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Product Portfolio Roadmap in Excel

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.

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OnePager Express is roadmapping software for Excel that makes it easy to create, track, and update a product portfolio roadmap. Your roadmap will be easy to understand, and easy to maintain. Don't have OnePager Express yet? Download a 15-day trial and follow along with either our quick instructions, or our more detailed instructions:

Simple Instructions

These instructions are designed for people don't already have a roadmap in Excel. You can use our example Excel roadmap as a starting point and follow these abbreviated steps to create your chart in a matter of minutes.

  1. Start by downloading these two sample files to your downloads folder or to your desktop. The Excel file contains the roadmap data, and the *.tat file is the OnePager template that will drive the formatting of the chart you're about to create.

      Product Porfolio Roadmap.xlsx (Excel File)
      Product Porfolio Roadmap.tat (OnePager Template)

  1. Open the Excel file that you just downloaded. From Excel's Add-Ins tab, click the OnePager Express button:

    OnePager Express add-in launch from Excel.

  2. On the Start screen, click NEW to begin building a new roadmap chart:

    OnePager Express start screen.

  3. On the next screen, locate the Starting Template section, and go to Change > BROWSE FILES. Browse to your desktop and select the Product Portfolio Roadmap.tat that you downloaded in step #1:

    Change your OnePager template.

  4. With your Excel file loaded and your OnePager template selected, click Next, and then on the following screen, click Create new chart. OnePager will import the data from your Excel file and create a visual product portfolio roadmap in just a few seconds:

    Product Portfolio Roadmap

Now that you've done this, you can go back to Excel and adjust the spreadsheet to match the dates and deliverables of your real-world portfolio. Once you've done this, follow the same steps again with your updated Excel sheet, and you'll be well on your way! 15-Day
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Detailed Instructions

These instructions are designed for people who have already built a roadmap in Excel and need to import what they already have into OnePager. These instructions also provide more details about customization along the way.

  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. 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.

  4. 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 "Product Family" column in the Excel spreadsheet. Again, there are no firm rules on how to map columns, and we'll show you how to change these later if you want your chart to look a little different.

    Choose which Excel columns you want to include in your roadmap.

  5. Click the Create new Chart 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.

  6. 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 Chart 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 align all milestones into a Timeline for each "Product Version", and to group each of these timeline rows into Swimlanes based on the "Product Family". We've also turned on a Text Column to display the product version next to the each timeline so that it's easier to see which version is which.

  7. Click OK, and your roadmap will be rolled up so that each key product launch is lined up left-to-right by product family, and then product version:

    Line up key roadmap milestones into a timeline format.

  8. Finally, we'll use a flag to represent the product launches for each country. You can do this under Home > Chart Properties > Task Bars > Manage Rules:

    Assign a different flag of the world to the international product launches in your product roadmap.

  9. 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.

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