How To Approach Your Ecommerce Roadmap & Manage It Effectively
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How To Approach Your Ecommerce Roadmap & Manage It Effectively

In this podcast, Paul & James give advice on what a roadmap needs to include, how to manage your roadmap and how to use it effectively to prioritise resources to ensure you can deliver planned work.

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Learning how to plan and manage your ecommerce roadmap is really important. The roadmap is a schedule of work for the maintenance and continuous improvement of your website, the ecommerce equivalent of a content calendar. It indicates the ecommerce team’s priorities and can be distributed to help internal & external partners plan and align

Get practical advice from James & Paul. who share the key learning from a combined 30+ years of ecommerce technology project management, exploring good practice for creating, managing and prioritising ecommerce roadmaps.

Tl;dr – what we cover:

  1. The purpose of a roadmap & how to approach it
  2. What a good roadmap includes
  3. Tips for effective planning
  4. What ecommerce teams are focusing on at the momentWhat a good roadmap includes

Key Discussion Points

  • What do we mean by a roadmap and what is its purpose?
    • A schedule of work for the maintenance and continuous improvement of your website
    • The ecommerce equivalent of a content calendar: it shows the ecommerce team’s priorities to help internal & external partners plan and align
  • How to approach a roadmap:
    • Best way to fill / identify items – backlog + medium term and long-term
    • Audits of the current site and capabilities are often a good starting point and then prioritise from there
    • Delivery – important to have a clear plan for Sprints using your retainer + run larger projects through CAPEX
  • What should your roadmap include:
    • Timelines & priorities!
    • Prioritisation criteria need to be agreed and easy to apply e.g. “Revenue potential” which is rated 0-5 based on the business case you’ve created
    • Minor enhancements e.g. improving existing feature
    • 3rd party integration
    • Major projects e.g. business is changing ER
    • Major projects usually require a development partner to do some Discovery then provide a cost estimate for approval so they can plan the resource alongside your retainer service
    • Tip: include bug fixes as a separate stream in the roadmap; they’re covered by the S&M SLA but you’ve got to prioritise based on impact
  • How do you plan a roadmap & then manage it ongoing?
    • Run regular (quarterly but can be monthly if your roadmap changes frequently) briefings with key partners like your dev agency to ensure they’re aware of what’s coming next: helps provision resources
    • You’ve got to stay on top of your agency partner PM/AMs: they’ve got to understand your priorities and play back progress
    • Comms is critical: weekly calls to review progress/issues/priorities/agree actions
    • Also need to liaise with other key stakeholders internally: what’s in their roadmap, what dependencies with ecommerce, what input/resource do you need from them and when?
    • Using a Trello style board is really helpful for ticket planning (some will put it all in their PM tool like Confluence or Clickup)
    • Have sensible metrics to measure progress on tickets: time lapsed, time from submission, % complete vs. outstanding – have a visual report
  • What are some areas commonly being looked at by ecommerce teams?
    • Replatforming – last 2 years showed a few businesses their tech and/or processes weren’t fit for purpose
    • Consolidation of storefronts
    • Subscriptions
    • Theme rebuilds etc
    • Bundling
    • Builders
    • 360s / AR
    • Personalisation
    • Login / account proposition
    • Multi-buy prop
    • 2.0 in Shopify world
    • International bits
    • Navigation menus and filtering

Want to suggest a topic or guest for a future episode? Contact us via the website or on Twitter.


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