How to create a Now-next-later roadmap

Communicate your priorities over broad timeframes with an emphasis on the near-term. This visualization is ideal for teams operating in fast-changing environments where release dates may be subject to change.

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In this article:

How to create a Now-next-later roadmap

Create your roadmap

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  1. Click the + button next to your Teamspace or folder name.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Create Roadmap.

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  1. Select Now-next-later roadmap from the left menu.

  2. Click Choose roadmap.

Create your columns (from existing releases)

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On the column roadmap, you can either select the columns by clicking the add_circle_outline_black_24dp.svgAdd columns button on the roadmap header, or by clicking in the middle of the canvas.

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For the release column roadmap, you can first choose the release group you want to work with, and then you can quickly add a column by toggling on the releases.

  1. If you've already created releases for your Now, Next, and Later groups, adding these columns to your roadmaps is a cinch! Click Add release to select the release called "Now".
  2. Click [+] to create another column for your "Next" release.
  3. Click [+] to create another column for your "Later" release.

Create your columns (from scratch)

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  1. Click Add release.
  2. Click Add new release to create a release column named "Now".
  3. Click the flag next to "Now" to change the status. If "Now" represents features your team is already working on, we suggest using a status like "In-progress".
  4. Click the [+] to create another release named "Next" and another release named "Later".
Tip: Worried about turning "Later" into a junk drawer for your entire ideas backlog? Instead of "Later," consider a specific time horizon like "Next Year".

Add features to your roadmap

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There are three different ways to add a feature to your roadmap:

  1. Add the feature via a release group column on the Features board. (See the article here.)
  2. On a feature detail view, scroll down to the release group field. Click on the release group and select the appropriate release.
  3. On the Now-next-later roadmap, click the [+] sign to add a feature to that release. If the feature does not already exist, type in the feature idea name and click Create to create the feature and add it to your release group and your roadmap.

You can choose which entities you will work with in the roadmap by clicking Item type Item_type.svg in the roadmap header and selecting the entity from the drop-down menu. You can turn on/off secondary or tertiary items on all roadmaps. You will then see which items you are displaying in the header. 

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How to organize your Now-next-later roadmap

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  1. Click Swimlanes in the Group menu on the top left of your roadmap to organize your roadmap horizontally.
  2. Click configure.svg Configure to open up the configuration menu.
  3. Toggle Effort to display story points on each feature card.
  4. Click on the People section and select which avatar you want to visualize on each feature card - Owner, Teams, or Custom Member field.
  5. Toggle + Insights to display the + Insight icon on the feature cards. Clicking on this icon will enable contributors/makers to directly submit insight on the feature either on behalf of a user/company or space member.
  6. Toggle Comments to display the comment icon on the feature cards. Clicking on this comment icon will navigate any user to the feature comment section.
  7. Enterprise plans: Toggle Objectives to display any objectives associated with the feature.
  8. Toggle Show hidden cards to display feature and subfeature cards that have been manually hidden from contributors.
  9. Toggle Show subfeatures to display associated subfeature cards.
  10. Toggle Allow submitting ideas to display the Submit idea button on the roadmap header. Clicking on this Submit idea will enable the user to create a new note either on behalf of the user/company or space member.

Organize by hierarchy

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  1. Click on Group in the top left corner to access additional organization options.
  2. Select Hierarchy to group feature ideas by their relevant components or sub-components.
  3. Click the down-facing caret on a component or sub-component to hide or expand its associated features.

Organize by objectives (Enterprise plans)

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  1. Click on Group in the top right corner to access additional configuration options.
  2. Select Objectives to group feature ideas by their relevant objective.
  3. Toggle Priority in the configure.svg Configure menu to display this feature's importance towards the overarching objective.
  4. Toggle Team in the configure.svg Configure menu to display the team associated with the overarching objective.
  5. Click the down-facing caret on an objective to hide or expand its associated features.
  6. Drag and drop your objectives to adjust the order in which they're displayed.

How to share and export your Now-next-later roadmap

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  1. After making any configuration changes, click Save. You will see a confirmation once your roadmap changes have been saved, and the Save button will now read Share.
  2. Click the Dots-1.svg next to the share button.
  3. Click Print to print your roadmap.
  4. Click Export as PNG to generate a PNG of your roadmap.

When to use a Now-next-later roadmap

Now-next-later roadmaps are good for:

  • Communicating with large audiences (e.g. an All-Hands or Town Hall meeting). Simple, streamlined layout reduces noise and is easy for everyone to understand.
  • Communicating broad plans without committing your team to specific deadlines.

Now-next-later roadmaps might not be good for:

  • Communicating with executives. If your audience needs any kind of detail - deadlines, teams, or company objectives, for example - this won't be enough information. Consider an Objectives timeline roadmap.
  • Communicating within the Product organization. Hopefully, your Product team already understands what's being worked on now, next and later - give them more specific information! Consider a Sprint planning roadmap.

Learn more about using Now-next-later roadmaps

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