For a technology business looking to secure funding, providing potential investors with critical information on where their investment will be spent and when revenue will come on-stream is essential. To do this, an up-to-date and realistic technology roadmap is needed.
It will show any potential investors what will be built, when and the resources required – all aligned with associated costs and revenue streams.
Augen creates technology roadmaps. Companies approach us in various states of preparedness, with a variety of assumptions and varying levels of knowledge about what is expected as well as different stages in their business. Some are starting from scratch with just an idea or concept, some may have built a demonstration app and tested it with some prospects and got feedback and others have built a working product and now need the next stage in development – and funding.
We start the process by instigating blue-sky conversations about what the technology solution needs to do – and stretch the thinking out into the future. We’re usually looking at a five or six year plan for the business and we need to tease out the vision and prioritise the pieces that will tell their story. We challenge and validate assumptions around the product and its market validity, architecture, development, resource models, team productivity, timing, budgets etc.
We define personas representing your product’s users, both customer and back-office. Once we understand those personas, we prioritise the features they need.
It can be contentious to plan too far ahead in the agile methodology, for Investor Memorandums we like to visualise project delivery in fairly large chunks, that investors can believe in. We to break it up, prioritising what would make a fully tangible release of a product - a complete product in its own right. We've identified that a good practice is breaking down the project into six month periods - a good target for an incremental deliverable from concept to finished product and out to the market. This doesn’t work for all projects but it’s a good size for grouping deliverables.
We take the roadmap, breaking down epics into bite sized chunks that resolve into features that can be delivered in a 6 monthly release - combined so the relevent personas get some tangible benefit. So in a five or six year version, we'll use columns to create a complete vertical description of each six month deliverable. It’s also split-up horizontally into different presentation or technical layers (such as an app, portal, data warehouse etc) which ensures that we’ve addressed everything and know how it will be delivered.
We can further break that plan out into a resource model - calculating how many people would be needed to work on each project across each six month period. It incorporates overlapping teams working in parallel in some scenarios. This then leads to a costing model which allows us to project the build cost over the years.
In real development we might challenge the 6 month release cycle and aim for something more continuous and responsive, but the 6 month view is easy for an investor to appreciate.
The six monthly schedule of deliverables provides a framework to plan a team and identify when to bring on resources aligned with the product development. Mapping-out an internal and external resourcing model aligned to the roadmap delivers a critical path between the delivery stages, go live stages and support stages. This means that money is only spent on resources when they are actually needed and staffing levels can be cost optimised.
A revenue model can also be developed, leveraging the six monthly plan what will be delivered. Some stages may be marked as building-out customer awareness with no or low revenue. Other phases will unlock new revenue streams, creating new ways of generating income from the core product. Variable costs such as hosting or onboarding or promotional campaign costs can also be included.
Armed with the information above and other documentation around financials, investors get a complete picture of technology roadmap that shows an investor in detail what is going to be built and when and aligns that with costs, resources etc. Using the six month blocks of time, it gives an appropriate time axis showing when features will be delivered, when investment is needed and when revenue opportunities will occur.
Talk to Augen about developing a technology roadmap to include in your investor memorandum – we’ve helped many companies and can help you.