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Announcing Project Roadmaps

On September 24th at Microsoft Ignite, we announced a new feature for Microsoft Project called Roadmap. Roadmap is a visually exciting way to combine information from multiple Waterfall and Agile projects and share it with co-workers.

 

Roadmaps are available directly on the new Project Home page that we released into production this Summer.

 

 

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They are easily created from the Project Home page and appear nearly instantly. Performance has been an important tenet of the Roadmap feature

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Once the Roadmap is completed, it provides a visual and interactive way to view project status across a program or portfolio.

 

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Building out a Roadmap is a fairly simple process. Merely add rows, connect them to projects and then choose what tasks, milestones, features or initiatives you want to bubble up to the Roadmap. After creating a row, pick a project type first. In our initial release, we will support Project Online projects and Azure Boards projects. Over time we will add different project types as we better understand what customer’s needs. We use the Microsoft Flow connector infrastructure for our project types, so it is a very powerful and flexible connection system.

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After choosing a project type, the user chooses a project and signs into that project. Microsoft Flow manages all the credentials in a compliant way.

 

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Once the tasks are on the Roadmap, they can be assigned a status by the Roadmap manager. This is independent of the backend project and can be managed by the roadmap owner for reporting.

After that, its merely a matter of choosing what tasks to show on the roadmap.

 

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If a task is marked as at risk, a user might need to drill through to the backing task in the original system. The Roadmap maintains a link to the original task so users can always click through to the ‘system of record’.

 

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In addition to including tasks from back end systems, users may also add Key Dates to the Roadmap. These dates show up at the top of the roadmap and provide a visualization of important dates that span across projects – like a launch date or big marketing event.

 

 

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Finally, after the Roadmap has been completed, the author will want to share the roadmap. Roadmaps are shared using Office Modern Groups. Once a roadmap is shared a Modern Group is created to back the Roadmap and provide additional collaborative capabilities. A user can also choose to share the roadmap with an existing Modern Group that they might be working with.

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That is a brief overview of the new Project Roadmap feature. We will be releasing the feature to our early adopter program shortly. When we all agree its ready for all our customers, we will begin rolling it out to the rest of our Project Online customers. Keep an eye out for the new Roadmap!

Cheers,

Howard

 

 

 

 

62 Comments
Occasional Contributor

Do all items on the roadmap need to be linked to underlying project plans/tasks, or is it possible to manually create items/tasks directly on the roadmap? Thinking of scenarios where full project plans might not exist, or do exist but are in a different (non-project/Azure) tool which doesn't yet integrate. It would still be valuable to be able to view the high level roadmap for those projects alongside the rest of the portfolio.

Microsoft

@Sean Whyment We don't do this yet - but it is high on the list for us to do soon. Thanks for the feedback

Occasional Visitor

Looks great and offers more value to users. Keep going!

Occasional Visitor

Dear @Howard Crow! Is it possible to enter the early adopters program for Roadmaps? We're trying to create our internal workflows with Microsoft solutions, and we're using Azure DevOps and O365, we'd like to try out Roadmaps! Thank you.

New Contributor

Do those new developments affect a Planner in any way? We would like to use Planner for its simplicity, though we would welcome few additions here or there. Now we can see that Project is most probably becoming more accessible to some simpler scenarios. I would like to see, where the boundary and/or possible integration is ....

Microsoft

@Petr Krenželok we will be integrating Planner into Roadmaps in the future for sure. As the new Project Service releases we will provide better guidance on when Planner and when Project. The most obvious difference will be the Project Scheduling engine and the intelligence that handles dependencies. 

New Contributor

@Howard CrowThanks for the reply. I just hope Planner is not going to be abandoned, as I can't see any planned roadmap features for it. We want to use Planner as kind of simplified means of watching particular team members tasks. As for the project Home / Roadmap, which I can see being mentioned on the web - is there any place where we could learn more about it?

Microsoft

Exciting stuff in the POL + PSA world!

Occasional Visitor

Will Project Roadmaps support multiple instances of Project Online in a tenant?

Microsoft

Yes, Jukka - a roadmap can have multiple rows that reference projects in different PWA sites within your tenant.

Best regards,

Brian

New Contributor

Will modern project online integrate with PSA? 

The short answer is yes. They will both be on the Common Data Service and will essentially be the go-to project management tool on the Power Platform.

New Contributor

When can we see the Roadmap being rolled to our tenants, at least in terms of an early adopters / preview program? We are cca one month from presenting management IT Roadmap for the upcoming fiscal year and the plan to trackt the tasks. We are definitely going to use the Planner + Teams here, but Planner is GREATLY missing the timeline feature (the Schedule View is really almost useless - just ask anybody). We could use the Roadmap initially, even if the Planner is not supported yet, but it would have to allow creation of Rows without the linkage to the Project Online.

 

All we want is a simple collaborative task management (Planner + Teams), timeline view (Roadmaps) + eventually some gant graph view. If gant graphs are not possible on Planner, we need the ability for Planner to export to Excel, so that we can automate and get it to PowerBI.

Occasional Visitor

Hi Guys, can you give us some more information on how the Project Home and Roadmap works with security. Currently the homepage feature only points to the default PWA instance which in larger multi Instance set up doesn't work is it is being used as a generic landing page to sign post to the various Business Units Instances.  How do roadmaps sit? Who owns them, who can edit and update?  I'm just concerned that we are going to see some bad user experiences due to things not connecting to what they user is allowed to do in each instance.  Right now its raising more concerns with my client with their users finding it.  Thanks 

Microsoft

@Matthew Cooper There are a number of things here:

- Project home currently saves new projects to the default instance. we are working on the ability for a user to set a different instance to save to.

- The MRU on home shows you projects you have worked on from all/any instance - so this should work just fine in larger multi-instance orgs

- Roadmaps are secured using AD modern groups. there is no notion of instance currently. they can connect to any instance that the author of the roadmap has access to. 

 

hope that helps

Occasional Visitor

Please confirm if there has been any improvement on truly taking Project to the cloud - by this I mean me being able to access Project from a MAC running OS X El Capitan and NOT windows or dual OS options. 

Occasional Visitor

In the demos that I have seen so far for Roadmap, I haven't noted any capability for prioritization?  Does the capability exist currently in the initial rollout, or are there plans to add such features? Thanks!

Microsoft

Hi Peter, currently Project Online supports Safari - so MAC users are able to engage, and this does give schedule editing capabilities.  There is not yet full parity with the scheduling capability of Project Professional - which I sense is what your question is really asking.  But Project has been in the cloud for some time.  The announcement that this thread pertains to - Roadmap -  is purely web based.

Best regards,

Brian

Microsoft

Hi Taj, can you give more detail of what you mean by priority?  The Roadmap has different rows that show deliverables towards the common Roadmap goal - and they can be ordered vertically - but where would you see priority coming in to play at this level?

Thanks,

Brian.

New Contributor

Is there a possibility to add a project row to the Roadmap, without actually linking it to the Project or Azure items? Simply put the ability to add an ad-hoc project there, just for the means of the presentation itself?

Microsoft

@Petr Krenželok You can add a row and an owner without connecting it. 

 

If you wanted to 'get extreme' you could probably even write a Flow to create a Project behind the row automatically. I haven't tried it. 

New Contributor

@Howard CrowThat's great, thank you. Having a "flying" projects in Roadmap will help us to wait for the Planner being connected to Roadmap later. You have mentioned an owner. I just recently found out, that owner capability is missing from Planner and kind of can't believe it :-( We are setting up an environment for management tasks and CEO's assistant is putting tasks there. But we want CEO being an owner and being notified, not the assistant as an author of the task. Don't know how to aproach this. Looking into a Roadmap for O365, there don't seem to be any additional features planned for it, at least not publicly. Also permission system is missing. Well, I like Planner a lot - it is almost there ... but not actually there ... yet ....

Microsoft

@Petr Krenželok Planner currently inherits ownership from the Modern group. I understand that this might not solve all scenarios as you point out - we are always looking at better notifications. There was a session at ignite I would refer you to with some of the work we are doing and http://planner.uservoice.com is a great resource

New Contributor

Is there an ETA for when MS Project Standard will be supported?

Microsoft

Hi Larissa, I'm not sure what you mean by support for Project Standard.  The Roadmap product would be available to anyone with a Project Online Premium or Professional license - and these licenses also include the Project Online Desktop Client (more or less equivalent to Project Professional) - and the plans that are pulled into the Roadmap are those stored in Project Online.  Are you just meaning you'd want to pull in from mpp files?  That isn't something that is being planned - and hopefully understanding how this fits with Project Online you will understand why that is the case.  If I'm missing something with your scenario then please let me know.

Best regards,

Brian Smith

Contributor

According to the O365 Admin Center rollout starts November 14th. Looking forward to it. 

Microsoft

To set expectations Trutz - rollout will not start before November 14th - I wouldn't necessarily book your diary for that exact day.

Best regards,

Brian

Contributor

Yes, good to highlight that. I wrote "start", but it is good to remind that the rollout doesn't take place in a single day on all tenants, it is more something of days.

Super Contributor

Which licenses will be needed to use this? 

Contributor

As Brian wrote a bit higher up:  "The Roadmap product would be available to anyone with a Project Online Premium or Professional license"

Which type of license will viewers of a roadmap need?

Occasional Visitor

Hello - as it is November 14 2018 - has anyone seen the Settings / Service & add-ins / Project Online appear in their O365 Admin Portal?  My hope is to try out the new Roadmap and Flow capabilities.

Occasional Visitor

Not yet here Matt, but may depend on our timezone -1 and server. We are on first release chanel. Hopefully tomorrow. 

Frequent Visitor

Does anyone know how to turn this on? I have a couple of team members waiting to try this out. 

Microsoft

Folks,

 

Roadmap will begin rolling out shortly and there are a variety of factors that will determine when your tenant will receive the feature. Be a bit patient, it is coming :-)

 

H

Occasional Visitor
Will you announce here on the blog when it's available? I had in my calendar a "General availability" announcement for yesterday to check for. A couple of my teammates are excited to try this. Will the instructions to turn on still be this: If you would like to enable Project Roadmap for your users, you can verify the setting is available after November 14 by navigating to your Office 365 admin center, click on Settings / Services & add-ins / Project Online. Then enable the option to “Turn Roadmap on or off for your entire organization.”
Microsoft

@Greg Fisher yes Greg, there will be a new toggle under Project Online. 

 

I will send out an update when its starts rolling out - but it won't happen everywhere simultaneously as our cloud is pretty big :-)

 

We are rolling out and testing against the Microsoft tenant first (this weekend). 

 

h

Frequent Visitor
Good to see the Roadmap feature becoming available on MS Project, and not before time TBH. Creating plans in Project and then having to update Excel roadmaps is not always easy and requires effort. It will also make O365 Planner more attractive as I tend to use Asana or Trello which have much more functionality. We look forward to using this new feature. Gary
New Contributor

@Gary RevellI am not sure Planner is going to be supported from the beginning, or is it?

Frequent Visitor
@Petr Krenželok I don't know, I'm sure the MS team will let us know. It'll make Planner a lot more attractive for sure.
New Contributor

The Office 365 Message Center post was updated to say the feature will be available starting 'mid-December, 2018'.

Whilst excited for the product I'm still unclear about its licensing. Roadmaps are typically created by a limited set of users. From my understanding of its capabilities I foresee that creators will need some from of premium license. On the flip side, Roadmaps are consumed by many users. I cannot see the viability of assigning premium licenses to users who just need to consume (read / view) the content of the roadmap.

 

What will the licensing model be for consumers?

New Contributor

+1 on licensing - it needs to be company wide, or the tool will find very limited use ....

Occasional Visitor

Can we participate in the early adopters program for the new roadmapping features?  Does this new capability integrate with Jira-based project data?  None of the figures seem to demonstrate much interdependency between roadmap tasks.  For technology roadmapping, I'd like to be able to show a linkage and flowdown from program milestones to technology gaps to specific technology needs to technology solutions/sources.  Is that doable within the new roadmapping features within MS Project?

Occasional Visitor

Has Roadmap been released?

Microsoft

@dlendry It is beginning to roll out to production tenants. Over the next month it will begin to appear in customer's Project Online deployments.

 

H

Occasional Visitor

Thank you, We are going live with Project Online in 2 weeks. Roadmaps are requirement that I was going to satisfy with OnePage Pro. As Roadmap meets the requirement, what can I do to get it added sooner?

 

Thank you

Microsoft

@dlendry We are going as fast as we can :-)

Sorry to nag @Howard Crow but will the licencing separate consumers from roadmap creators?