your stakeholders.

How to get the most out of a product roadmap

✅ Utilize swimlane themes to tell a story about the customer journey. Ensure swimlane themes are customer-focused, so you always have their needs top-of-mind.

✅ Think of the roadmap as a living document. It will continue to evolve based on the needs of your team and stakeholders.

✅ Ensure the roadmap is accessible to all stakeholders so that they understand what’s going on and why you are making each decision. If necessary, regularly export the roadmap as a PDF for stakeholders who can’t access Jira to ensure organizational alignment.

✅ Actively collaborate with stakeholders, and involve them in the entire process. This will give you a clear understanding of what work will bring the most value to customers.

We dig deeper and expand on these guiding principles in our Product Roadmap Guide.

Try Easy Agile Roadmaps free for 30 days

Product roadmaps are widely used by agile teams since they simplify product goals and planning with a visual representation of the product journey.

Easy Agile Roadmaps help teams align around a product vision to continually bring value to customers. Complete a product roadmap so you can impress your team and stakeholders before ever making a commitment. Start your 30-day free trial to see what a difference this can make in your process.

If you have additional questions, ask us for an on-demand demo, which covers the features outlined in this post. Or, contact our team at any time with specific questions about any of our Easy Agile apps.

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