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Apr 14

Jira Product roadmap. Iterative or Timeline-oriented?

Product roadmapping in JiraHow to get started with product roadmaps in Jira? First, decide on this: do I need an iterative roadmap or Gantt chart-style roadmap? Let’s go through the features and advantages of both.

Both types have a timeline. So you don’t need to give up this core component. What are the differences then?

  • The iterative product roadmap is, by definition, sliced into time boxes (iterations, PIs, or quarters) and is focused on reporting the progress made in a given time box.
  • The Gantt chart-like product roadmap, while it can have the iteration overlay, is more about deadlines (use markers for deadlines) and events (use milestones).


Can and should you use both rodmapping tools?

Some apps, such as BigPicture, have both iterative and Gantt-style roadmaps.

Product development teams will be motivated more effectively by an agile-iterative product roadmap.

CEOs will usually prefer Gantt chart-like product roadmaps.

Product owners might need both.


Iterative product roadmaps

Agile product roadmap Jira

Iterative, agile product roadmap in Jira BigPicture.

Agile product roadmap in a nutshell:

  • for agile teams and product owners
  • the tool is more efficient in terms of motivating people
  • and more suitable for short-term planning of small tasks
  • iteration reviews/sprint demos are primary ‘disciplinary measures’
  • less timeline-oriented (although there is a timeline)


Quarterly product roadmap

Is agility not your world? Use quarters (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4 as seen in the below screenshot) as Roadmap time boxes, instead of PIs. You can add quarters, months, or custom time boxes in the BigPicture Overview module. Time-boxes can be added in the Overview > Hierarchy mode, and they can be edited by dragging and dropping these quarters or months in Overview > Timeline mode.

Quarterly product roadmap

Use quarters or months, instead of program increments, on BigPicture Roadmap.


Gantt-style product roadmap

Some vendors offer simple Gantt charts under the ‘roadmap’ name. Some organizations even reject the ‘Gantt chart’ label. There is a solution. Use BigPicture’s mature Gantt charts as product roadmaps, and starting BigPicture 8 you can rename ‘Gantt chart’ to ‘Roadmap’. Fair enough?

Gantt-style product management roadmap Jira

Gantt chart-style product roadmap in Jira BigPicture. Starting BigPicture 8 you can rename the ‘Gantt’ label to, say, ‘Product roadmap’.

Gantt chart-style product roadmap in a nutshell:

  • a timeline-oriented tool
  • for CEOs, product owners, teams in non-agile environments
  • more room for extremely in-depth, detailed views
  • there is also room for high-level aggregation of progress (for instance, you can apply COUNT or SUM aggregation to the ‘Status’ or ‘Time tracking’ columns, as seen in the screen capture above)
  • milestones are primary ‘disciplinary measure’



Iterative roadmaps and Gantt charts can both serve as roadmapping tools for Jira but have slightly different target groups. Most organizations will find both tools useful. Skip the hassle of keeping two separate roadmapping add-ons in sync. Try BigPicture, an all-in-one product management tool.


About The Author

With his automotive background Marcin goes beyond the 'Jira + software development' standard. He likes simple, up-to-five-sentence answers to complex questions.