In my last post \u201c3 and a half fundamentals of IT investment\u2026,\u201d we discussed focusing IT investment decisions on one of three basic business objectives: mitigate risk, manage growth and leverage new technology. Assuming you\u2019ve make some general decisions on where to focus your budget, let\u2019s run through some fundamental building blocks of your technology roadmap.\n\nOutcomes \u2013 start with the end in mind\n\nYou may find it a bit counterintuitive to start your journey at the end. However, let\u2019s think briefly about another type of road map.\n\n\nGrowing up, I used to love going on road trips with my family and friends. Packing up the car and hitting the black top offered a sense of freedom and adventure. Occasionally, we would run in to construction or bad weather. Other times, we would pass an interesting road side attraction. In both instances, we ended up delayed or had to take a detour \u2013 but in every journey we eventually ended up at our destination \u2013 because we knew where we wanted to go and we had a road map!\n\n\nYour technology roadmap serves the same purpose. You need to be cognizant to the fact that you will get sidetracked \u2013 other issues will arise that pull your focus to other critical needs. Documenting the intended outcome and benefit of each investment decision and building a plan to achieve those outcomes will serve you well as you navigate to the destination.\n\nMaking decisions \u2013 who\u2019s in charge of what\n\nEven in small business, it\u2019s important for everyone to understand who is ultimately accountable for making which decisions \u2013 or how your roadmap will be governed.\n\n\nGetting back to the road trip analogy, everyone had a part to play in making decisions. Whether it was the car snacks, when to stop for a break or where to call it a day \u2013 it was clear who was in charge (usually Mom!). Everyone in the car had input, but in order to maintain a sense of clarity, someone ultimately needed to be that final say.\n\n\nGovernance can be counterintuitive to being agile and making decisions quickly. However, without a structured approach to decision-making, your technology roadmap could end up stuck in a dead end very quickly. It doesn\u2019t have to be complex \u2013 it just has to be effective.\n\nDesign the organization \u2013 getting everyone in the right seat\n\nChances are that your plans for technology will have an impact on how work gets done in your organization. Technology is a great enabler \u2013 or so we\u2019ve been told. In my experience, technology enables effectively only if you have everyone in the right seat on the bus.\n\n\nWhen you embark on a road trip, everyone takes up a position in the vehicle. You have the driver, the navigator, the entertainer and a few passengers. From time to time, depending on where you\u2019re at in the journey, the seats change. It may be because you\u2019re in unfamiliar territory, or perhaps it\u2019s because someone has \u2018been here before.\u2019 The important point here is that as you travel, you need to adapt.\n\n\nTo be effective in your implementation of technology, your organization needs to adapt as well. Designing the roles and responsibilities of your staff, understanding who will be impacted and how and managing the process implications is as important (if not more important) as the technology solution you are building.\n\n\nRoad trips are fun, exciting and from time-to-time a little stressful. Starting with the destination in mind, packing the right snacks and most importantly, finding the right travel companions make the journey worthwhile and successful. Build the foundation for success before you pull out of the driveway!