What this article covers:
The value of a high-level product roadmap
How to build a live Asana-GitHub product roadmap with Unito
Tips to better manager your roadmap
Note that, while this post covers GitHub, the exact same process can be applied to Jira or GitLab.
As Product Manager, you are the CEO of your product: you need to lead cross-functional teams from the product's conception to its launch.
You need to maintain a roadmap of major upcoming changes to communicate with everyone involved. But sadly, the moment work actually begins, your roadmap is outdated and you need to manually update it constantly.
This guide will show you how to create a roadmap in Asana and use Unito to keep it in sync with the progress made by technical teams in GitHub.
How to build a live Asana-GitHub product roadmap
1) Sync your GitHub repos
For each Github repository, you wish to track from Asana, create a flow in Unito. This will create a new project in Asana for each of your Github repositories, and in it you’ll find all the open issues.
2) Create a Roadmap project in Asana
Now as a Product Manager you'll want to have a clear overview of who is working on what and where the product is heading. For that, you can create a project in Asana that will gather together all the tasks related to your product.
At Unito, we have a "Roadmap" project that feeds on several backlog projects (eg. dev backlog, marketing backlog). We periodically review these backlogs and fill in the roadmap with upcoming tasks. We use sections to separate chunks of upcoming months.
3) Coordinate the projects together
It is now time to fill in this Roadmap project. Asana makes it very easy to add a task to different projects.
Let's say you have some tasks in the newly created projects synced with Github that you want to add to your roadmap. You just have to open the task (or group of tasks) and add it to your project from there.
This way your task will live in two separate projects: the Roadmap and the one that is synced with Github. Every new action on Github or Asana will be synced in the other tool!
You now have a live roadmap and can monitor how your projects are moving forward: closed tasks, comments, attachments, etc. Everything will be updated automatically!
Tips to better manage your roadmap
Asana has several features that can greatly improve your experience as a project manager.
Asana custom fields
Asana's custom fields allow you to fully adapt your favorite tool to your company's workflow. Adding priority, importance, and workload to tasks has never been easier!
A good use of these custom fields when syncing with Github is to bring Github milestones to your Asana projects.
Create a "Milestone" custom field in Asana and in your Flow Settings (in Unito) map it to the Milestone field in Github.
This way you will have a better sense of what your dev team is focused on and when they plan to release it.
Note that custom fields are only available for Team plans and up.
Asana also added a dependency option to their tasks, making it easier for you to set priorities. Let's say a large number of tasks in your roadmap depend on the completion of another task; you can mark them as dependent on the latter task and you will receive a notification once this task is completed.
To add a dependency, expand the task that depends on another one, click on the "More Actions" icon (last round one) and click on "Mark As Waiting On."
Asana Calendar view
Asana offers a calendar view for each project. It's useful for everyone who wants to see how the tasks are planned during the month. Note that tasks need to have a due date to appear on the calendar.
Drag and drop a task in the calendar and it will automatically change the due date in Asana, but also in the other tool the task is synced to!
Asana Progress view
Those who want an even more visual interpretation of their project should take a look at the Progress view.
There you can see a nice graph showing tasks still open and ones that are already completed. This is useful to quickly see if your project is on track or if it's time to panic!
Recommended Unito settings
Try out these settings to get the most out of your flows:
You can use rules to filter the issues by label. Say that you don't want all the bugs in your Asana roadmap: add "Bug" in the labels to exclude field.
Map the different Asana and Github users so you can easily see who is working on what, even people in the dev team.
Enable subtask syncing, and sync higher-level tasks to your roadmap.