To drive the engineering strategy, a roadmap is created and managed by the Engineering leadership team.
The Engineering Roadmap is created yearly following this schedule:
- December: a mix of asynchronous and synchronous planning and discussions occurs throughout the month. At the end of cycle #6, a specific planning session for the next-year roadmap is scheduled.
- January 15th: completion of the roadmap document, which acts as the source of truth.
The Engineering Roadmap must be seen as a yearly plan operating at different levels following this hierarchy.
At a high level, goals are general and broad guidelines of what the Engineering team wants to achieve.
When formulating goals, the team must aim to be both aspirational and inspirational to drive the thought process to generate objectives.
No more than 3-4 goals should be defined per year.
Objectives are simply what is to be achieved; they must have a specific and measurable outcome in one of the engineering areas of responsibilities.
Each objective must contain the following pieces of information:
- Problem: what the current challenges are.
- Risks: what can happen if nothing is done.
- Opportunities (optional): what can happen if the problem is solved.
- Key Results: based on the OKR methodology, key results are specific, aggressive, yet realistic. Most of all, they are measurable and verifiable. A key result is either met or not; there is no gray area, no room for doubt.
- Actions: what the course of implementation can be like at a high level. While not going into the nitty-gritty details of the implementation, having a sense of feasibility is helpful. These actions can then be used to define numerous initiatives.
No more than 1-2 objectives should be planned per quarter. It ensures a sane and balanced workload while leaving space for new appearing needs to be defined as Objectives during the year.
At the implementation level, objectives are broken down into initiatives with a specific owner.
Creating initiatives is not required when creating the roadmap, as it will be carried during the bi-monthly planning sessions.
At the individual level, individual objectives - for each member of the engineering team - can also be defined to be aligned with the current Goals and Objectives and/or to complete Initiatives. It is the responsibility of each Engineering Lead to find opportunities in matching and aligning the individual goals with the team goals.
The following roadmaps have been created following these principles: