In the final instalment of our 90-day guide series for new CIOs, we look at month three, focusing on building and communicating the roadmap for your software development project.
At this stage, you are ready to prioritise the product design using a framework such as MoSCoW and, with software priorities established, finalise the roadmap to set the coding team to work.
Days 60-90: Your key objectives
If you are working on a new project, delivering the roadmap and communicating it to stakeholders is your primary objective. You will also be overseeing the release plan, ensuring governance of the coding, testing, and release cycle, and coordinating the release infrastructure and resource.
Agreeing and coordinating the release infrastructure is also a focus for CIOs working on existing software development projects, as well as focusing on leading your team to support deployment and perform further iterations.
Days 60-90: Key actions
Action #1 – Creating a detailed roadmap
The software development roadmap is your strategic management tool to keep your project on track. It should cover every aspect from strategy through to release and act as a central repository for all teams to contribute to project status and monitor progress. It provides key stakeholders with insight into the current state while setting clear expectations for the development cycle.
The roadmap will evolve to accommodate new trends, shifting timelines, and market conditions and typically includes:
- a product strategy (what, why, goals, market data, etc.)
- requirements (stories and acceptance criteria)
- timeframes (avoiding hard deadlines where possible)
- a go-live and release plan.
The software development roadmap contains information on every aspect of the project. As it is used to inform multiple stakeholders, it is useful to tailor the roadmap to each different audience to ensure you only provide the necessary detail.
With the roadmap communicated, developers can begin the coding phase, focusing on building the product, integration, and iteration. If working on an existing project, it may be time to enter the release cycle of branching, stabilising, and testing.
Action #2 – Coordinating your product release
During the coding phase, a CIO should plan ahead for the final product release. This includes coordinating:
- Release plan and testing
The release plan and testing enable successful deployment to the product’s intended users. If the release is internal, it ensures a smooth transition. If external, it ensures a good onboarding experience, satisfied users, and can help win new customers. Confirm all necessary documentation is in place and that all the relevant “last-phase” testing cycles, such as user acceptance testing (UAT), load, stress, security and performance testing have been completed.
- Deployment and infrastructure
Having outlined any necessary additional training or people resources in your roadmap, it’s time to start coordinating release infrastructure to ensure everything is in place for the product to go live. Release infrastructure will vary based on the application but might include everything from hardware, storage and network connections; to VPN, firewalls, cloud platforms, and bandwidth; to software licenses, user profiles, and access permissions. Finalising documentation, packing, and distribution should also be considered if relevant.
Day 90 – You made it!
With your projects moving efficiently through the development cycle and meeting stakeholder needs, you can reflect on the leadership you have shown in your first 90 days. As a valued member of the C-suite, you are successfully leading projects that deliver competitive advantage or customer value (or both).
We can help
Reflecting on your first 90 days, you might identify areas where the support of a specialist software partner like Amdaris could help with future projects as your role and business evolves. Get in touch for expert support across all aspects of software development.