Creating a Company Roadmap

When a client or prospect asks if you provide a service that is outside of your core skill set, the temptation is to say yes. Money is money.

But one of my clients recently learned an important lesson, and it’s a strategy we are now following here at Now IT Works.

The client used to offer accounting and payroll services, but decided to stop offering payroll services a couple years ago. In that time, they doubled the size of their accounting services, ran out of room in their physical space, and partnered with a back-office team to help with the overflow.

Taking a page from that strategy, we have decided to exit the hardware sales side of our business — it’s just not part of our core skill set.

Here’s a process that utilizes technology to create a roadmap for your service or product offering and makes sure you stay focused on your core skill set.

Salesforce, Netflix, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps – all web-based tools have a roadmap of where their product is going. It outlines what is coming up in this quarter, and the long priority list of items that need to be dealt with.

Find a tool you like and list all of the ways that you can make your product better. This works better if you get your entire team together to talk about how to make the product better.

Here is the criteria we use internally:

  1. List the individual things we can do to improve our service offering. Be specific. For example, “Configure RMM tool to alert our primary contacts when server is offline” is better than “Improve company onboarding.”
  2. Assign the items three values, on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high):
    1. The Client Value. How much could a client benefit if we implemented this item.
    2. The NIW Value. How much time would we save if this item was in place. Or, how many fewer helpdesk tickets could be created.
    3. The Combined Value – add these numbers together.
  3. Once you have finalized the list of tasks, map out what you can safely get done by a specific date.
  4. Aim for a mix of tasks that have high client values and high NIW values.
  5. If you are feeling froggy, create a page on your website ( – and the next time you are looking for the one thing that separates you from your competition, tell your prospect to visit that page and compare it to your competitor’s website.

If you want help building your roadmap, drop me a line.