Unlocking Productivity with Jira Roadmaps: Your Guide to Better Project Management

by | Jan 1, 2023 | Jira

Among the robust selection of project management tools available today, Jira Roadmaps distinguish themselves as a versatile and strategic resource. In stark contrast to traditional project plans, They are dynamic, visually compelling tools that enable teams to efficiently track, plan, and share their progress. In this guide, we’ll uncover the various capabilities of Jira Roadmaps, a hallmark feature that propels Jira into a league of its own in the project management space.

Deciphering Jira Roadmaps: Elevating Project Management

Contrary to the granular approach of conventional project plans with individual task assignments and detailed milestones, roadmaps take a higher-level view.

Classic Project Plan
Classic Project Plan

They concentrate on prominent features and projects, presenting them on a broad timeline that spans months, quarters, or even years. This macro view offers stakeholders a comprehensive understanding of strategic direction without the clutter of intricate task-level data.

Product Roadmap
Product Roadmap

Initially, Jira was not designed with Roadmaps. This feature was a later addition, initially made available for next-gen projects. It gained popularity rapidly due to its success and demand, prompting Atlassian to incorporate it into classic projects as well, thereby enhancing Jira’s project management prowess.

Understanding the Types of Jira Roadmaps

Jira offers two distinct versions of Roadmaps:

  • Basic Roadmaps: These are part of all Jira Software Plans, even the free one. Best suited for single projects, Basic Roadmaps are ideal for smaller teams or businesses.
  • Advanced Roadmaps: Exclusive to Jira Software Premium plans, Advanced Roadmaps are perfect for managing multiple projects concurrently. They also include workload monitoring to ensure optimal allocation and usage of resources across all projects.

Each version offers unique advantages, but for the purpose of this guide, we’ll concentrate on the benefits and functionalities of Basic Jira Roadmaps.

Activating Jira Roadmaps: A Walkthrough

The activation of Jira Roadmaps is a simple task. Within your Classic Jira project, you’ll need to navigate to the Board Settings screen and toggle the Roadmap option on. For a step-by-step guide, the official Atlassian Guide.

Enabling Jira Roadmaps
Enabling Jira Roadmaps

The roadmap for a hypothetical e-commerce website is shown in the example below. One of the defining features of Jira Roadmaps is that they represent significant features and initiatives as Jira epics. This allows for seamless visualization and tracking of progress, enhancing roadmap readability and enabling stakeholders to predict when each epic will be delivered and understand how the delivery of one impacts others.

Jira Roadmap
Jira Roadmap

Personalizing Your Jira Roadmaps for Strategic Visibility

One of the standout features of Jira Roadmaps is their personalization capability. With the ability to create label filters, you can customize your roadmap to display the most relevant information for different teams or stakeholders. 

By adding suitable labels to your epics, the label filter is activated, enabling you to swiftly switch between various roadmap views. This feature ensures that every team focuses on the data most relevant to their roles, which bolsters project efficiency.

For example, the marketing team would like to know when reviews and wish lists will be available so that they can plan their marketing campaigns accordingly. At the same time, they don’t care that much about monitoring and alerting or load testing schedules.

All epics supporting user features get the user-feature label, while those supporting operational features get the ops label. Adding labels to epics enables the label filter, so we can quickly switch between different views for different audiences.

Filtering by User

Utilizing Jira Roadmaps for Streamlined Project Management

Jira Roadmaps simplify project management by making it more intuitive and streamlined:

  • Epic Creation and Prioritization: You can create and prioritize epics directly from the Roadmaps screen, making the process efficient and straightforward.
  • Flexible Time Scales: You can choose weekly, monthly, or quarterly timescales for roadmap visualization, depending on the nature and duration of the project.
  • Progress Indicators: Jira Roadmaps feature visual progress indicators for each epic, providing insights into tasks that have been completed and those still in progress.

Epics in Roadmaps

You can add a new epic without leaving the screen by just clicking the “Create Epic” link. The inline editor opens. Type in the name of the epic, and it will be created and added to the roadmap.

Adding an Epic

This screen also has a few extra features. You can put epics in order of priority by dragging them up and down. The default time scale is monthly, but you can also choose weekly or quarterly time scales. You can also save the roadmap as a PNG file using the export feature.

Stories, Tasks and Bugs in Roadmaps

Jira epics contain stories, tasks, and bugs. That is not a roadmap feature; it is a Jira feature that has been around for a long time. However, that relationship is shown differently on the roadmap screen. You can expand an epic to see its children, and you can create a new child issue by clicking the plus sign next to the epic’s name. This action also allows inline editing.

Epic Child Issues
Epic Child Issues

Progress Indicators in Roadmaps

The roadmap shows Epic’s progress, and the status of its child issues is used to evaluate it. Under Account Management epic, there are blue and green bars. The green bar shows how many child issues are done, while the blue one shows how many are still being worked on.

Epic Progress
Epic Progress

Dependencies Between Epics

One of the unique aspects of Jira Roadmaps is their ability to visually represent dependencies between epics. This feature is instrumental in ensuring that teams understand the interlinked nature of tasks and the impact of their progress on overall project delivery.

Epic Dependencies
Dependencies Between Epics

Leveraging Jira Roadmaps: A Game-Changer in Project Management

Jira Roadmaps have revolutionized project management by offering a robust, interactive, and customizable tool for planning, tracking, and effective communication. It paves the way for informed decision-making, optimal resource allocation, and improved transparency across teams.

Embracing Jira Roadmaps could be the critical factor that amplifies productivity and fosters agility in your team. With a roadmap in place, the journey towards project success becomes clearer, more manageable, and navigable.


The advent of Jira Roadmaps marks a milestone in the realm of project management. It offers a tool that is not only robust and interactive but also customizable to the needs of various teams and projects. As we strive to improve project management methodologies, adopting Jira Roadmaps could be the key to unlocking greater productivity and agility.

Also, the smooth integration with other Atlassian tools helps create a cohesive project management ecosystem that encourages collaboration and transparency. As companies try to improve their project management, adopting Jira Roadmaps can be the key to unlocking productivity and agility. 

Remember to keep these key insights in mind:

  1. Roadmaps are not project plans.
  2. Only major features and initiatives are represented in roadmaps.
  3. The same information is conveyed to different groups through roadmaps using different views.

For additional insights, tips, and best practices on maximizing the power of Jira Roadmaps, watch the following video on YouTube:

Watch it on YouTube:

Jira & Scrum Fundamentals Course - 80% OFF

Learn the Foundations of Agile Project Management

“One of the best tutorials in Udemy! Simple and to the point.”

Confluence Fundamentals Course - 80% OFF

Effortless Collaboration for Enhanced Productivity

“Excellent course! Just the right amount of knowledge in just the right amount of time.”