Technology Roadmapping: Recommendations from Business Leaders

By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team
Published on September 15, 2023

In this article, eleven industry leaders, including CEOs and CTOs, share their invaluable advice on creating effective technology roadmaps. From measuring the impact of new functionalities to aligning tech with business goals, these experts provide a wealth of insights based on their experiences and lessons learned. Dive in to discover their top tips for aligning technology initiatives with business objectives.

  • Measure the Impact of New Functionalities
  • Combine Team Alignment and Customer Engagement
  • Focus on a Specific Market
  • Promote Efficiency and Seamless Integration
  • Leverage Honest Technology Consultants
  • Prioritize Clear Goals and User Feedback
  • Identify Objectives, Avoid Long-Term Contracts
  • Balance Innovation and Stability
  • Embrace Speed to Market and AI
  • Ensure Scalability, Flexibility, and Collaboration
  • Align Tech with Business Goals

Measure Impact of New Functionalities

One of the most important things I’ve learned is measuring the impact of new functionalities and features that you deploy in the market. 

First, it’s important to identify what your objectives are and how you can quantify success. In a SaaS company that is using agile development, you may want to probe and test new functionalities quickly, even in a minimal implementation. Whenever shipping new features, make sure that you’re able to track the impact, either automatically or manually by performing interviews. 

Oftentimes, these insights will allow you to better see the value of each feature, which in turn allows you to adjust your roadmap to maximally capture that value.

Samuel Van De Velde, CTO, Pozyx

Combine Team Alignment and Customer Engagement

Roadmaps primarily cater to two audiences: your team as they provide alignment, set a common direction, and offer a vision for everyone; and your customers as they’re eager to know what’s coming and when. Sharing your roadmap fosters a sense of engagement and anticipation around your product.

Balancing these objectives in a dynamic, agile world requires constant adjustment based on customers’ feedback, product analytics, and market shifts.

Suggestions for defining an effective roadmap include:

  • Detail items for up to one quarter.
  • Beyond one quarter, stick to broader themes or macro items.
  • Refrain from laying out specifics more than a year in advance.
  • Plan for change and maintain some buffer for unforeseen shifts.

Earning trust with your customers is pivotal, and roadmaps are instrumental in this. Delivering on promises fosters that trust. However, if priorities shift, be transparent. Have the humility to explain changes to your customers.

Joao Aguiam, Co-Founder and CTO, Veertly

Focus on a Specific Market

Zero in on a beachhead market through customer interviews. Develop a list of characteristics for the best first user segment based on characteristics like who has the most pain, budget, and risk tolerance. 

Ask yourself, “How influential is the market? How cohesive?” Then, test your theory with interviews. Look at the interviews, pivot, and retest until you have confidence in your value proposition to a target initial market.

Glen Hellman, Executive Coach, University of Maryland – A. James Clark School of Engineering

Promote Efficiency and Seamless Integration

Implementing technology effectively involves constantly asking, “How can we do this more efficiently to improve team productivity and customer experience?” Ensuring the entire team uses the new system is crucial, making training a key component of any implementation. It’s also important that technology platforms complement each other seamlessly. 

A tip to be mindful of is not to use too many different platforms at once, as it can lead to team frustration from having to learn too many new things simultaneously. Technology should save time and money, but there may be a learning curve that needs to be supported.

Colette Kemp, Accredited Small Business Consultant

Leverage Honest Technology Consultants

An honest technology consultant who doesn’t rely on hourly billing is a valuable asset. A tech consultant who works hard to fully vet vendors and suppliers, conducts market and general research, lines up virtual meetings, and assists as needed to ensure a bullseye with the chosen supplier is ideal. The CTOs and CIOs who have worked with such consultants often express a wish to have met them years ago. 

Technology support staff are often inundated with work and chasing around false positives with all the cybersecurity risks around every corner. A trusted advisor who proves themselves with a small project and builds from there is beneficial. Those who are in it for the long term, as needed, without charging consulting fees, are the ones who should be most sought after. Setting aside egos and giving such consultants a chance will not lead to disappointment.

Joe Dix, Information Technology Consultant, CANDID Solutions, Inc.

Prioritize Clear Goals and User Feedback

I like to start by getting super clear about our goals. I make sure everyone understands what the business needs to achieve, so we’re all on the same page.

We keep our roadmap pretty flexible, having regular prioritization meetings to make sure we always allocate appropriately our resources, and to focus on what’s going to have the greatest impact on our revenues and our end-user experience. 

In the beginning, we were quick to build anything and everything our users were asking for. At scale, this is impossible and you really have to be able to sort the signal from the noise. Now, we let our users submit ideas and vote on other people’s ideas. The ideas that get the most votes get prioritized higher, then from that list, it boils down to what’s going to serve our highest and best.

Justin Smith, CEO, Contractor+

Identify Objectives, Avoid Long-Term Contracts

Start by identifying your business objectives. Your technology roadmap should be designed around solving problems, whether they are existing or predicted, to effectively support your business objectives. Expect there to be phases and “versions” of your technology roadmap. Finding the right technology to support your business may require some trial and error. 

With that said, avoid jumping straight into long-term contracts. Instead, negotiate a three-month trial period in the event you discover it does not align with your business objectives. Especially in cases of per-user packages, be careful about purchasing bundles that exceed your current needs. If you go overboard, you may end up paying for technology you are not using in the event of an economic downturn.

Elizabeth Zuponcic, Marketing and Operations Specialist

Balance Innovation and Stability

Finding the sweet spot between innovation and keeping the tech ship steady is like balancing on a tightrope. It’s thrilling to chase after the shiny new tech toys and trends. 

But here’s the catch—don’t forget your trusty old systems. Just like taking care of your vintage car while eyeing that slick new model, your current infrastructure deserves some love too. It’s all about finding harmony, like a tech orchestra playing in sync. Innovation is fantastic, but stability and security are your steadfast companions. Keep them happy, and your tech journey will be a smooth ride.

Sonu Bubna, Founder,

Embrace Speed to Market and AI

Today, an effective technology roadmap is mostly about speed to market. To succeed, you need to innovate and test your hypotheses quickly. The era of generative AI brings enormous automation to every aspect of business activities, starting from content marketing and culminating in writing code. 

This allows you to significantly increase your productivity and reduce costs. In the current landscape, to stay competitive, at least 30% of your product backlog items should be related to tasks involving AI.

Vitalii Romanchenko, CEO,

Ensure Scalability, Flexibility, and Collaboration

Creating an effective technology roadmap is an ongoing process that requires a deep understanding of business objectives, strategic thinking, and collaboration across the organization. 

Business leaders ought to prioritize taking initiative, take scalability and flexibility into account, set up cross-functional teams, make sure that they have realistic timelines in mind, and budget things wisely. These aspects, combined with a good way of leveraging analytics on the fly and an ability to stay agile, ensure that your enterprise roadmaps are effective and efficient!

Shaun Gozo-Hill, Director, 2Game

Align Tech with Business Goals

The key to creating effective technology roadmaps is to remain focused on your business goals and use the tech as an addendum to satisfy those goals. Many businesses get caught up in how cool the tech is and want to use it, even if it’s not really suited to their goals. They want to promote using it because they feel that having the newest and latest will make them competitive. However, it does no good if the tech isn’t truly helping you reach your goals. 

The question to ask when creating a roadmap is: which tech will help me at each juncture? Is there new tech coming out in the years to come that would help at those crossroads? You may even write out your wish list for tech at each pivotal point, even if it doesn’t exist yet. This will keep your company on track as new tech comes out.

Amruth Laxman, Founding Partner, 4Voice

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By Greg Grzesiak Greg Grzesiak has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team

Greg Grzesiak is an Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Columnist at Grit Daily. As CEO of Grzesiak Growth LLC, Greg dedicates his time to helping CEOs influencers and entrepreneurs make the appearances that will grow their following in their reach globally. Over the years he has built strong partnerships with high profile educators and influencers in Youtube and traditional finance space. Greg is a University of Florida graduate with years of experience in marketing and journalism.

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