What Is It?
I will help you figure out how to get where you want to go, and how to get there. That includes figuring out where you want to go, if you’re not sure! Even if you outsource the implementation, you get documents you can use to “shop around” for a vendor, and some guidance to help them do it.
Why Do It?
Roadmapping reduces the risk of your project, in several ways:
As the name implies, it outlines the way forward. You don’t have to wander around, with false starts and dead ends.
It helps uncover assumptions you may have made, that might not be so obvious to an outsider, and may in fact be wrong!
It helps nail down the scope. Both you and the implementor(s) can see exactly what is included or not, at each phase.
That, and exposing other things such as starting needs or ongoing post-project needs, help nail down the cost.
It also helps draw a clear connection between the business outcome that the project is supposed to provide you, and the possible solutions. This helps ensure that you’re solving the right problem.
How Does It Work?
Part 1: Arranging
First, you send me some generic information. I email you back, with any follow-up questions. There may be some more back-and-forth, by email or phone. This is to make sure that we make best use of our limited time together.
If we determine that my roadmapping services are a good fit for you, then we determine what size of roadmap you need. This and the expenses determine the total price. Roadmaps come in Small and Large, and cost $998, $2,998, and $4,998 respectively. After you send in a 50% deposit, we set a date and time.
Part 2: Discussions
When that date comes, you and I, and maybe some more people, talk for a while to discuss your situation, wants, needs, capabilities, plans, concerns, etc. in further depth.
How long, where, and how many people, depends on the roadmap size:
For a Small roadmap, we discuss it for up to one hour, with only you (or one person you designate).
For a Medium roadmap, we discuss it for up to two hours, and you can bring in one extra person.
For a Large roadmap, we discuss it for up to six hours (over the course of one day, in morning and afternoon sessions), and you can bring in up to two extra people.
If even a Large isn’t enough time, don’t worry, we can work up a custom quote, or you can buy multiple Roadmaps and combine them.
We cover what it is you’re trying to do, breaking it down into manageable chunks, and identify what is more or less urgent, difficult, etc.
About halfway through, we’ll check our progress, to see if you feel that we are on track to cover everything you need. If not, we’ll discuss options such as covering a broader area but in less depth, staying more focused, changing direction, taking more time now (if I’m available), scheduling an additional session for later, and so on.
At the end, we’ll check coverage again, to see if we’re really done discussing, or if we need to take more time now or schedule additional sessions. We may need that to go into more depth, examine new ideas, discuss something we skipped, or other reasons.
Part 3: Delivering
After our discussion, I might do some more research to close up any gaps, maybe ask you some more questions by phone or email, and finally send you a report. (See below for what’s in it.) After I send the report, you then have one week to request any corrections if I got anything wrong. In that case, I’ll try to fix it within a reasonable amount of time, but what exactly that is may vary with how busy I am. After all that, you have 20 days to send me the other half of the payment.
Meanwhile, we can discuss any additional services you would like. These will be invoiced separately, not delaying the invoice for the roadmap.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s in the report?
That depends on the size of the roadmap. The short story is that:
- For a Small roadmap, you get:
- a high-level writeup of details and recommendations,
- your project broken down into a few big chunks,
- a high level writeup for each chunk,
- one chunk broken down into features,
- a high level writeup of each feature,
- and a small number of “test narratives” for each of a small number of features.
(A “test narrative” is a textual description of how one would test a feature’s implementation. This is very useful for making sure that the implementors understand what you need, and have done it right.)
- For a Medium roadmap, you get
- a medium-level writeup of details and recommendations,
- your project broken down into more chunks,
- a medium level writeup for each chunk,
- more chunks broken down into features,
- a medium level writeup of each feature,
- and more “test narratives” for each of more features.
- For a Large roadmap, you get
- a more thorough writeup of details and recommendations,
- your project broken down into yet more chunks,
- a more thorough writeup for each chunk,
- more chunks broken down into features,
- a more thorough writeup of each feature,
- and yet more “test narratives” for each of yet more features.
The gory details are here.
These names, narratives, and so on, will let you stick them right into your issue-tracker, so your team can get right to work on breaking them down further and implementing them.
How should I decide what size I want?
Mainly, ask yourself how much time it would take you, and how many other people, to explain it to me, at the level of detail that you want the roadmap to reflect. If it’s a fairly small and simple project, one hour with just us may do. But if it’s big and complex, and you want it broken down in detail, you may need the help of some other people, for a few days or more.
A few days? But you only offer up to six hours!
Statement, one point for me.
Didn’t you used to offer longer sessions?
Yes, I used to offer eight-hour full-day sessions, and full-week sessions too. But now I’m semi-retired, and taking life semi-easy. If you feel you need multiple days, we can still do that, but they’ll be only six hours of talking, each.
What if I want some other combination?
Tell me what you want, what you really really want, and I’ll work up a quote. You can get some ideas from the “What else can I get?” section below.
What if I’m just not sure?
All righty then, start with Size Small, and see how [do] you like it. If you want more, more, more, we can arrange that. You can buy more Smalls, or a larger size, or make a custom combo by tacking on some things from the “What else can I get?” section below, or whatever other ideas you may have.
What else can I get?
After you’ve had a chance to review the report, or if you just want to really customize it, we can discuss whether you want some additional services, for additional prices we will discuss. For some ideas:
I can break the project down into more chunks.
I can break down more chunks into features.
I can write up details of more chunks and features.
I can give more features some test narratives.
I can give some features more test narratives, especially ones that have more alternate and/or sad paths.
I may be able to turn the test narratives into actual tests, depending exactly what technology you’re using.
- I will probably not want to do the actual implementation, now that I am semi-retired!
If there are other add-on services you would like, we can discuss them then.
If there’s anything else you need, or you’re ready to submit your inquiry, go ahead and contact me.