In the beginning stages of launching and building a community it’s difficult to imagine what a few years down the road will look like specifically. You hope that it’s a vibrant place where members come to engage and hang out with others that they know, and receive meaningful value from those they surround themselves with ultimately providing you with insights and feedback that help your organization succeed. However, hope is not a strategy. There are ways to ensure that your beautiful vision can become a reality and that’s with the help of assembling a community roadmap! Using a roadmap, you can check your milestones along the way and create planned, mapped strides to reach your goals and objectives.
By the time you’re ready to create your roadmap, you’ve already done much of the legwork getting started building your community. You are more familiar with your brand, what it stands for, and why people love it. You have set your goals using the SMART method and outlined a strategy, and you have also identified where you’d like the community to live. The foundation has been set as you have acknowledged the type of community you will have, and you know what actions your community members should take in order to be engaged. All of these pieces are essential to get you off the ground and on your journey from a group of individuals to a mature community. Mature communities are twice as likely to have roadmaps, and they also are able to demonstrate value according to The Community Roundtable.
The Value of a Community Roadmap
In all of your research and setup you’ve likely identified a number of things you want your community to do. However you might not have considered what the infrastructure will be necessary to make this happen, such as staffing, technology, or budget. A community roadmap helps you to prioritize everything you want to do and align it to a timeline that matches up with the priorities of the business. It’s also an excellent tool to help you manage when you may need more resources to manage the growth you’re experiencing.
At this point you should be well aware of who your stakeholders are within the organization. These key decision makers will review your roadmap and identify where investment best makes sense over time. Ultimately your roadmap is bringing your strategy to life, but it is also ensuring all of your hard work doesn’t go down the drain three years from now.
Building Your Community Roadmap
Where do you want your community to be in 90 days, 6 months, 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years? Go back to the Community Maturity Model to help you mark down your milestones. Answer the questions:
- What are your goals/strategy?
- List the key stakeholders
- What’s the intended culture?
- Define your audience(s)
- What are community launch priorities?
- What content are you creating?
- What is the communications plan?
- How is this community being moderated?
- What tools are you using? Where are they?
- What are your success metrics and KPIs?
- What staff will you need?
The Maturity Model is in and of itself one example of a roadmap as you read it and plug things into it. Another one comes from Rich Millington, of Feverbee who has put together a downloadable strategic roadmap spreadsheet with suggestions filled in. Along the top of this spreadsheet is the timetable and along the lefthand side are the goals, audience type, and infrastructure.
However you choose to put pen to paper is up to you. The form that your roadmap takes is up to your organization’s culture and workflow preferences as a roadmap could be a single image, a powerpoint deck, or a simple spreadsheet. The most important thing to remember is that it must be tied to a timeline, be detailed and specific, and have very clear objectives and metrics that signal when it’s time to take the next step or to modify your strategy if something isn’t working.
Reach out to Honeycommb today to get started and chat with our team about how to build a roadmap and make sure you’re set up for success from Day 1: Book a Demo to see what we can build together for your people!