How to Create a Project Roadmap in Excel (4 Methods)

Method 1 – Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel:

In the following sheet, we will create a Roadmap for ExcelDemy using different shapes in Excel.

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

Step 1: Insert Shapes

  • Navigate to the Insert tab.
  • Click on the Shapes dropdown menu.
  • Choose Rectangle: Rounded Corners.

shapes

  • Place the rounded rectangle shape where needed.

  • Copy and paste this shape three times, arranging them sequentially in a line.

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Next, select a vertical rectangular shape from the Shapes dropdown.

rectangle

  • Place the rectangle vertically in the desired position.

  • Insert two more rectangle shapes in the same line.

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Align the rectangular boxes between the shapes created in step 1.
  • Ensure they are in line with the upper and side shapes.

We completed the following shapes and aligned them with the upper and side shapes.

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • To make the roadmap visually appealing, add a different shape to represent the final stage.
  • Go to the Insert tab and choose Arrow: Pentagon.

arrow shape

  • Position this arrow shape as indicated.

  • Copy and paste the arrow shape into the last two empty spaces, aligning them in line.


Step 2: Customize Colors and Add Content

  • Change the colors and formatting of the boxes.
  • Select a shape, go to the Shape Format tab, and choose a color from the Shape Fill dropdown.

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Add content inside the shapes:
    • The first four shapes represent phases, so label them accordingly (e.g., “Phase 1”).

  • Write down the other phase names for the rest of the cells.

phases

  • Write down project names in the vertical boxes (e.g., “Content Writing”).
  • Adjust text alignment as needed (e.g., use Rotate Text Up in the Home tab).

contents vertically

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Describe the work context for each phase and project (e.g., “Search for Keywords”).

  • If desired, modify the content color of the boxes:
    • Right-click on the text.
    • Select the Font Color dropdown and choose a color.

Using Shapes to Create a Roadmap in Excel

Read More: How to Make a Venn Diagram in Excel (3 Easy Ways)


Method 2 – Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel:

Step 1: Insert SmartArt Grouped List

  • Navigate to the Insert tab.
  • In the Illustrations group, click on SmartArt.

smartart

  • The Choose a SmartArt Graphic window will appear.
  • Select the All tab and choose the Grouped List option.
  • Press OK to insert the grouped list.

grouped list

  • As we need two more columns for our roadmap, follow these steps:
    • Select the list.
    • Go to the SmartArt Design tab and click Add Shape.

add shape

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

Repeat this process to insert another extra column.

  • Extend the size of the grouped list to accommodate the content inside the boxes:
    • Select the grouped list.
    • Drag the indicated symbol to the right and down.

increase size

We extended the size of the grouped list.

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • To display the text pane:
    • Select the grouped list.
    • Go to the SmartArt Design tab and click on Text Pane.

text pane

Read More: How to Add SmartArt Graphics in Excel (7 Suitable Examples)


Step 2: Insert Text Boxes

Add three text boxes in each column:

  • Increase the number of text boxes from 2 to 3.
  • Press ENTER after the 2nd line of the 1st column in the text pane.

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

We entered an extra text box in the first column.

extra text box

Add an extra text box in the next 2 columns.

  • Now, we will enter 3 text boxes in the last newly added shapes.
  • Click on the place of the 4th column in the text pane, and press ENTER.
  • A new shape will be inserted.

  • Press TAB.

TAB key

  • By pressing the TAB key, the newly added shape has been converted into a text box inside the previous shape.
  • Press ENTER twice to add two new text boxes.

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

We successfully added the three text boxes in the 4th column.

3 boxes

  • Follow the same process for column 5.

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel


Step 3: Write Down Text Contents

  • Write down project names in the first column.

writing project names in first column

  • In the headings of the next 4 columns, add phase numbers serially.

phases

  • To adjust font size as needed, select the text, right-click and change the font size.

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Describe work contents for different phases and projects (e.g., Search for Keywords).

work contents

  • Change the shapes of the project name boxes:
    • Select the boxes, right-click, and choose Change Shape (e.g., arrow symbol).T

change shape

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

Optionally, modify the colors of the grouped list:

  • Select the grouped list.
  • Go to the SmartArt Design tab and choose a style from the Change Colors dropdown.

You’ve created the following Roadmap for ExcelDemy.

Applying SmartArt Graphics to Create a Roadmap in Excel

Read More: How to Insert WordArt in Excel (2 Simple Methods)


Method 3 – Modifying Cell Borders to Create a Roadmap in Excel:

Modifying Cell Borders to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Create Boxes for Phases:
    • Select 2 rows and 3 columns to create a box.
    • Go to the Home tab and click on the Borders dropdown.
    • Choose Thick Outside Borders to create the first phase box.

thick border

    • Repeat this process for the remaining phase numbers.

boxes for phases

    • Vertically select 5 rows and apply thick outside borders for the project name boxes.

vertical box

  • Outline and Merge Cells:
    • Complete the outline of the boxes for project names.

Modifying Cell Borders to Create a Roadmap in Excel

    • To write down work contents, select cells up to the intersection point of the first horizontal box and vertical box.
    • Apply thick outside borders to these cells.

content box

  • Merge the cells within each box:
    • Select all cells of a box.
    • Go to the Home tab and click on Alignment dropdown.
    • Choose Merge & Center.

merge cells

Modifying Cell Borders to Create a Roadmap in Excel

  • Add Contents and Adjust Font Sizes:
    • Write down contents in the boxes.
    • Adjust font sizes as needed.

  • Customize Colors:
    • Change the colors of the boxes to achieve the desired look.

Modifying Cell Borders to Create a Roadmap in Excel

Read More: How to Color Code Cells in Excel (3 Efficient Methods)


Method 4 – Using Excel Template:

  • Ready-Made Templates:
    • Go to the File tab.

Using Excel Template to Create a Roadmap in Excel

    • Type Roadmap in the search bar.

roadmap

    • Different roadmap templates will appear.
    • Select your preferred template (e.g., Work plan timeline).

    • Click Create.

create

  • Customize the Template:
    • You’ll be taken to a newly created workbook.
    • Go to the Work Plan sheet.

Using Excel Template to Create a Roadmap in Excel

    • Change the title of the roadmap.
    • Input activity names for the 4 different phases.
    • Optionally, add work outputs in the second box.

input contents


Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook from here:


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Tanjima Hossain
Tanjima Hossain

TANJIMA HOSSAIN is a marine engineer who enjoys working with Excel and VBA programming. For her, programming is a handy, time-saving tool for managing data, files, and online tasks. She's skilled in Rhino3D, Maxsurf C++, MS Office, AutoCAD, and Excel & VBA, going beyond the basics. She holds a B.Sc. in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET and is now a content developer. In this role, she creates tech-focused content centred around Excel and VBA. Apart from... Read Full Bio

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