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Product Management Best Practice: Roadmap Reports using Microsoft Project and OnePager Pro

How to summarize your product roadmap into a single report

When executives need to understand the entire product roadmap for a company, it can be difficult for the product management team to pull all the pieces together and summarize them in a single chart. If you keep a high-level product plan in Microsoft Project, you can quickly turn it into an executive summary product roadmap using OnePager Pro from Chronicle Graphics.

OnePager Pro is presentation software for Microsoft Project, which means it can create product roadmaps quickly and easily based on the information you are already tracking for each product line.

For more information, see this video tutorial. Or, you can download a free trial of OnePager Pro and follow along with these step-by-step instructions to create your product roadmap summary.

  1. Start by opening your product roadmap in Microsoft Project. If you haven't created the roadmap yet, it's easy to do, and might look something like this:
    Sample product file in Microsoft Project
  2. If you want to only show the product roadmap at an executive level, use a flag column ("Flag 20" shown above) to filter the elements of your roadmap that you want to include in your report. You can use multiple flag columns to create multiple roadmaps for different product management stakeholders.
  3. Double-click the OnePager Pro icon on your desktop. From the Start screen that pops up, choose New.
    OnePager Pro Start screen.
  4. Choose your Microsoft Project plan as the source file for your OnePager Gantt chart.
    OnePager Pro source file selection.
  5. Then, when the import wizard appears, give your roadmap a name, as shown below, and click on Create new project view.
    OnePager Pro import wizard
  6. OnePager Pro will import all of the roadmap items that you flagged in step 2, and will create a summary of your product plan that looks like this:
    Product plan summary created in OnePager Pro, a Microsoft Project add-in
  7. The product roadmap shown above is a good start, but we may want to modify it slightly to make it easier for executives or other members of the product management team to understand. Start by clicking on the Project-View Properties button on the Home tab of the ribbon. On the Rows and Swimlanes tab, collect tasks by the "Level 2 summary name", as shown below. This will collapse each product into a single line and let you see each phase of the product development lifecycle.
    Collapse each product into a single line in OnePager Pro
  8. Now, go to the Task Bars tab, and color-code each task based on the "Name":
    Modifying task bar colors in OnePager Pro
  9. With a color for each phase of the product development lifecycle, we no longer need to label each item on the page. Before leaving the Task Bars tab, uncheck the Task Labels box to hide the task labels:
    Hiding task labels in OnePager Pro
  10. After clicking OK, OnePager Pro will redraw the roadmap, and you can make other minor adjustments to create a roadmap that looks like this:
    Product management best practice: Product roadmap summary created using OnePager Pro, an add-in for Microsoft Project

Once you have polished your roadmap, you copy and paste it into a PowerPoint presentation, or attach it to an e-mail to executives. OnePager Pro makes it easy to create product roadmap summaries quickly and easily out of Microsoft Project.

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

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