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Creating a Product Portfolio Roadmap in Excel using OnePager Express

How to make a roadmap chart that shows the timeline of a product portfolio

Product managers often need a quick and easy way to see a timeline of all product launches in their company's portfolio. Without expensive software, this can be difficult to do. However, it's easy to create these reports using OnePager Express and a simple Excel spreadsheet.

OnePager Express is presentation software for Excel that makes it easy to create, track, and update a product portfolio roadmap. Your timeline will be easy to understand, and easy to maintain. Don't have OnePager Express yet? Download a 15-day trial and follow along:

  1. Start by creating a product roadmap in a simple Excel spreadsheet. There is no template required to do this, but you might want to track things such as product launch and sunset dates, product versions, and product families. However, there is no hard and fast rule. Here is a sample roadmap showing international product launches:
    Product portfolio roadmap tracked in Excel.
  2. Double-click the OnePager Express icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that appears, choose New.
    OnePager Express Start screen.
  3. Choose your Excel spreadsheet as the source file for your project timeline.
    OnePager Express source file selection.
  4. The easy import wizard will appear. First, give your roadmap a name. Then, you can choose to Select all tasks as we did in this example, but you can also filter your Excel spreadsheet if you want to create a roadmap without as much detail:
    Import your product portfolio roadmap into OnePager Express.
  5. Click the Next button to map the columns from your roadmap into OnePager Express. In this example, we've mapped the "Product Event" column to the task name, have selected the "Launch Date" and "Sunset Date" columns for start and finish dates, respectively, and are going to color-code by the "Event Type" column in the Excel spreadsheet. Again, there are no firm rules on how to map columns, and you can always change these later if you want your chart to look different.
    Choose which Excel columns you want to include in your roadmap.
  6. Click the Create new project view button to import your product portfolio roadmap from Excel into OnePager Express and create an initial chart that looks like this:
    Basic product portfolio roadmap created in OnePager Express.
  7. You may want to make a few changes to your chart. For example, you might want to group your chart by product family, and have each international product launch sit on top of the overall product lifecycle. By clicking the Project-View Properties button on the Home tab of the ribbon, you can make these and lots of other changes:
    OnePager Express lets you dynamically control grouping, sorting and color-coding of your product portfolio roadmap. In the screenshot above, you'll see that we're telling OnePager Express to collect tasks into rows by the "Product Version" and group these rows into swimlanes by "Product Family". We've also specified how many tasks we'd like on a single row, and that we don't want to label each individual row (we're labelling swimlanes instead).
  8. Feel free to make other changes to the colors, time axis, and other visual elements of your chart so that the timeline is just the way you like it. Here is the finished product portfolio roadmap after making a few minor modifications:
    Product roadmap examples: Final product portfolio roadmap, created using Excel and OnePager Express.

OnePager Express is the easiest way to take product roadmap information and turn it into a portfolio timeline that is easy to understand. It's easy to get started with OnePager Express--you don't have to be an Excel expert to use it!

Get started today by downloading a free trial or attending one of our demonstration webinars.

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