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Experiments in roadmapping at GOV.UK

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cards on a wall

This is just to draw your attention to a blog post I have published elsewhere, about our recent work to develop a comprehensive product roadmap for GOV.UK. We figured the post was mostly of interest to other product professionals, hence posting it on the Mind the Product blog instead of here, but publishers and other people with a stake in GOV.UK may find it interesting to read too.

Download the roadmap itself

Download the July roadmap document here.

For the past 2 months, we've issued the roadmap among the papers for GOV.UK Steering Group meetings.

Starting this month, I will also begin publishing the roadmap here on this blog.

This will take the form of a short post, highlighting some of the things we have done and are doing next, with the full roadmap attached as a PDF (at least for now. The irony isn't wasted on us, but we don't want to invest time in making a digital format for the roadmap instead of building the things which are on the roadmap, and we're sure you don't that either).

The monthly roadmap posts will be an iteration of our fortnightly sprint notes posts, not an additional thing.

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  1. Comment by E. Brown posted on

    Hi Neil,
    Doesn't a roadmap imply you're 'driving' somewhere, 'delivering' products and 'deploying' ideas?

    Except that GOV.UK doesn't want gov't authors to drive, deliver or deploy: those terms are all on the jargon list.

    Why does 'roadmap' get a pass (and the ongoing BTTF metaphor) when this is exactly the kind of language you're trying to avoid in the rest of GOV.UK?

    In search of consistency, though not uniformity,

    E. Brown

  2. Comment by simonfj posted on

    Whew Mr Brown, I hadn't even considered that one. I thought, as you say, we are still speaking in metaphors. Roadmaps, swim lanes, Rivers, garden paths. The "right" language will firm up as we identify the most agreeable "something like...."

    Really like your post Neil. As you say this is an "experiment" in road mapping. So thanks for "the wall". If you could give us the big picture (of the wall) that would be very useful in identifying where roads turn into muddy swimlanes, and muddy swimlanes might coalesce into roads. I've been trying forever to discover the "teams/groups/tribes", which I take it are the yellow notes on the left (or maybe you've classified them as "tasks")

    I can see, under the header = One GOV.UK, "Done published GOV.UK proposition". That's being revisited (probably forever). And it's a conversation which shouldn't impact on your immediate tasks.

    I can also (just) make out, on the yellow note below '1. Swimlanes and mission statements for autonomous teams', the words User support, "build channels for public and government users to contact.......... (out of focus)". So we seem to have put a primary task, front and center without having addressed how the separation between inside and external comms should best be constructed. (Which would have been wasted talk until you'd got GOV.UK to this point)

    That's a discussion (about internal and external comms channels) I've been having with the SM team

    We really do need to give this some focus, now that GOV.UK has firmed up into the basic "central services" outline, and some exemplar transactions - particularly the IER - have illustrated how the PSN can be used to seamlessly link between Central, and Local services.

    Can't have us poor users giving every remote team a hard time around "their" blogs. They DO seem to think their swim lanes are roads. I can understand Mr. Brown's frustration with not being allowed to have as much fun as the GDS teams, and a few others, must be having. He's obviously a swimmer like me 🙂 i.e. Waving not drowning.