Identifying critical factors your project depends on

What critical factors does your project depend on?

When defining your roadmap it is quite useful to spend some time considering what critical factors need to be in place for your project to move forward. Sometimes this is the availability of a certain skill/technology (for example, would people interested in your project need to know how to program? or would they need access to a certain component that is hard to come by?), sometimes this is more of a social component (for example, does your project needs the involvement of a minimal number of people, or does it need the involvement of a certain community?). Thinking about them will allow you to properly allocate time/resources to make sure these factors are respected, and to come up with alternatives in case they are not.

What could affect your roadmap

With a rough first sketch of your roadmap it will be easier to evaluate what could affect your roadmap. Beyond the critical points you worked on above, what other things could affect your roadmap? This could be either small local things (for example, if a project relies on a certain season/weather, the roadmap timeline can be affected by variances on the onset of certain seasonal events, etc), or globals ones, like the microchip shortage experienced in 2020/2021.

How to account for this eventualities

Having thought about events that could affect your roadmap will allow you to also think about how to work around them so that they are the least disruptive to your project. Certainly there are events that will come as a surprise, as it is impossible to predict everything. However having dedicated at least a bit of time to figuring out potential alternatives moving forward will allow you to be more prepared for all kinds of events.

Coupling this “thought experiment” with the idea suggested in the previous units of developing your project from the ground up with incremental prototypes, will allow your project to adapt quite fast to external changes.

Assignment: Determine critical points and pitfalls in your roadmap


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