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:


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:


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


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.


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:


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:


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.


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.


To learn more about sub-items, register for this free webinar—our customer experience team will walk you through the new feature and take your questions in real-time (you can also reach them at support at anytime to get your questions answered).

Also, be sure to 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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