How to Build a Perfect Roadmap in Jira with a Roadmap Planner

April 30, 2023 · 11 min read

In this article, we’re exploring the roadmap approach to Jira planning, identifying its values, and figuring out the best way to build a project roadmap with a roadmap planner.

What is a roadmap?

A roadmap is a high-level plan or strategy that outlines a set of steps, goals, and milestones to be achieved within a certain timeframe.

It is often used in project management, product development, or business strategy to communicate a clear and structured plan to stakeholders and team members.

A roadmap typically includes a timeline with specific dates or deadlines for achieving certain objectives, as well as key milestones that will help track progress towards those objectives.

It may also include details about resources needed, potential obstacles and risks, and the overall vision or purpose of the plan.

What is the difference between a product and a project roadmap?

First off, let’s define the difference between two popular terms in agile development – a product roadmap and a project roadmap.

What is a product roadmap?

The main difference between a project roadmap and a product roadmap is in their final goal and duration. Because product development has no final destination, that makes the development of a project roadmap a level lower.

But both product roadmap and project roadmap are similar in terms of setting a clear timeline and a specific budget.

What is a project roadmap?

A project roadmap is a graphical, high-level action plan that aligns your team and other stakeholders around your goals and maps out necessary steps to achieve them.

Roadmap is a great source of information outlining planning, goals, priorities, and progress made over time.

Project plans often focus on details, whereas a roadmap stays simple and highlights only the essentials.

That’s exactly what makes a roadmap so valuable for managing expectations, communicating plans, and coordinating resources with other teams within Jira.

Clear benefits of a product roadmap planner

A product roadmap planner is a useful tool for product managers that gives detailed roadmap visualization to plan and communicate the strategic direction of a product, a project, or service.

Some of the benefits of using a product roadmap planner include:

  1. Aligning stakeholders: A product roadmap planner helps align all stakeholders, including product managers, designers, engineers, sales, and marketing teams, around a shared vision and direction for the product.

  2. Prioritizing features: A product roadmap planner allows teams to prioritize features and initiatives based on their impact and strategic importance, ensuring that the most important work is tackled first.

  3. Planning for the future: A product roadmap planner helps teams plan for the future by outlining upcoming releases and major milestones, providing a long-term view of the product's development.

  4. Communicating with stakeholders: A product roadmap planner serves as a communication tool for product teams to share their plans and progress with other stakeholders, such as executives, investors, and customers.

  5. Managing resources: A product roadmap planner helps teams manage resources effectively by identifying dependencies, potential roadblocks, and gaps in skills or capacity.

  6. Adapt to changes: A product roadmap planner is flexible and can be updated as priorities or market conditions change, allowing teams to adapt quickly and stay on track.

In two words, a roadmap planner is an essential tool for product development teams that helps them stay organized, focused, and aligned around the product's strategic direction. If seeking top product development companies, it's crucial to find partners who understand the significance of such planning tools in delivering successful innovations.

How to enable roadmap in Jira

There are several roadmapping options in Jira for you to choose: basic roadmaps, advanced roadmaps, and building a roadmap using Jira add ons.

Basic Jira Roadmaps

By default, you may use basic roadmaps in Jira software that can help to plan and monitor teams’ progress in real-time, visualize dependencies, and more.

The basic Jira roadmap is a high-level graphical overview of a project or product's progress and its future plans. It is a visual representation of a project's goals and milestones arranged and shown within some time period.

Such roadmaps are built on the Epics level, where each Epic contains a number of related user stories or tasks that are needed to achieve the larger goal.

Project roadmaps organized this way show a high-level summary of the planned work and a comprehensive view of the work that needs to be done.

Show roadmap in Jira the roadmap view in any Jira project you need. Initially, the roadmapping feature is managed by a team administrator and depends on the type of project.

In new company-managed and team-managed projects, roadmaps are enabled by default. However, if you don’t see the Roadmap option in the sidebar on the right, ask your board admin to enable it.

Enabling the roadmap feature in Jira also depends on which version of Jira you use.

Here are the general steps:

For Jira Cloud, navigate to the project where you want to enable the roadmap and click on the "Settings" icon in the bottom-left corner of the sidebar. Click on "Features" and toggle on the "Roadmap" feature.

If you're using Jira Server or Jira Software Data Server, you'll need to make sure that you have the "Advanced Roadmap" plugin installed.

To build a basic roadmap in Jira within sprints, you can follow these general steps:

  1. Identify the key features or goals of your project that you want to accomplish.
  2. Create Epics in Jira for each of these key features.
  3. Create stories under each epic that will help you achieve the goal of the epic. A story is a specific piece of work that can be completed within a sprint.
  4. Assign each story to a sprint in Jira.
  5. Prioritize the stories within each sprint based on their importance and level of effort.
  6. Review and adjust the roadmap at the end of each sprint based on the progress made and any changes to the project scope.

Advanced Jira Roadmaps

Jira also has Advanced Roadmaps, known as AR, available for its Jira Software Premium users and Jira Enterprise users. Advanced Roadmaps may combine issues from different boards, projects, and filters, even for multiple teams.

The cost of Advanced Roadmaps depends on a few factors, such as the team size, the type of Jira Software, or Jira Service Management license you have.

For instance, you will need to pay $15,25 per team user (estimated) if you use Jira Software Cloud Premium that equals $152,5 for teams of 10 members.

Estimate the price for your team based on the Jira product and the plan you need.

Enabling Advanced Roadmaps in Jira Server or Jira Software Data Center 8.15 involves the following steps:

  1. Log in to your Jira instance as an administrator with your global permission.
  2. Find the > Apps.
  3. Depending on the version of Jira you're using, click Explore new apps or Explore new addons.
  4. In the 'Search the Marketplace' box, enter Advanced Roadmaps, then click Enter.
  5. Choose Free trial. Wait until the subscription is updated.
  6. Tap Get started.
  7. Tap Create a plan to start working with Advanced Roadmaps.

Make sure that your Jira instance meets the system requirements for Advanced Roadmaps, as specified in the Atlassian documentation.

Who uses Advanced Jira Roadmaps?

The audience for advanced roadmaps in Jira typically includes project managers, program managers, agile coaches, team leads, and other leadership teams, who work on team's planning, tracking, and forecasting capabilities.

Jira’s ARs help teams plan, track, and forecast their work in an Agile context. It provides a comprehensive overview of a project's progress and allows teams to visualize dependencies, identify potential bottlenecks, and make informed decisions based on data-driven insights.

The tool is particularly useful for agile companies that have multiple teams working on interdependent projects, as it enables them to align their work and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.

Build a roadmap in Jira with an external addon for Jira

If you want to create a roadmap faster and cheaper, you will need a simple Jira addon. This is a roadmap planner that will visually break down your goals into smaller, manageable tasks chunks of data, and will accelerate your planning progress and simplify the roadmapping process, and will not cost you a fortune.

There are dozens of planners that are much cheaper than Jira’s Advanced roadmaps in Jira. Browse the Atlassian marketplace to find yours, or try out Planyway.

Btw, such roadmap planners can be used for a wide range of purposes, not only for roadmapping needs, including project management, product development, business strategy, and personal goal setting.

How do you use a roadmap planner by Planyway?

Planyway is a multifunctional team planner for big and medium-sized teams to plan and manage workflow easier, visualize team capacity load and availability, track time inside issues, and more.

Planyway for Jira provides a visual and intuitive way to manage Jira issues on a calendar, making it easier to plan and manage project schedules, deadlines, and resources from one place, streamlining the workflow and reducing the need to switch between multiple tools.

With Planyway’s addon, users can easily schedule cards via drag’n’drop onto the calendar, set due dates, and receive email notifications, monitor workload, all of that makes it a great resource planning tool for both personal and team project management.

Let’s look at the roadmap planner features on the example of Planyway for Jira:

A) Custom Views

Apart from a basic Gantt-like roadmap, you can group by team members, by epics, and by projects. Team roadmap lets you visualize the plan by team members, which is especially useful in terms of workload management. You can easily check who’s responsible for what and how your team is doing with the tasks assigned to them.

Check out how work on the project is broken down by important stages and how it is progressing via grouping on timeline by Jira epics.

By grouping epic lanes on a timeline, your projects are presented in one place, and can be planned via drag and drop.

When managing multiple projects, you may also add several Jira projects to a single view to see issues together and even split the roadmap by projects that allows you to work with the project portfolio.

B) Roadmap Scales

Adapt the roadmap to your workflow with scales, tap to transform the roadmap from a daily to a weekly, monthly, quarterly, or even annual view.

C) Subtask Visualization

For those who are looking for a way to represent the hierarchy of work tasks, it’s good to know that you can visualize subtasks along with Jira issues. Once you set dates to a subtask, it shows up on the Jira roadmap.

D) Milestones and Releases

Milestones may also come in handy if you wish to make key dates more recognizable.

Wrapping Up on Roadmap Planners

There are dozens of roadmap planners to plan out teams’ activities, visualise team work and get the big picture on which projects are looming!

In this guide, we’ve already talked about top Jira add-ons for roadmap planning in detail, and given a list of the best Jira roadmap planners for teams.

Now, let’s sum up what we have.

A roadmap in Jira refers to a high-level visual representation of a product or project's plan, outlining key goals, milestones, and timelines.

A roadmap planner is widely used for planning the development of new features and their releases, as well as for tracking status changes and other updates.

Jira roadmap planner can be used as a way to show how your work is going, to plan strategically and track the progress of a project over time.

Planning in Jira through building roadmaps helps you to see the scope of a project from the start, and evaluate the sequence of actions in order to meet your desired final goal.


As a software company with a proven background in resource planning and team productivity, Planyway strives to keep pace on the tendencies in working culture, and regularly collects the most popular time management tips and techniques for your business.

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