Building a development roadmap and a long term schedule can be a challenging and brain frying experience. One has to balance the resources at hand, evaluate competitive products and their own roadmaps, take into account important “sidetasks” that tend to take a lot of time (server maintenance, testing, bug fixing), make judgement calls on what features will actually matter (vs. what features will not), perform gut estimates for the complexity of various tasks and make sure that they don’t fall too far off.
Thankfully there is a really cutting-edge piece of technology that makes this problem easier to solve. Of course you still can’t avoid all the effort associated to the hard thinking process. But once this is out, you can just put in a big whiteboard your ideas, milestones, resources and timelines, and start balancing them out. And while it is a far cry from Minority Report, the ease of moving things around, matching tasks and features to people and against milestones, beats hands down any computer based project management tool. Coupled with the inherent advantages of the millennia-old pare technology, the challenge of a roadmap gets limited to the thinking process.
So we sat down, brainstormed, managed to eat lightly and not drink any alcohol to keep the spirits high, then brainstormed some more, then started moving around those yellow pieces. 50 post-it notes and 5 hours later we finally locked this down: a roadmap and a high level schedule not just for 3-4 weeks ahead but for the next 5 months. HOORAY!
We are now reviewing this with the development team and other affected parties so you will have to exercise a little patience before you see it. Thankfully, we are equally impatient on our own. We’d like to present our roadmap to FOSDEM so there is a good chance that within the next two to three days we will update our public roadmap and you may chip-in your comments.