Hello! We are constantly iterating how we do roadmapping and wanted to see what others do. We currently work in a google sheet with execs for our top level projects, then move into Jira advanced roadmaps to build out the project plans and embed the final roadmap into a confluence page.
Question: Has anyone had luck skipping the google sheets step? We are afraid advanced roadmaps is too advanced for execs to add their items (each person adds their teams items) and there is no commenting feature to collaborate.
Question/comment: We are also thinking it would be nice to have a basic view in confluence apart from the advanced roadmaps embed, similar to the below, but I would hate to recreate the roadmap to give this view using hard coded info and the 'simple roadmap macro' when we could just show the initiatives and gantt chart from advanced roadmaps.
Hi @Jade Melcher,
This is a great question... I'm on the Advanced Roadmaps team and this is great feedback for us. If I can, I'd love to learn more about what you put into the Google Sheets prior to it going into Advanced Roadmaps (i.e. is this a list of items, or is it to do with team assignment, estimation, capacity, etc?)?
Also, I'd love to know more about the commenting features - is this the ability to comment on the issues themselves or actually to comment on the roadmap itself (i.e. to capture and audit / discussion of the planning process?)
Finally, what is it that you feel might put execs off from using Advanced Roadmaps (beyond the commenting) - is it due to the complexity of the interface itself?
Thank you for the great questions!
The sheet is more like a list of items with attributes that get put into Jira fields. We typically put the initiative name (summary), driver of the project (aka reporter - system field), contributors (custom field), start/end date (system field), Project manager (custom field), Launch date (custom field), what the launch is guided by - scope or hard due date (not a field - debatable whether it's critical). Quite a pain from a PM perspective to work with drivers to get this migrated to Adv roadmaps.
The commenting would be to discuss/challenge items in the roadmap, so in line within Adv roadmaps and not in the individual cards.
The main reasons we are using sheets for upfront planning and not having exes use Adv roadmaps is not because we are relying on the fields within sheets, but moreso because our execs are more familiar with working in a spreadsheet like environment (click a cell to drag contents to below cells, etc) and they need to be able to collaborate in a document where they can comment inline.
They also have somewhat of an apprehension to Jira and we have not yet trained them on Adv roadmaps (we can easily do this, if it were more collaborative with commenting we might push for it). I will say, as a new user starting in January I do wish the product worked a bit more like a spreadsheet in that you can drag and drop items to copy (i.e. if an assignee is on one item, drag it to all items below). Our former timeline too Smartsheet did this and it helps with efficiency. The bulk change features require extra steps and aren't available for all fields.
Sidenote: Currently having reporter (system field) in advanced roadmaps is pretty critical for us (have submitted a request and also voted on others) since we both build plans for others and have to make people reporters and we also want reporters to be able to leverage adv roadmaps and see only items they are driving.
I really appreciate you asking for more info here!!
Hi @Jade Melcher,
No worries - thanks for providing such a comprehensive answer so quickly!
One of things that I'd definitely like to see us add in the future is more collaborative tooling within a plan and commenting at the plan level would definitely be an asset here. Unfortunately we have to carefully balance the priorities on our backlog and we haven't been able to get to features like that.
Back in the early days when we were developing Advanced Roadmaps (back when it was known as Portfolio 3.0 on server) we did imagine that some users would want to use the fields section like a plan but again this wasn't something we've been able to develop with the kind of features you're talking about.
If you're looking for Google Spreadsheet type capabilities within Jira (to save the effort of moving content between the spreadsheet and a plan) then you might want to investigate some of the other marketplace applications that provide this type of capability - for example something like https://jxl.app/ (although I believe other options are available).
For sure, gotta get the basics done first! We will keep an eye on the roadmap. Don't forget my Reporter request when planning ;) Seems super basic/needed!
Thanks for the recc. We do prefer adv roadmaps over an add-on, but I'll explore if something like this would help for the exec upfront planning.
Ah... just to clarify, I was suggesting you use the two tools in conjunction
You would be able to use a spreadsheet style plugin to manage the issues in Jira directly in a spreadsheet style, but you could still use Advanced Roadmaps to build a roadmap from those issues!
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