Chapter 13

Add a new level of visual detail to your roadmap with sub-items


New to Roadmunk? Give sub-items a try with our free product roadmap template.

Building a roadmap should be an exercise in information design. The deliberate use of visual elements that convey milestones, ownership and dependencies can do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to communicating the when, why and how of your action plan.

So, we’re launching a brand new feature to add a level (literally) of visual detail to your roadmap: sub-items. Users on Business, Professional and Enterprise packages can now create two levels of roadmap items: items and sub-items.

With the addition of sub-items, break your initiatives (or epics) into smaller, more manageable pieces (your stories) and group them together. It looks like this:

roadmap

Each sub-item can be assigned its own date, status and whatever other values your team uses to organize the pieces of your product strategy. Read on to find out how sub-items boost your roadmap’s ability to communicate crystal-clearly.

Surface just the right level of detail on your roadmap

With sub-items, hide and show the high- and low-level details on your roadmap.

A parent item (an item with sub-items, or children 👪) will appear on your roadmap just like a regular item. This can be an epic with a short and sweet name.

And your sub-items (the children) are all the stories—the low-level details—that need to be completed to get that epic to its happy ending.

On swimlane, you’ll see sub-items appear in-line when you click on the sub-item icon within its parent item:

roadmap

And on timeline, your sub-items will appear when you hover over its parent item—like so:

roadmap

Keep the team aligned on date and scope changes

Now, we totally understand that your dates and scope are likely to change—and we designed sub-items to accommodate this.

The start and finish dates of a parent item are automatically generated based on the dates you have assigned to its sub-items (the parent item will span the earliest sub-item start date to the latest finish date).

And say that development for a specific feature is delayed. You can push out the finish date for the related sub-item and the change will automatically be reflected in its parent item.

roadmap

Plus: If a whole epic is delayed, you can drag the parent item further down your timeline and your parent and child item dates will all automatically update.

Sub-items play nice with other roadmapping features

Roadmunk’s other features can be used in confluence with sub-items to really drill down into the details—sub-item by sub-item.

For example, you can use the member field to make accountability crystal-clear. Individually assign different team members to your sub-items—like so:

roadmap

The progress of each sub-item can also be tracked individually with our item progress feature.

Sub-items are compatible with dependencies (please note: you can not add a dependency to a parent item). Sub-items within the same initiative can have dependencies between each other, but you can also create a dependency between sub-items across different initiatives. This is what your roadmap will look like with item progress + dependencies:

roadmap

How to create sub-items

It’s easy-peasy. Within your Items Table, click on the + icon within any standalone item to turn it into a proud parent. Give your new sub-item a name and press “Enter” to create additional sub-items within the same group. You can add up to 25 sub-items to a top-level item.

roadmap

You can also turn any existing item into a sub-item. Drag an item over to another item and drop it on top to nestle it in its new home. This action also works in reverse if you want to turn a sub-item into a standalone or top-level item.

roadmap

For more, check out these articles from our support centre. And if you’re not a Roadmunk user but want to check out how sub-items work, sign up for a free 14-day trial to kick the tires with one of our roadmap templates.

Happy roadmapping!

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