When researching new crypto projects, analyzing their roadmap is a key part of due diligence. Roadmaps outline a project’s development plans and expected progression. Carefully evaluating the roadmap can provide insights into the project’s goals, progress, and viability.
Look at Milestones
A crypto project’s roadmap will break down objectives into milestones spread over months or years. Analyzing these milestones can reveal a lot:
- Are early milestones realistic and achievable based on the team/resources?
- Do milestones represent tangible technical developments and progress?
- Is the project hitting its milestones on schedule or frequently delayed?
- Are milestones too spread out or packed together in an unrealistic timeline?
- How ambitious are later milestones compared to earlier ones?
Projects that consistently meet achievable milestones signal capable teams with proper planning and execution. Roadmaps with vague or extremely ambitious milestones may indicate poor planning.
Assess Roadmap Progression
Look at how the roadmap progresses through different development stages:
- Early milestones should focus on core protocol/platform building, security audits, and basic functionality.
- Middle milestones should expand features, usability, and real-world integration.
- Late milestones should target scaling, optimizations, and major adoption drivers.
Quality roadmaps demonstrate a logical progression from basic to advanced development. Be wary of roadmaps that lack buildup or skip ahead without fundamentals.
Check for Community Feedback Integration
The best projects incorporate community feedback into their roadmaps over time. Look for evidence of this:
- Features requested by the community that get added to milestones.
- Adjustments to priorities based on user needs.
- Roadmap updates responding to market conditions.
Community-influenced roadmaps show teams that adapt rather than rigidly adhering to flawed plans. Lack of flexibility can signal poor leadership.
Watch for Regular Updates
Roadmaps should be living documents updated as milestones get achieved or priorities change. Be wary of stale, unchanging roadmaps:
- Progressing past roadmap objectives should be marked complete or removed.
- Delays or changes in release targets should be noted.
- New features or optimizations should get added.
Stale roadmaps that stay unchanged for long periods likely indicate a lack of progress or communication by the team. Regular roadmap updates are a positive sign.
Compare Roadmap to Competitors
Research direct competitors and compare their roadmaps side-by-side. This can reveal discrepancies:
- Does the project’s roadmap seem ambitious compared to competitors?
- Does the roadmap incorporate innovations competitors lack?
- Is the project planning to build on its competitors’ ideas?
Roadmaps should differentiate from competitors or demonstrate how the project intends to catch up and surpass rivals. Roadmaps identical to competitors ring alarm bells.
Confirm Alignment with Whitepaper
A crypto whitepaper explains the technological designs and mechanics of a project at a high level. The roadmap should clearly align with bringing the whitepaper’s vision to reality:
- Objectives should match key components described in the whitepaper.
- Milestones should logically build up the technology outlined in stages.
- If the whitepaper and roadmap diverge, this questionable mismatch should be explained.
Whitepaper and roadmap alignment verifies the team is focused on the original mission rather than straying off course.
Look for Planned Mainnet Launch
The mainnet launch is one of the most important milestones for any crypto project, indicating readiness for live deployment. The roadmap should:
- Clearly identify the expected mainnet launch timeframe once core functionality is built.
- Have robust testing milestones leading up to launch e.g. testnet releases.
- Avoid prolonged delays that push back mainnet repeatedly.
Quality roadmaps recognize the mainnet launch is a keystone milestone and reflect this through appropriate planning.
Analyzing a crypto project’s roadmap provides invaluable insights into its goals, progress, team capabilities, and viability. Roadmaps should demonstrate logical progression, community integration, regular updates, differentiation from competitors, and alignment with the original vision.
While roadmaps are subject to change, they represent the blueprint for a project’s intended trajectory. Thoroughly evaluating this trajectory is key investment and research due diligence.