Sometimes I think that if we plotted out the path that we have taken so far, it would be scary to see how many times we went in circles or backwards. But that is just part of the startup process. When you're developing a roadmap, it is important that your roadmap is different from a critical path. Your roadmap must always be set with the end in mind. In other words, the same overall planning principles apply but it’s important to check out the following topics, as they should also impact that roadmap.
- Resources – "Cash is king." It's with this monetary resource that you should ensure your roadmap and runway match (a function of time to market, or revenue).
- Accountability – make sure someone is tracking the progress on the roadmap versus the resources and timing!
- Critical path - Understanding the dependencies and priorities to translate your plan into a well thought out roadmap sounds like a lot of work. It is! But critical path is a fundamental step to the success of your business––it's what makes or breaks a startup.
It’s a game to make sure you stay on the roadmap, and to have the critical path sorted out correctly. The winner of the game is the one who can make the most milestones on that roadmap (particularly milestones that lead to revenue) before exceeding your cash reserves.
Weekly meetings and progress reporting are important, but make sure you sit back and lay out your roadmap at least quarterly. Take a big picture view to ensure your sales team or go-to-market strategy matches up with the dates on your roadmap.
Check back next week for part 19 of this series. Subscribe to our blog for these updates straight to your Inbox!