Roadmaps: Where are you going and when will you get there? – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Aymen in Ariana, Tunisia. He asks:

Q: My boss recently promoted me to manager over a team of six. The CEO asked me to prepare a roadmap for the next three years. What is a roadmap and how can I prepare one?

Click to tweet this: Cut your long-term plans in half until you have actionable items. Then your work will be cut out for you. @DaveCrenshaw

Video transcript:

Do you happen to have a roadmap to get to Tunisia? I’m Dave Crenshaw, and it’s time to Pick Dave’s Brain!

This week’s question comes from Aymen in Ariana, Tunisia. He asks:

Aymen:

My boss recently promoted me to manager over a team of six. The CEO asked me to prepare a roadmap for the next three years. What is a roadmap and how can I prepare one?

Dave Crenshaw:

Thanks for the question Aymen. Here’s the interesting thing—I don’t know what he meant by roadmap.

I’m not saying that I’ve never heard of a roadmap before or that I’ve never used one before. What I’m saying is that a roadmap is such a corporate buzz word that sometimes people just throw it out there and they don’t really know what they mean.

So, my first recommendation to you is to go to him and ask him “Could you be a little more specific about what you meant by roadmap.” That way, you understand what he had in his mind, what his vision was when he asked you to do this.

All too often, people in leadership do not clearly communicate to their subordinates what they mean. So it’s your opportunity to ask in a respectful way.

Now, here’s my GUESS at what this roadmap is going to look like–it’s simply a plan. If you think about what a map is in real life, it’s how you get from point A to point B.

So, the first thing that we need to do in your plan is define what the destination is. When are we going to reach it? Is it in a year, is it in two years? And what are the specific, measurable goals that we need to achieve by that date?

Then, the rest of the plan is breaking things down step by step of how we’re going to get to that point. I recommend that you use the “cut things in half” rule. So if it’s going to take you a year, you cut it in half to six months and say, “This is where we need to be in six months.”

Then you cut that in half again and say, “This is where we need to be in three months.” And so on, until you get to a small actionable item. That way, a roadmap becomes not just some piece of paper that we like to talk about, but an actionable plan to reach your goals.

Thanks for the great question, Aymen.

And if you have a great question you want to use to pick Dave’s brain, all you need to do is click on the button at the bottom of this video. Or go to DaveCrenshaw.com/ask.

I look forward to hearing your great question!


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