In this podcast, Paul & James give advice on what a roadmap needs to include, how to manage your roadmap and how to use it effectively to prioritise resources to ensure you can deliver planned work.
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Learning how to plan and manage your ecommerce roadmap is really important. The roadmap is a schedule of work for the maintenance and continuous improvement of your website, the ecommerce equivalent of a content calendar. It indicates the ecommerce team’s priorities and can be distributed to help internal & external partners plan and align
Get practical advice from James & Paul. who share the key learning from a combined 30+ years of ecommerce technology project management, exploring good practice for creating, managing and prioritising ecommerce roadmaps.
Tl;dr – what we cover:
- The purpose of a roadmap & how to approach it
- What a good roadmap includes
- Tips for effective planning
- What ecommerce teams are focusing on at the momentWhat a good roadmap includes
Key Discussion Points
- What do we mean by a roadmap and what is its purpose?
- A schedule of work for the maintenance and continuous improvement of your website
- The ecommerce equivalent of a content calendar: it shows the ecommerce team’s priorities to help internal & external partners plan and align
- How to approach a roadmap:
- Best way to fill / identify items – backlog + medium term and long-term
- Audits of the current site and capabilities are often a good starting point and then prioritise from there
- Delivery – important to have a clear plan for Sprints using your retainer + run larger projects through CAPEX
- What should your roadmap include:
- Timelines & priorities!
- Prioritisation criteria need to be agreed and easy to apply e.g. “Revenue potential” which is rated 0-5 based on the business case you’ve created
- Minor enhancements e.g. improving existing feature
- 3rd party integration
- Major projects e.g. business is changing ER
- Major projects usually require a development partner to do some Discovery then provide a cost estimate for approval so they can plan the resource alongside your retainer service
- Tip: include bug fixes as a separate stream in the roadmap; they’re covered by the S&M SLA but you’ve got to prioritise based on impact
- How do you plan a roadmap & then manage it ongoing?
- Run regular (quarterly but can be monthly if your roadmap changes frequently) briefings with key partners like your dev agency to ensure they’re aware of what’s coming next: helps provision resources
- You’ve got to stay on top of your agency partner PM/AMs: they’ve got to understand your priorities and play back progress
- Comms is critical: weekly calls to review progress/issues/priorities/agree actions
- Also need to liaise with other key stakeholders internally: what’s in their roadmap, what dependencies with ecommerce, what input/resource do you need from them and when?
- Using a Trello style board is really helpful for ticket planning (some will put it all in their PM tool like Confluence or Clickup)
- Have sensible metrics to measure progress on tickets: time lapsed, time from submission, % complete vs. outstanding – have a visual report
- What are some areas commonly being looked at by ecommerce teams?
- Replatforming – last 2 years showed a few businesses their tech and/or processes weren’t fit for purpose
- Consolidation of storefronts
- Theme rebuilds etc
- 360s / AR
- Login / account proposition
- Multi-buy prop
- 2.0 in Shopify world
- International bits
- Navigation menus and filtering
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