Working with the ITONICS Roadmap

What is it?

The ITONICS Roadmap helps you to both master strategic planning as well as generate an overview across the innovation landscape. This could include (a) future markets you identified to be attractive, (b) products and services you are working on to address that future (or existing) markets, (c) technologies you need to order to bring those products and services to market by developing them in-house or (d) working with start-ups, universities, and corporate partners.

To watch an overview of the ITONICS Roadmap, check out the video below ⬇️

How does it work?

Learn more in the following article on how to (you can use the links to jump to the respective section easily):

Adding content to a roadmap

To add content to a roadmap, you will first need to navigate to the content element that you want to add to the roadmap. If your Application Owner has activated the roadmap feature, and you are allowed to add content to a roadmap, you will find a tab called roadmap.

Click the Add to Roadmap button, and a pop-up will appear.  Fill in the required information.

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When ready, click Save on the pop-up. The Roadmap data will then be displayed on the Roadmap tab. Clicking the first icon next to the Roadmap name will open the actual roadmap in a new tab (1). Use the pen icon to edit the roadmap record (2). If you want to remove the element from the Roadmap, press the delete icon (3). 

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You will notice that there are more details shown on the Roadmap record. You can add these additional details to your Roadmap element:

  • Milestones (4)
  • Connected Milestones (5)
  • Connected content elements (6)

You are also able to add the same content element to another Roadmap as well by hitting the button Add to another Roadmap (7)

Adjusting the color dimension on a roadmap

Users can define a color schema per roadmap to optimally make use of the color as an additional information dimension.

From the Create/Edit roadmap page, a default color schema can be defined. This means that for each entity type listed (each entity type having the roadmap module enabled), either the default Entity Color (color configured from the entity configuration) or the color configuration of any other list field available for the particular entity type may be used to control the coloring of the respective, underlying elements.

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On saving the configuration and opening the roadmap, the default color schema defined prior is shown, meaning each element is on initial load colored on the default color setting of its underlying entity type.

Now, within a roadmap session, similarly to the dynamic legends / configuration in other visualizations such as the Radar, you can dynamically control the color schema of the entity types on the particular roadmap from the roadmap legend (see screenshot below). Here, the dropdown fields that are also listed in the color configuration of the roadmap in its create/edit form are listed. Thus, the default color of a particular entity type, i.e. Entity Color for the Project entity type, might dynamically be changed from the respective dropdown in the roadmap legend, to for example view the project elements on a roadmap based on the color configuration of the Health Status field. This way, each Project element will be colored based on the value it has assigned for the Health Status field, i.e. being colored green for being On Track.

Note: Any color schema dynamically adjusted from the roadmap legend does only apply for the current roadmap session, hence does mot overwrite the default color schema defined for the particular roadmap from the roadmap crate/edit form. On page re-load or navigating between modules, the default color setup will be shown again.

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Besides the option to control all elements of a particular entity type on a specific roadmap from the same color option, permitted users can define a color for a particular roadmap record of an element only. This may be done either from the roadmap tab of an element, or from the element bar directly.

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Within the Add/Edit element to roadmap option, the optional Color option is available. Via the Color option, you configure a color that will only apply to the particular roadmap record. This means that this color will only be reflected for this particular roadmap record of the element on the defined roadmap, while the color will not automatically be shown for the same element on other roadmaps. 

An individual color chosen on element-level is synced between the roadmap tab of a roadmap record and the respective element bar on the roadmap visualization itself.

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Thus, permitted users may change the individual element level color for a roadmap record from both the roadmap tab and the element bar, while changing the color in one location will reflect in the other on page load. Note that a color set for a particular roadmap record only may be removed again by the X icon to clear the color selection. Note that if cleared, the particular roadmap record will again be controlled based on the default color schema set for its underlying entity type on the respective roadmap.

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Note: there is the option to activate a small indicator shown on the element bar on the roadmap visualization to indicate that the color of a particular element, respectively roadmap record is controlled from the element-level and not from the default color schema of its underlying entity type, which must be activated by ITONICS.

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Adding milestones and connections to a roadmap

Whenever you add an element to the Roadmap, you can add information about Milestones and Connections.

Milestones are specific events at which you want to control the achievement of a particular task related to your content element put on the roadmap. 

Connections are the visual display of how one element relates to another (please do not mistake this as relations between content elements).

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Click Add milestone on the Roadmap record on the element detail page, and fill in the required fields on the pop-up. After saving it, the milestone will be displayed as a bracket and you will notice these icons on it:

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  • Add connections (1). You can add connections for the Milestone and for the Element as well. You can decide whether the connection is Incoming or Outgoing.
  • Edit (2). By clicking the pen icon, the pop-up will appear where you can update already completed fields.
  • Delete (3). You can remove the milestone.
  • At the top right side of the Milestone bracket, you will see a number that indicates connections count (4).

There are Connected Milestones and Connected Elements below the milestone area. You can add them by clicking the Add Connection button and choosing between incoming or outgoing. Keep in mind that you are only able to add the elements and milestones that are already on the Roadmap. If you want to open a preview of an element or a milestone, press the title on the bracket. 

Connected milestone.png

On the milestone bracket and preview, you will see the milestone type. It shows, for instance, "Approval". You need to select the type when creating a milestone. There are default options provided in the Milestone Type dropdown, however, your Application Owner might have also created his/her own milestone types.

Later, you can check how all the connections and milestones look on the Roadmap. Hover over the element and click the Connection icon. Now, you will see a couple of options for how to filter connections.  

connections on rm.png

Filtering the roadmap and saving your custom roadmap views

You can perform actions on your Roadmap to modify it according to your preferences or learn more about particular content elements.

  • To open the filtering options click Filter. (1)
  • You can save your Roadmap view by clicking on the save icon after you have applied your filters. (2)
  • All the saved filters & views will be displayed in the Quick Filter/View section. (3) You can view these by clicking on the button.
  • Use the timeline to adjust the time period according to your preferences. (4)
  • Click the first icon next to the timeline to show the layer visibility list. (5)
  • By activating the legend icon, the legend will be visible. This is where you can check entity and milestone types. Via the legend, you can change the color configuration for the available entity types within the particular roadmap session. (6)
    • Note that on reloading the page or navigating to another module, the colors controlling the respective entity types are reverted to the default color configuration defined for the particular roadmap.
  • You can access all the existing scenarios by clicking the icon. (7)   
  • By clicking the edit icon you can edit elements on the roadmap to create a new scenario. (8)
  • All the active layers and sub-layers are listed below the timeline section. (9)

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All the content elements - that are added to the roadmap - are placed horizontally into the layer area. The connections between the elements are always visible. If you want to view more details about an element,  open the preview by clicking on the element. You are able to do the following when hovering over an element:

  • Highlight the element (1)
  • Hide the element (2)
  • Remove the element (3)
  • Change the element-level color (4)
  • Filter the connections (5)

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When looking at different roadmaps, you can apply various filters and view options to narrow down the content that is shown on the roadmap. Depending on the perspective or question at hand you might want to apply the following options:

  1. Data filtering to narrow down the content based on hard facts and filter criteria
  2. Connection filtering to limit the content to only connected elements
  3. Timeline filtering to focus on a dedicated time window
  4. Hiding elements to reduce noise and distraction
  5. Highlighting elements to put focus on very important topics

Once you have applied all the above options to narrow down the roadmap content you can save your roadmap view by clicking on the Save icon. For saving a roadmap view you can define the following settings:

  1. Title to find your roadmap views later
  2. Selected view settings to manually manipulate what is included in the roadmap view (if there are no selected view settings, the system stores your selection as Quick Filter only)
  3. Selected filters to manually manipulate which filters are applied for this roadmap view
  4. Visibility to define who has access to this roadmap view:
    1. “Private” will make it only accessible for the user that saved this roadmap view
    2. “All users” will make it available to every user that has access to view this roadmap
    3. “Selected users” will make it available to only the selected users, user groups, and user roles
  5. Option to send a notification to the selected users. Please, note that the notification will only be sent when selecting some specific users and checking the box.

quick view_filter popup.png

Please note that every saved roadmap view is dedicated to a single roadmap and cannot be shared across different roadmaps.

You can find all roadmap views in the filter panel under Quick View (if you have not selected any view settings, the system stores your selection as Quick Filter). You can adjust your roadmap view settings by clicking the Edit icon or click Delete to remove the view completely. If you click on the name of the roadmap view you will apply the view and the content of the roadmap visualization will change accordingly.

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Changing content elements' positions and dates directly on a roadmap

The visual Roadmap editor helps you to apply changes to your roadmap directly while viewing the roadmap. If you hover over an Element, handles on the left and right side of the Element appear. If you click and drag them (1), you can change the start and end date of the Element.

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You can drag an Element to another layer by pressing and holding the left mouse button and moving the Element to another layer. Similarly, you can change the vertical order of the elements within a layer.

To be able to control the drag and drop action on the roadmap more easily, make use of the Element movement control. This option is located in the action bar of the roadmap view. Clicking on the icon opens a dropdown with the two selection options Vertical movement and Horizontal movement

  • Vertical movement only: the user can only move the elements vertical between layers, while keeping its horizontal position (start and end date).
  • Horizontal movement only: the user can only move the elements horizontally within the respective layer.
  • Both movement controls active: the element can be dragged and dropped anywhere on the roadmap view.
  • If no movement control is selected, the manual drag and drop action is prevented.

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Note that the selected movement controls are stored for the particular user on the particular roadmap for the next session.

 

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If you hover over an empty space in a Roadmap on which you have edit permissions, the cursor displays as a cross. If you click and drag, you create a Roadmap Element (1) that you can connect to a system Element afterward, by filling in the Create Roadmap Element section(2).

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Once you are done with your changes, save them accordingly. Find out how to save your Roadmap in this article.

Updating roadmaps and creating different roadmap versions

Once you have applied a change to your roadmap, you will be asked whether the roadmap should be updated directly. By clicking update roadmap, your change will be applied directly to the Roadmap. 

If you do not want to change the roadmap directly, you also have the option to create different roadmap versions, also called scenarios. The scenarios allow you to react faster and more efficiently upon upcoming (market) events collaborating with all relevant and affected stakeholders.

You can also reset your changes by hitting the reset roadmap button.

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Depending on the configured roadmap permissions the logged-in user is able to save new scenarios based on the applied changes to start dates, end dates, or milestone dates. For saving a roadmap scenario you can define the following settings:

  1. Title to find your roadmap scenarios later
  2. High-level description of why this roadmap scenario has been created
  3. Visibility to define who has access to this roadmap view:
    1. “Private” will make it only accessible for the user that saved this roadmap scenario
    2. “Public” will make it available to every user that has access to view this roadmap
    3. “Selected users” will make it available to only the selected users, user groups, and user roles
  4. Option to send a notification to the selected users. Please, note that the notification will only be sent when selecting some specific users and checking the box.

scenario popup.png

Please note that every saved roadmap scenario is dedicated to a single roadmap and cannot be shared across different roadmaps.

If you want to manage your roadmap scenarios, navigate to the top right corner of your roadmap (next to the timeline). From here, you can explore and update existing scenarios by navigating to the roadmap action “Show Scenario list” and clicking the Open up Scenario icon.

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From the pop-up, you can see all saved roadmap scenarios, you can open a specific scenario, merge it into the roadmap, edit the scenario, or delete a scenario.

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Saving roadmaps as snapshots and for documentation

Roadmap snapshots allow you to save different states of your roadmap for later reference and backup purposes. Whenever there are major changes on your Roadmap you should take snapshots for proper documentation and later reference.

Depending on the configured Roadmap permissions the logged-in user is able to manually create a new Roadmap snapshot by navigating to the Roadmap Settings > Snapshot > Take Snapshot (next to the timeline)

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After hitting take snapshot, you can define a snapshot name before saving the snapshot.

To access all your snapshots, click on show all snapshots. You will see that a second timeline now opens at the end of the roadmap with a list of the snapshots and a time indication.

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Hover over a dot and by clicking on it (or a name in case of multiple overlaying snapshots), the respective roadmap state from this time will be displayed.

Note: When merging a Roadmap Scenario, a snapshot is taken automatically to document the previous state of the Roadmap before merging the roadmap changes from that scenario. The automatically created snapshot names follow the following convention: [yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm>] Snapshot before merging scenario <scenario name>.

Exporting roadmap data into xls

Sometimes working on a roadmap on the platform is just not enough. The hard data needs to be available in a place that can be easily accessed and integrated by a variety of users and applications. To this end, the Roadmap offers an excel export functionality.

You are able to export any Roadmap in an excel format. Open the Roadmap that you would like to export and click the button with the excel logo in the right-hand corner.

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Create a Roadmap from the Explorer

To efficiently integrate any filtering and search investigations conducted on the Explorer module with an easy way to create a roadmap, there is the option to create a roadmap from the Explorer. This option mainly makes use of the Synced Roadmap Dates functionality to automatically determine the placement of selected elements on the roadmap, while also having a sophisticated logic in place to derive placements for elements without Synced Roadmap Dates.  

Note that this functionality must first be activated by ITONICS to become available. 

If enabled, navigate to the Explorer module. Either make use of the filter section to narrow down your elements and Select All, or make use of the cursor select option to select the elements that you intend to place on a roadmap.

Note: If using the Related To filter functionality to filter down the element selection, even though the “source or root element” of the Related To filter action itself is not listed in the Current Elements section, be aware that the element will still be taken over automatically to the roadmap to be created. This ensures that you may easily filter down for, i.e. a main Driver element that is related to a large portion of other elements as it is a “driving factor” for all of those. To be able to easily bring this idea to a roadmap view within a few clicks, the Related To “source or root element” will automatically be taken over to the roadmap as well.

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If the element selection is valid, the Create roadmap action option will become available in the action bar.

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Important note: If any elements are selected which’s underlying entity type does not have the roadmap module enabled, the Create roadmap option will be greyed out, and a validation will indicate so. Furthermore, if the number of elements selected does exceed the maximum limit for the Create roadmap option (per default 200), the system will prevent the action as well to preserve performance.

Once you have clicked on the Create roadmap option, the Create Roadmap pop-up modal will open itself. Here, on initial load, the collapsible General Information section will be opened to provide further guidance to the underlying functionality.

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If clicked once, the General Information section will close. Within the modal, the familiar, mandatory field options Title and Abstract will be shown to define the basic information of the roadmap to be created. Besides, the Start Date and End Date fields are displayed. These are set to mandatory as the date information provided within those fields will in particular cases be used as a fallback option for determining start and end date positions of specific elements on the roadmap. Note: The underlying logic will be elaborated in more detail below.

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Additionally, the optional Generate roadmap connections checkbox is shown. Once enabled, another collapsible information box will be shown, again providing further guidance to the functionality. If checked, the system will automatically establish roadmap connections between those elements within your element selection that have an element-2-element relation within the system. If not checked, then no roadmap connections will be established automatically. However, after the initial creation of the roadmap, you may of course draw connections between elements manually via the VRE or establish them from the roadmap tab.

Be aware: No roadmap connections will be established between elements having an element-level relation if none of the two respective elements is controlled from synced roadmap dates, as the system would not know from which element to draw the roadmap-level connection to the other.

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Once you have provided the mandatory roadmap information and have decided whether to automatically Generate roadmap connections, you may either click Save and Edit to save your roadmap, but be redirected to the Edit roadmap page, i.e. to define further information such as the default roadmap colors, Discard the creation action, or simply click Save to immediately save and create the roadmap and be redirected to the actual created roadmap view.

Layer creation logic:

  • The system will automatically create one layer per valid entity type within the element selection, i.e. if technology and trend elements are selected, then the system will automatically create on Technology layer and one Trend layer.

Placement logic:

  • If an element included in the Explorer selection does have Synced Roadmap Start and End Date values provided, respectively is controlled by the date synchronization, then the element will automatically be placed accordingly on the roadmap.
  • If an element’s start and end dates are not controlled by Synced Roadmap Dates, then the element’s start date will be determined by the earliest start date of those elements within the selection, that have Synced Roadmap Dates. The end date will be determined by the previously derived start date plus 6 months.
    • Note: the automatic placement of elements not being controlled by Synced Roadmap Dates may of course be manually adjusted on the roadmap view after initial creation of the roadmap.
  • In the case of none of the selected elements having Synced Roadmap Start and End Date values provided, the start and end dates of the elements will be determined by the mandatory Start and End Date fields that have been provided beforehand within the Create Roadmap pop-up modal.
    • Note: the values of the two mandatory Start Date and End date fields will only be considered within this case.
  • Be aware that elements within Draft, Archived, or Review status will not be considered.

Connection direction logic:

  • The system will plot a roadmap connection for elements, sharing element-level relations, incoming to the element having the latest synced end date.
  • In the case of elements having the same Synced Start Date and End Date values, then as a fallback option, the system will determine the earliest possible element creation date and have an outgoing connection from the element with the earlier creation date.
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