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How do I create proper timelines and roadmaps for my projects?

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Senior Software Engineer at Johnson & Johnson2 years ago

As a senior engineer, I need to scope out projects on my own. Since I'm often working with new technologies, it can be hard for me to properly estimate the work and break things down into tasks. I also spend a lot of time thinking about the current problem, which prevents me from thinking proactively enough. Because of this, I've gotten feedback that I'm moving too slowly with overall project planning and execution. How can I improve here?

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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    2 years ago
    • 3 types of companies with timelines:
      • Top-down: Execs have a time frame in mind for a project.
      • Bottoms-up: ICs come up with a time frame they're comfortable with, share it with leadership, and it's accepted.
      • Hybrid: A mix of the above. Execs have a time in mind, ICs do too, and a compromise is reached.
    • Most companies are top-down or hybrid.
    • This means that one of the first things you do as a senior engineer/project leader is to understand the time you have to work with, ideally broken down to what it means to be fast/average/slow. From there, you can properly work backwards to figure out what components you can build and the quality bar to uphold.
    • It is 100% okay not having all the pieces breaking projects down. Learn to be at peace with that and focus on bringing the proper people together, so you can break things down and make a proper project roadmap.
    • Use a tech spec + tech review meeting to really make your project plan and roadmap clear.

    For more resources on crafting great timelines and doing proper project planning: