Initiatives and roadmaps

Initiatives and roadmaps

Using initiatives is a way to categorize work items into larger initiatives, bets, strategic goals, or projects. Initiatives have a description, linked insights, and an activity feed similar to work items. However, they can be shared across spaces, which makes them great for cross-team work.

By enabling roadmaps, you can organize and prioritize your initiatives on boards. You can have multiple roadmaps, and roadmaps can also be shared across spaces.

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Initiatives are great for building a theme-based roadmap. Themes are common in product management to align teams and stakeholders on a roadmap, using terms that are also familiar outside the team. A theme is simply a broad initiative, experiment, bet, or a category of customer problems. You can watch an excellent video here about roadmaps.

Getting started

You can find the list of initiatives for a spaces under initiatives in the space:

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From this screen you can both create new initiatives, reorder the initiatives, and, if your organization has roadmaps enabled, you can create a roadmap specifically to your space.

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Initiatives have a lot of parallels to epics from issue tracking tools. Historically, epics were high-level user stories meant to be broken down into more specific user stories. Since work items themselves are usually broader than user stories, many customers will use work items at the level they have used epics earlier and initiatives for larger bodies of work.

Each initiative has two main parts. First is the description. This can be used to explain the background, collect tasks related to forming the initiative, and add any other information that is relevant to the initiative.

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You can add initiatives from the work item by selecting initiatives in the "…" menu, pressing the ! hotkey, or you can manage the work items directly from the initiatives screen.

Note that you can share initiatives across spaces, and in that case, you will have an additional tab for each space to manage the work items.

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Roadmaps

Roadmaps are a way to organize and prioritize your initiatives on a board. If you are looking for more ways to visualize roadmaps, it's coming, but we'd really like to hear more about your needs to help us prioritize.

To start using roadmaps, you have to enable roadmaps for your organization:

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When you have roadmaps enabled, you will be able to access them in the "Roadmaps" section at the top of the sidebar.

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Note that you will also have a tab for "All Initiatives," where we'll collect all initiatives across all spaces, and then a tab for each roadmap in the organization. If there is not enough room to show all roadmaps, then you will see a "…" option for finding the non-visible roadmaps.

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Note that you can drag and drop roadmaps in the headers. This way, you can put the most important roadmaps first (like the company's overall product roadmap). The ordering is global, so when moving roadmaps, the order will change for all users.

The roadmaps have, by default, a "Now," "Next," and "Later" setup, but you can rename and customize the roadmaps as you desire.

If you create new roadmap columns, notice that each column has a type: "Past," "Present," and "Future," which describes the relative time horizons for each column. This way, you can indicate whether the column represents current priorities, future initiatives, or initiatives you have already completed.

Notice that initiatives that are in a "Present" column will show in the quick filters on top of the work item boards. This is both to communicate to the teams what initiatives are prioritized and to easily filter the board based on these initiatives.

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Note: If you decide that each column represents some time interval, like quarters, you can easily just change the type of each column as you move from one quarter to the next.
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Space roadmaps

Spaces can link to a single roadmap, indicating which roadmap is relevant for their team. Notice that a roadmap can be linked to several spaces, and not all roadmaps have to be linked to a space.

On the roadmap screen, the spaces where the roadmap is added are visible after the roadmap title:

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By hovering over this, you can quickly go to the spaces, or you can click to edit the spaces connected to the roadmap.

When a space has a roadmap, the roadmap will show as an entry in the sidebar below the initiatives:

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If a space doesn’t have a roadmap, you can easily add an existing or new roadmap by going to the "Initiative" screen and clicking "Add space roadmap.”

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Note that all roadmaps from non-private spaces will be shown in the "Roadmaps" section for the organization. This allows you to take a peek at all team's roadmaps without having to navigate to each space.

Private spaces, initiatives and roadmaps

For private spaces, initiatives and roadmaps are also private. That means the initiatives and roadmaps are not visible in the organization's "Roadmap" section, but also that initiatives cannot be shared between other spaces.

Note that private spaces are now indicated with a padlock icon.

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