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Innovation Roadmap

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What is an innovation roadmap?

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Innovation roadmap definition

An innovation roadmap is a visualization of how a business will implement an innovation strategy. The map lays out the strategic objectives, go-to-market plans, and organized tasks that will empower employees to promote and support the new endeavor.

Teams may use an innovation roadmap to plan product extensions, develop a new internal software solution with R&D, explore new means of competitive advantage, and more.

Innovation is something that every successful business has to undertake. But many set off on innovation projects just for innovation’s sake. The purpose of an innovation roadmap is to plan a blueprint for what you are innovating, why, and how it will come together. When used well, an innovation roadmap can reduce risk, achieve team-wide buy-in, and align all collaborators to make innovation projects a success.

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60+ pages full of information about roadmapping and especially product roadmap: what is it, how to create a product roadmap, types of roadmaps, prioritization and tips on how to communicate with stakeholders effectively using roadmaps.

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Innovation roadmap ideas and examples

Most product teams will be familiar with roadmapping in one way or another, but you may not have created an innovation roadmap before. In the next section, we’ll walk through the steps required to do so, but here are our top tips for innovation roadmaps in general (plus a few examples).

  • Look backward before you look forward. It might sound jarring, but before you can plan any innovation you need to learn from what’s happened in the past. When and how have other innovation projects been a success? When and how have they failed?

  • Set your goals. Goals are essential for an innovation roadmap. What are you hoping to innovate and what will that look like? Set out milestones with specific goals or achievements before you put a timeline together.

  • Be ready for obstacles. 60-80% of new products fail, and internal innovation activities are far from guaranteed to succeed. What could get in the way of your plan? And how can you structure your roadmap to be adaptable to change?

For examples of great innovation roadmaps, take a look here.

How to make an innovation roadmap

Now that you know the value an innovation roadmap can bring, you’re probably asking: How do I make an innovation roadmap?

Simply follow these steps…

  1. Define your objectives and purpose - as we said above, goals are everything in innovation. What do you want to achieve, by when, and who will be involved?

  2. Analyze the landscape - perform an in-depth investigation of potential risks, opportunities, trends, team competencies, and any other elements that could support or derail your success. You could interview employees, run a SWOT analysis, speak to users, and so on.

  3. Set specific parameters - with all the research complete, you should have a better understanding of the project parameters.

  4. Get management buy-in - before you go ‘live’ with the project and roadmap, it’s worth sharing the plan with senior leaders to get their approval or feedback. These colleagues are best placed to advise on whether your innovation goals are aligned with the wider organization.

  5. Create and share your roadmap! Now you’re ready to visualize! Look no further than airfocus to create and then share your innovation roadmap with all the necessary stakeholders.

abstract/prioritize emoji

Get our Roadmapping From A to Z eBook

60+ pages full of information about roadmapping and especially product roadmap: what is it, how to create a product roadmap, types of roadmaps, prioritization and tips on how to communicate with stakeholders effectively using roadmaps.

Get the eBook

General FAQ

What is an innovation roadmap?
An innovation roadmap is a graphic representation of a team or company’s plan when undertaking an innovation project.
What is the innovation process model?
The innovation process model maps the journey of bringing a new idea to life in product design. Innovation typically follows the same key stages: idea generation, idea screening, experimentation or prototyping, build, test and learn, go-to market, optimize.

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