A roadmap is always about visualizing larger chunks of a story map. Choose the Epic roadmap or the high-level roadmap template if you group backlog items into epics, and those epics are located on the story map's backbone (top two levels).
If you have everything you want to visualize on a single story map, you can start with the 'Epic roadmap' template. Don't worry - if things get serious and you need to split your backlog into multiple story maps, you can switch to the 'High-level roadmap' template where multiple story maps can be linked.
How to pick the column structure
Before jumping into the roadmap you have to choose a column structure that helps you to organize roadmap items. You can't go wrong. Columns can be renamed and reorganized without losing any content, so you can fine-tune the structure to your needs. Here are some ideas:
time-based: one of the most popular use cases for a roadmap is dividing roadmap items into quarters. It gives a good overview of what will happen in the next quarter, and what was moved into the next period (which can mean, those items are not carved into stone)
priority: this structure is one of the most straightforward solutions to emphasize what's on the dev team's table, and what are the top priorities. You can extend the initial Now-Next-Later columns with additional groups such as 'Won't have', 'Low priority' etc.
process: if you don't want to focus on the time frames, but would give a detailed overview to your stakeholders about the development process, then this structure can work for you. Plus, arranging items in the priority order provides more information.
Quick add options
Before taking the first steps on the roadmap, you should choose where your epics are located. Pick the first option if epics are on the top level and use the second level for mapping narrative flow etc. If high-level goals or initiatives are on the top level and epics are on the second level, then go ahead with the second option.
Then you need to decide how much content will you link under the roadmap item:
Track all user stories under an epic: everything will be linked and tracked what's under the epic (including the unscheduled cards). Pick this if unscheduled cards are relevant, and want to deliver them (not just ideas)
Track all user stories under an epic except unscheduled cards: choose this option if you put ideas and low priority user stories into unscheduled. A roadmap card can be 100% done without dealing with unscheduled items
Don't track user stories: If you only need the epics (and you manage it manually among the columns) then you can select this option. Plus, it's useful if you want to include only a few releases.
How to create a roadmap item manually
If you used the quick add options, you still have the ability to create new roadmap items. Move the cursor where you want to add a new card and hit the '+' icon.
After creating a card you can add a custom name or you can link an epic from the story map. In this case, the linked release's name will overwrite the card's title.
p.s. You can add a shorter or catchier title.
Linking a release is not obligatory. It's normal when you have a new idea or epic that is not detailed yet.
Right after linking an epic, you can add releases - so the roadmap card progress bar will highlight user stories under the epic within the selected releases.
What's on the roadmap card
After giving a title to the card you can add a description. Please note: if you link a release, its description will be highlighted on the card as well. Then why is it useful to have a custom description? Because an epic description on the story map can contain technical information which is not intuitive for a stakeholder. That's why adding a description in a 'human language' can be useful.
You can add attachments and web links, plus you can discuss everything in the comment section.
After linking an epic and releases you can access the status report which works exactly the same as on the story map. You can visualize the development progression on a piechart by estimation unit or by cards.
Note: if you added multiple releases, the status report sums up all cards from all releases.
release start/end date
quick link to the story map
quick link to the release view