Technology Roadmap

Your map to a union that works.

A roadmap is the governing document that dictates specifically how technology will support the union strategy and help drive priorities over the next 3-5 years. This roadmap consists of:

Download the Roadmap

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Strategy Statement

A strategy statement with the list of the strategic priorities for the business (not IT-specific).

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Timeline

A timeline of the initiatives and projects that will occur over the next several years with approximate start and end dates, durations, and sizes.

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Improvement Opportunities

A prioritized list of improvement opportunities. This is generated jointly by the business and IT and should be refreshed periodically.

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High-Level Justifications

High-level justifications for each project. These should be robust for projects over the next 12 months and simpler statements for projects past the 12-month horizon.

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Estimated Cost and Duration

The estimated cost and duration for each project. This is specific and reasonably accurate for projects occurring over the next 12 months and can be vaguer for projects that go out farther than that.

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Overseeing the Project

An owner for each project. This is the sponsoring executive or delegate directly overseeing the project. For projects in the next 12 months it should be the specific person and for projects beyond that it can be the owning executive.

How Will Your Union Use It?

The roadmap has three primary functions:

1. The IT leader will use it to facilitate investment discussions with the rest of leadership. The IT leader will use the roadmap as a baseline when discussing new projects or priorities with functional executives. It will help leadership understand how to balance investment and project priorities and provide a way to visualize trade-offs.

2. The IT department will use it to improve planning for projects and resources. The roadmap will help them anticipate resourcing needs, plan assignments, software and vendor selection, and costs ahead of time, and make it possible to start visioning and planning with the functional owners well in advance.

3. Functional leaders will use it to understand what is required of and will be delivered to their departments. It helps them clearly understand how they should balance existing roadmap initiatives with new requests. The roadmap will keep functional leaders aligned on strategic technology priorities across the enterprise. Active management of the roadmap will result in much better executive alignment and stakeholder buy-in before projects even begin.

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The roadmap will keep functional leaders aligned on strategic technology priorities across the enterprise.

Who Benefits From It?

Technology Leadership

The roadmap is designed to structure the communication between the technology/IT department and the functional executives in a manner that allows the IT department to:

Act strategically when making investment decisions and managing projects.

Make securing buy-in from business leadership a more structured processes which, in turn, makes it easier to earn buy-in from business users.

Negotiate more effectively with leaders or staff who request new projects or initiatives that require significant, non-operating effort.

Functional Leadership

The roadmap allows functional executives to be strategic when they request new or improved technology. They can use their functional strategies to begin working with IT leadership to determine which types of technology projects will be required to achieve their goals.

The roadmap provides transparent resourcing needs for when business staff will need to be assigned to IT projects, clear traceability to costs, and the detail for why those resources and dollars are required.

Most importantly, it provides a strategic, structured manner of governing changes to business needs as they arise. It makes sure there is a technology voice at the table when decisions are made that require IT support, and it encourages balancing priorities across the business, diffusing conflict before it arises.

Staff and Project Teams

The roadmap clearly spells out why the projects they are working on are important and, as things on the roadmap move or are re-prioritized, it forces the leaders to explain why and how those priorities are shifting. The roadmap encourages a clear and regular line of communication between leadership and staff.

The Bottom Line

The business needs to fully participate in the development process. In fact, if the CIO reports to anyone other than the CEO, I recommend the sponsoring executive sit outside of IT. Because of the strategic nature of the document and how critical leadership buy-in will be, it will need support at the highest levels of the enterprise.

If you are a technology leader: you need to push the executives to support the development of an IT roadmap to help you invest strategically and have structured conversations around investment with the other executives.

If you are not a technology executive: you should be pushing your organization to develop a roadmap so you can act more strategically in your area and benefit the business holistically with new investments.

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