Introduction to Roadmap Architecture

Roadmap Architecture & Structure

As a Product Manager it is important that you have a roadmap in place. Equally important is that you design your roadmap architecture and structure.

  • Initiatives
  • Epics
  • User Stories
  • Tasks

Theme Objectives

Themes, or often referred to as ‘Strategic Themes‘ are at the highest level, and are set at an organisational level.

  • Reduce the time to market for new customers
  • Reduce operational cost of our products
  • Improve acquisition funnel
  • Increase customer retention and reduce subscription cancelation

Theme Audience

The audience for a theme is your top level and senior management. Stakeholders that are not in the day to day granular details and needs information at a high level to make strategic and business decisions.


Initiative Objectives

The next level down is your initiatives.

Initiative Audience

With this level being your “roadmap”, it has quite a wide audience. including executives, all key stakeholders and also your customers.


Epic Objectives

The Epic level is your Product Backlog.

  • Add to favourites list
  • Remove from basket
  • Increase/decrease amount
  • Pay with card
  • Pay with Apple Pay

Epics Audience

The product backlog is a tool for the Product Manager.

  • Stakeholders — these are your important stakeholders who need to know what you are building, many of which will have hard dependancies on you. For example marketing who need to push the features or sales who need to sell the feature. A good solid product backlog helps you to align.
  • Customers — this is a tricky one, and depends on how granular and transparent you go with your customers. They need to be informed on an initiative level, but then its also good to show your customers exactly what you are building and the benefits for them.

User Stories

User Story Objective

Your user stories are essentially the requirements. In order to deliver an epic (or a feature), breaking it down into a smaller deliverable helps to better understand and plan. This is an informal explanation of the requirements, written from the perspective from the end user.

User Story Audience

User stories are at a delivery team level. These are what are delivered by the team in the sprints.


Task Objective

Tasks, or sometimes referred to as ‘sub-tasks’ are the most granular level. This is essentially a task list to deliver a user story. This is only used by the team, and possible the Product Manager depending on how they are used.

  • Design UI
  • Build Database
  • Integrate with authentication service
  • Write unit tests
  • Create automated tests
  • Document solution
  • Deploy

Task Audience

This is only for the team and the people doing the work, no one outside of this really needs to see or understand the tasks. They are there for the team to help them to deliver the stories in the sprint, and can also act as a definition of done, so that the user story cannot be closed until all the tasks are.

About the Author

Ashley-Christian Hardy

Product leader. A strong advocate in innovation, experimentation and building great products with the use of qualitative and quantitative research.