The Program road map is an information display that visually shows the time phasing of the programs within the portfolio. Most company's development appetites exceed their available human and non-human resources to convurrently develop all products, services or infrastructure solutions. The purpose of the program roadmap is to balance the anticipated market timing of programs under consideration with the available resources of the firm. The road map appropriately reflects what is possible and practical over time. The figure above shows an example of program road map for a software development organization.
The Program road map is a dynamic tool in that it should be updated regularly to reflect the current market and customer environmental conditions, along with the current availability of resources within the firm. It provides information for program managers on the high-level timing expectations by senior managers for their program.
Program Managers must work within the time constraints as specified by senior management in order to plan and utilize the company's resources most efficiently. The road map also becomes a primary communication device between program managers and the functional department managers to whom company's resources normally directly report. In this context, the program road map is primary planning tool during the early stages of the program lifecycle.