The Roadmapper

Patrick Brandt
Nov 21, 2018 · 3 min read

During my tenure at Coca-Cola, I’ve worked with diverse business groups from R&D (i.e. beverage impresarios) to marketing and ecommerce. One common theme across these groups: they need to modernize their digital platforms to suit the demands of contemporary workforces and customers — folks whose expectations around digital experiences are molded more by consumer applications like Facebook and Gmail than business platforms like SAP and Sharepoint.

Marrying business needs with workforce and customer expectations about user experience requires purposeful digital product development. I created a simple way for my counterparts in the beverage and marketing businesses to identify what they need from a digital product.

Skateboards, rockets, and milestones

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This simple transportation metaphor is intended to make the concept of product iteration clear and memorable.

Each milestone is intended to represent a digital product that is both…

  • A self-contained product that provides value to end users
  • A foundation for the next milestone

“What’s our skateboard?”

The Roadmapper template

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The full template is at
  • Each milestone release is an iteration of the platform — one milestone builds towards the next
  • Each milestone release is a self-contained product that provides value to its targets
  • Targets are the stakeholders who will benefit from the milestone release
  • Features define the behavior of the milestone release: what will the product do?
  • Goals/Key Performance Indicators are desired outcomes that can be measured and tracked
  • Change Management outlines impacts to existing stakeholders

Adoption is critical to product success and it can be ruined by not anticipating how existing personnel, systems, and behaviors will be impacted by the introduction of new products and processes. I include change management in the template to encourage product designers to consider their product rollout strategy early.

How to use the roadmapper

  • on a whiteboard
  • on the back of a napkin
  • on printouts used during facilitated sessions with executives, owners, or prospective users.

I’ve put together a few variations of the template. The one I use the most are the two pages that separate the first three milestones (skateboard, scooter, bicycle) from the last three (car, airplane, rocket ship). Having six milestones printed out across two pages provides more room for hand-written thoughts.

You can find the Roadmapper template at my GitHub account:

From roadmap to backlog


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