Create and edit roadmaps

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Pendo Roadmaps is a communication tool that helps you visualize and share your product vision. This article provides instructions for creating and editing roadmaps. For an overview of functionality, see Roadmaps in Listen.

Create a roadmap

You create a roadmap in the Roadmaps page in Listen, which you can find in the left-side menu of your Pendo subscription. Roadmaps are created from templates. Select + Create Roadmap and then choose either the Timeline template or the Now, Next, Later, template.

Timeline template

To create a roadmap using the Timeline template.

  1. Enter a meaningful name.
  2. Optionally, enter a description for your roadmap.
  3. Choose a starting month for your first quarter.
  4. Add your first Swimlane. A roadmap must include at least one swimlane.
    • Choose a meaningful name.
    • Add a description (optional).
    • Choose a color for the swimlane.
  5. Select + Add New Swimlane to add swimlanes.
  6. Select Save Changes in the bottom-right corner of the page.

    Create Roadmap Settings.png

Now, Next, Later template

Selecting the Now, Next, Later template takes you straight to the roadmap for editing.

You can change the name and description by opening the ellipsis (...) menu in the top-right of the page and selecting Settings. From the Settings page, you can also add and edit swimlanes. When you've made your edits, select Save Changes.

Add swimlanes to your roadmap

Use swimlanes to group items on your roadmap. You can add new swimlanes in three ways:

  • By selecting the Add Swimlane button at the bottom-left of your roadmap.
  • By selecting the ellipsis (...) on the right side of an existing swimlane, and then Add Swimlane.
  • By editing the roadmap settings, which you access by selecting the ellipsis (...) in the top-right of the roadmap's page, and then Settings.

Add swimlanes.png

The first two options for adding swimlanes open an Add Swimlane window. Enter a name, add a description (optional), and choose a color for your new swimlane.


Alternatively, open Settings from the ellipsis (...) dropdown menu at the top of your roadmap. Here, you can edit several aspects of the roadmap, including swimlanes.

Roadmao settings.png

You can also reorder your swimlanes from here by dragging and dropping them up and down the Swimlanes list. When you're done adding and editing your swimlanes, select Save Changes in the bottom-right corner of the page.


Create items (initiatives and features)

You can add two types of item to your roadmaps:

  • Initiatives: Larger projects or goals that line up to your departmental or company strategy. You can add measurable data to the initiative title or description, such as "Reduce churn by 10%", to show how your planned features have business impact.
  • Features: Smaller pieces of work that you plan to explore or deliver. A feature can be a piece of research, an item that engineering plans to deliver, or marketing to support a launch. 

For more information about initiatives and features, see the Roadmaps for Pendo Free article, which provides an overview of the Roadmaps functionality.

You can create an initiative or feature in the following ways:

With the Add to Roadmap button

  1. Select + Add to Roadmap in the top-right corner of the roadmap page.
  2. Choose either Create Initiative or Create Feature. This opens the new item in a side panel on the right side of the page.

    Add to roadmap.png
  3. Enter a meaningful name for your item.
  4. Optionally, add a description. 
  5. Select either Save to Backlog to keep the item in the backlog or Save to Roadmap to place it directly on the roadmap.


Choosing Save to Backlog automatically opens the backlog in the right-side panel. From here, you can drag-and-drop your newly created item onto the roadmap. For instructions, see Add items from your backlog.

Drag and drop.gif

From a swimlane in the roadmap

  1. Hover over an empty space in one of the swimlanes in your roadmap and select + Add to Roadmap.
  2. Choose either Create Initiative or Create Feature.
  3. Enter a name for your new roadmap item.

You can then edit the item's details by opening it, which opens a panel on the right side of the page, and move the item to your backlog from there.

Add directly to roadmap.gif

Add items from your backlog

To add initiatives and features from your backlog, you must first create them. If you don't yet have any items in your backlog, follow the instructions under Create items (initiative and features) before continuing.

Once you have initiatives and features in your backlog, you can drag-and-drop them onto your roadmap from the panel that opens on the right side of your screen. There are two ways to open the backlog:

  • From within a swimlane in the roadmap. Hover over an empty space in one of the swimlanes and select + Add to Roadmap, then choose Add from Backlog.

    Add to roadmap.png

  • From the Backlog button in the top-right corner of the roadmap. In the panel that opens on the right side of the screen, drag-and-drop an item into your roadmap.

    Drag and drop and resize.gif

Create item hierarchies

Initiatives and features are hierarchical. An initiative can contain individual features within it. You can drag-and-drop individual features into an initiative, or drag one feature into another feature to create a new initiative. 

Nesting features.png

Dragging a feature into another feature creates an initiative consisting of these two features. You can add more features as required after creating the initiative. In the Create Initiative window that appears, add a title and then select Create Initiative.


You can see whether an initiative includes features within it based on whether there's a number and a dropdown arrow on the right side of the item in the roadmap. The number tells you how many features exist within the initiative.


You can expand an initiative to see what features it consists of by selecting the dropdown arrow on the right side of the item.


You can also see what features an initiative consists of by selecting the initiative to open it and then opening the Linked tab. For more information, see View item details.

Linked items.png

View item details

Select the individual initiative or feature from the backlog or from the roadmap to view its details. Each item consists of two tabs. The Overview tab provides details, such as who the item was created by and when, and allows you to add notes in the Description. For instructions, see Edit item details. If the item is part of a nested hierarchy of items on the roadmap, the Linked tab shows you what other items the initiative or feature is linked to.

From the backlog

To view information about an initiative or feature in your backlog, open the backlog and then select View in the top-right of the item's card.


Select View in Backlog at the top of the item details to navigate back to the backlog of items.

View in backlog.png

From the roadmap

Select the item directly from its location on the roadmap to view its information in the right-side panel. The number next to the Linked tab shows you if and how many other items the initiative or feature is linked to.

  • The Linked tab of an initiative that's on your roadmap shows you all the features nested in that initiative. The number next to the tab title indicates how many features are nested in that initiative.
  • The Linked tab of a feature that belongs to an initiative shows you the name of the initiative that the feature belongs to. A feature can only belong to one initiative at a time, and so the Linked tab only ever has the number zero (0) or one (1) next to it.

You can view the details of linked items by selecting View next to that item. This opens the item's details in the right-side panel. 

View linked item.png

Move and resize items

Both roadmap templates have drag-and-drop functionality, though this differs depending on whether you choose a Timeline template or Now, Next, Later template.

Timeline template

If you're using the timeline template, you can drag-and-drop items on your roadmap along the timeline between swimlanes, and above or below each other. You can also resize items on your roadmap, including any features that are nested within an initiative. Hover over the left or right side of an item to then change the span of the item.


Now, Next, Later template

If you're using the Now, Next, Later template, you can drag-and-drop items on your roadmap between swimlanes and columns, and above or below each other.

drag and drop between swimlanes and columns.gif

Edit item detail

To edit an individual item, select the item from the roadmap or the backlog and then modify the name, status, and description as required. Roadmap editors can change the status of individual initiatives and features from the dropdown menu in the Overview tab.

Edit item details.png

Remove items from the roadmap

To move an item from your roadmap back into your backlog, open the item from the roadmap and then select the back arrow (Move to Backlog) at the top of the panel, next to the trash icon.

Move to backlog.png

Delete an item

You can delete individual initiatives and features from the backlog or from the roadmap.

  1. Select the initiative or feature you want to delete.
  2. Select the trash icon at the top of the panel.
  3. Select Confirm Delete.

When you delete an item, you're asked to confirm the action because it can't be undone. Any items that are linked to the initiative or feature you're deleting will still exist in the backlog. You must delete features belonging to an initiative separately.


Edit an existing roadmap

You can edit the roadmap name, description, and swimlanes from within your roadmap in Settings.

  1. Select your roadmap from the Roadmaps list. 
  2. Select the ellipsis (...) in the top-right corner of the roadmap.
  3. Select Settings from the dropdown menu.

Roadmap settings.png

This opens the Settings window, where you can:

  • Rename your roadmap.
  • Edit the description.
  • Change the names, descriptions, and colors of existing swimlanes.
  • Remove, add, and reorder swimlanes.

After you’ve edited your roadmap, select Save Changes in the bottom-right corner of the page, or select Cancel to revert to the unedited roadmap.

Delete an existing roadmap

Find the roadmap you want to delete in the Roadmaps list, and select the trash icon on the right side of that roadmap row. This opens a window asking you to confirm or cancel the action. Select Confirm Delete to delete the roadmap. 

Warning: You can’t recover a roadmap after it’s been deleted. Your initiatives and features will be deleted along with your roadmap. In the future, initiatives and features will become roadmap-agnostic, and continue to exist in the backlog when a roadmap is deleted. 

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