Blog > Visualising your MOps Roadmap

Written as reponses to interview questions asked by Darrell Alfonso

Firstly, I need to set some context. In Australia, the Mops landscape is very behind compared to the US - by probably a good 4 to 5 years. The few companies that have dedicated Mops teams are mostly the global companies with a presence in Australia. Just looking at job boards, you see the majority of Australian companies are still building marketing teams for campaign execution and strategy, brand strategy, and, PR and communications.

So if you are doing some Mops in Australia, you most likely were hired for campaign ops or email marketing or as a platform admin, and, in trying to do your job better, you end up doing Mops - and this was true for me.

In such cases, there is a lack of formal structure or responsibilities around Mops, and as a result, many aspects of Mops that your US readers might expect Mops to be responsible for, are out of our hands here in Australia.

All up, getting Mops priorities done can be very challenging. So much so that I, and many other Mops pioneers here in Australia, have to wear a third hat - which is to educate our managers and the business about Mops!

Anyway, a little about me... I started out agency side doing Marketing Automation consulting, Marketo being my primary platform. After 4 years of implementations, initial MAP set up and ad hoc program builds, I moved client side to look after a Marketo instance for a B2B telco. I was a one-man team there for 3 years before moving on and into my current role. I'm currently the Automation and Personalisation manager at a major Australian university.

Thinking behind your diagram

Mops people, at some point in the career, would have experienced a time where they needed to implement or do something, but they knew, or felt, the outcome wasn't going to be good. If you're new to Mops you will experience it. Anyway, for me, it happened when my company bought Bizible (multi-touch attribution), tried to do ABM and wanted to do lifecycle marketing (not all at once by the way).

So you get asked to do something, but you're thinking "there's a few things we should probably get right before we attempt this". And sometimes you can't put your finger on what all of those pre-requisites are. A "tech tree" (you might be familiar with them if you've played strategy games like Age of Empires or Civilisation) is a great visual aid to help us understand what all those pre-requisites are.

I acknowledge some of the terms in what I've put together might mean something different to you and me. But that's ok, it's the mapping and the connections that's important - in clearly knowing what should be done before X, Y or Z, because otherwise, there will be a poor outcome.

How you came up with it

I'm one of those people who get engrossed in a task. The idea just came to me one late night.

So a bit more context, I'm relatively new in my current role. The Marketo instance I'm looking after has about 25 users and we're looking to bring on more. My manager is the sponsor for the platform and her success measure is the full utilisation of Marketo. For me that translates to training users, giving them a great UX in Marketo and doing as much cool stuff in Marketo as possible.

Being new to the role, I was working on my wishlist for the Marketo instance. I was just listing ideas in dot points at first. But knowing some things needed to be done before others, I played around with the ordering or prioritising things. I came to realise some priorities were independently dependent on different pre-requisites and some pre-requisites were common to other priorities. And then the idea of placing all of these priorities into a "tech tree" just occurred - or rather, the work in progress just seemed to pattern a tech tree.

What it means

It is still a work in progress but I'd love for other Mops professionals to take the idea and run with it themselves. I'm keen to see what cool ideas other people come up with for improving this.

To explain what you're seeing a bit more, the core concept is using connections to join priorities in a chronological order so you can see dependencies. I guess this is an important point to cover, why priorities? So, I always intended for this to be personalised to a company rather than it being a hard set of priorities for Mops everywhere.

The different colours represent my opinion of who owns that priority - green is Mops, yellow is Mops joint with someone else, grey is not Mops.

I'm planning on gamifying mine a lot more like adding captions for cost in hours and various benefits like Leads +2% or Revenue +1% (still not sure exactly what benefits to use though).

I've received a great suggestion to put the whole thing into swim lanes to depict maturity. I was thinking something similar, overall time for the whole roadmap to be completed.

You could also change boxes to be different shapes to convey even more information.

What it means for others who want to build something similar

On face value, for us in Mops, it's a visual aid for understanding what should be done first.

But, I think the real value in it is that it tells a story - a story about Mops. You hear and see so many anecdotes on Linkedin and in slack groups of Mops people facing challenges educating stakeholders about what Mops is, the complexity of Mops or the benefits of Mops. All of that is embodied in some way in this "picture".