There are times on your your roadmapping journey when you want to go above and beyond to add even more detail to your roadmap. From milestones to dependencies to label suffix, Roadmunk makes it easy to get into the nitty gritty of what fuels your product strategy.
That’s where sub-items come into play. By grouping roadmap items together, sub-items give you the ability to break your goals and initiatives into smaller, more manageable pieces (like epics and stories). That way, you can easily visualize the relationship between items and their sub-items with just a quick glance.
What else makes sub-items different from regular items? Good question! Think of it this way: regular items tend to represent your high-level product goals—especially ones that everyone on your team can benefit from seeing on your roadmap. On the flip side, sub-items provide more detailed information about those goals and their execution. They shine a spotlight on your roadmap’s strategic data, giving more context to the top-level items they’re related to.
Now that we have our terms straight, let’s dig into some of the unsung benefits of sub-items and how you can start putting them to work in your next roadmap.
Surface the right level of detail on your roadmap
With the power of sub-items, you can reveal or hide both the high- and low-level details on your roadmap. Depending on the context you want to show and who you’re presenting your roadmap to, this comes in particularly handy.
Just like regular items, parent items (or items that contain sub-items) appear on your roadmap with a name, along with any additional information included in its item card, like field values or dependencies. Think of sub-items (or child items) that are connected to parent items as the stories that need to be completed to get an epic to its happy ending.
Within the Swimlane visualization, sub-items will appear in-line when you click on the caret attached to its parent item.
If the Timeline visualization is your preferred roadmap view, sub-items will show up when you hover over the parent item.
Keep your team aligned on date and scope changes
We get it: the score of your work and any corresponding dates are likely to change. After all, your team works with a product that comes with shifting demands that can change at any moment. Luckily, we designed sub-items to accommodate pretty much any scenario—however unexpected or unlikely—that you can throw at them.
For instance, the start and finish dates of parent items are automatically generated based on the dates you’ve assigned to their sub-items, which means parent items in this case will span the earliest sub-item start date to the latest finish date.
So if the development work on a specific feature ends up being delayed, you can push out the finish date for any related sub-items and the changes will automatically be reflected in the parent item. How’s that for efficient planning?
Plus, if a whole epic needs to be pushed back, you can always drag the parent item further down your timeline, and the parent and child item dates will all automatically update.
Use sub-items hand-in-hand with other roadmapping features
If you really want to drill down into the details, Roadmunk’s other features can be used in conjunction with sub-items to create a roadmap that’s as spiffy as it is comprehensive.
For example, you can use the team member field to make accountability crystal-clear across your items and sub-items. You can even individually assign different team members to each of your sub-items, like this.
Sub-items are also compatible with dependencies, ensuring that your most important work stays visible and on track. Not only can sub-items within the same initiative have dependencies between each other, but you can also create a dependency between sub-items across different initiatives.
Beyond that, the progress of your sub-items can be tracked with the help of our item progress feature. With all of these useful features working together, you can be sure that your sub-items will be ready to take on the roadmapping world. 💪
Add more context to your roadmaps with standalone sub-items
Want to add even more context to your roadmap visualizations? Sub-items can help with that! Not to be outdone by regular sub-items, standalone sub-items give you the flexibility to treat sub-items in much the same way that you would regular items.
This toggle allows you to have complete control over the way stakeholders view your roadmap items. For example, you can hide more granular sub-items if you’re presenting your overarching strategy. Or you can highlight parent items if you only want to show more detailed, tactical information.
To enable standalone sub-items on your Timeline or Swimlane roadmap, simply switch on the toggle at the top of your roadmap. And just like that, your sub-items will break out on their own without splitting up the parent-child relationship.
Tips for using sub-items in Roadmunk
Creating sub-items couldn’t be easier. Within the items table view, click on the + icon within any standalone item to turn it into a proud parent. From there, you can give your new sub-item a name and press “Enter” to create additional sub-items within the same group.
Once created, sub-items will automatically populate under their parent item without any of the dates or field values of the parent items. However, you can easily adjust the field values and dates on those sub-items, including assigning different team members to them, or tracking their progress with the item progress feature.
You can also turn any existing item into a sub-item by dragging it over to another item and dropping it on top to nestle it in its new home. (Hot tip: This action also works in reverse if you want to turn a sub-item into a standalone or top-level item, like in the example below.)
So no matter who you’re presenting your roadmap to, sub-items can give you the confidence to do your job better by showing just the right amount of detail and information on your roadmaps—whether you only want to show the broadest, most important information or the most detail-packed views.