Strategic Planning and Roadmapping: Why, what, and how?

What is it? 

Roadmapping is a very flexible approach and can be applied to virtually any strategic context or need, adapted appropriately. Identifying the purpose of the roadmap is vital to ensure the approach is focused and configured appropriately in terms of structure, format, and process.

Organizations often consider roadmapping motivated by a need to develop strategic plans in response to opportunities or threats, yet some of the early benefits often relate to diagnostics and problem-solving. Roadmaps can quickly pull together knowledge from across an organization to establish the big picture, identifying what is known and not known to build consensus on outputs, as well as strategic decisions and actions moving forward.

Roadmaps typically help answer the six fundamental questions of why, what, how, when, who, and where easily.

How does it work?

Strategic roadmaps

A strategic roadmap is a structured forward-looking diagram that sets out an integrated view of the way forward for an organization, sector, or other systems. Roadmaps represent the pathway/s towards value, from the current position to future aspiration, along with enablers and barriers along the way.

For industrial applications, roadmaps typically combine commercial and technical perspectives, ensuring that customer needs and technical solutions are considered in tandem. A roadmap is not a static forecast, but rather a device to support strategic navigation, updated periodically as events unfold and new knowledge is gained. 

strategic roadmap.png

To create such a strategic roadmap, you will first need to create the entities that will be reflected on the roadmap. On a strategic roadmap, a match is created between market needs, products/solutions/assets, and the technological building blocks.

The layer structure is in general not related to the entities, i.e., every entity can be put into any layer. However, it makes sense to separate this already on the entity level. This means that it might make sense to create three different entities: drivers or objectives, products or assets, and technologies or building blocks.

Afterward, start creating the roadmap. Navigate to the Settings Wheel > Roadmap > All Roadmaps. You can also create single roadmaps from the 'Create button' in the main navigation bar. A form opens from which you need to complete the fields.


A title, abstract, start, and end years are required information to enter. You can add an image and layers if you want to (optional).

To insert a high-level layer, hover over the Root field and click on plus icon (1). You can type a new name for your layers and confirm by pressing ENTER or click Done. For any sub-layers you may hover over the added (sub)layers and click on plus icon again. To remove a layer hover over it again and click on delete icon (2).


Following the above steps, you can define and set up your layer structure for your roadmap in no time. The below shows a best practice example connecting (innovation) projects with technologies and partners.


Press Save and Publish and let's start working with your first Roadmap.

Make sure to check the roadmap permissions within the system-level permissions. You can access your new roadmap from the main navigation menu by hovering over the roadmap section. To add elements to your roadmap, go to a respective content element and find the roadmap tab on it. 

From here, you can add the respective content element to your newly created roadmap.

Be aware that there is also the advanced option to create a roadmap from the Explorer module. However, note that this option must first be activated by ITONICS.

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