10 Gifts for Product Managers in 2017
Are you panicking yet? It is that time of year. Last-minute gift shopping. Maybe you are rushing off to the mall or paying extra for overnight shipping. Or, if you celebrate Hanukkah, you are now just late. We get it — you want to give the people you care about the absolute perfect gift. Our team at Aha! feels this way all the time. But our gift-giving looks a little different.
Our gifts come in the form of new features and enhancements to our roadmapping software — delivered to you almost every week.
We know this is what you really want, because you tell us so. This past year we reviewed every single idea that you had on your list — more than 1,500 of them! Many of those ideas turned into features, which were eventually shipped and presented to you. (Minus the ribbons and bows.)
So who says December is the gift-giving season? At Aha! this happens all year round. Let’s look back at 10 of our favorite presents from 2017 — starting with January:
1. Aha! Starter Roadmap At the start of the year, we brought you the starter roadmap. It is the easiest way to build a beautiful, visual plan for any audience. And it makes getting started with Aha! a quick, drag-and-drop experience.
The Aha! Starter Roadmap — Drag and drop any record in Aha! (goals, initiatives, releases, release phases, release milestones, and features) all from a single screen.
2. The Most Comprehensive Business Model Builder The original Aha! Business Model Builder was so popular that we wanted to make it even better. So this past February we announced a more comprehensive template that allows you to define your key objectives, customer challenges, solutions, and how you will go to market.
The Aha! Business Model Builder — Visually present the different elements of the business model for your product.
3. Roadmaps for Epics When a group of related features comes together to deliver a new product experience? That is when you truly create something special. In the spring, we announced master features. You can use master features — or what some refer to as epics — in Aha! to group multiple features that span across many sprints and releases.
Roadmaps for Epics — Quickly see the status and track the progress of individual features from the master feature drawer view.
In May, we launched a new burndown view so agile teams can visualize what work has been accomplished and what is left to be done. From a single view, you can better forecast release dates. This provides a realistic outlook, helping you understand whether you need to adjust the scope to deliver functionality on time.
Release Burndown Chart for Agile Teams — Use the releases progress chart to identify where you have fallen behind and adjust the scope.
And then came summer — no slowdown here. In June, we introduced the new reports dashboard for product managers. This dashboard gives you a central workspace to organize all your Aha! views, charts, and roadmaps.
Reports Dashboard for Product Management — Drag and drop reports into folders to organize them.
Shortly after the new reports dashboard launched, we announced improvements to how product managers can define and manage product features. We made it so you can automatically rerank the Aha! features board according to attributes and priorities. (And yes, we think it’s the world’s best.)
The World’s Best Board for Managing Features — Sort features using the new drop-down option on each release.
Last fall brought a big gift for product marketing teams: the calendar report. It provides a visual way to plan upcoming content, campaigns, and related tasks. Our own marketing teams are superfans of this feature. They tested the calendar report for weeks prior to deeming it ready to present to you.
Visual Calendar Report for Product Marketing — Dragging and dropping on the calendar report automatically updates the date field.
Next came an improvement to release planning. You can now build dependencies and set the timing between phases and milestones directly in your Aha! release templates. Ultimately, the updated templates will reduce the time you spend building releases and keep you on track. So you and your team will be more in control — even if you are still scrambling to hit your launch date.
The Perfect Release Planning Template — Setting “Days after last phase” for each release phase or milestone will automatically set the schedule when the template is applied.
Our mission is to help you build great products and be happy doing it. And sometimes that means we really need to go big and deliver entirely new areas of functionality. We did that in November by launching our own design and wireframing tool. It is seamlessly integrated — so you can build wireframes, diagrams, and annotated images directly within the Aha! application.
Aha! Mockups — Autosave on mockups ensures you never lose your work.
10. Enhanced Aha! Integration With Jira (and Rally!) One last big gift to round out the year — enhanced integrations with both Rally and Jira. Our second-generation integrations framework creates a bidirectional link between Aha! and development tools — with custom options for linking the fields in both systems. These enhancements provide you with the most robust integration between a product roadmapping software and a development tool available.
Enhanced Development Tool Integrations — As work is completed, feature status and other updates will automatically sync back to Aha! based on your configuration.
We like to think of ourselves as year-round product management elves. We work behind the scenes to make life great. And the truth is we have a lot of fun being ultra productive.
Each gift is meant to make your job a little bit easier. And maybe even a little cheerier. We hope we accomplished that in 2017. If nothing else, we like to think the new features are more useful than the traditional ugly holiday sweater.
Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Aha! now to see why more than 150,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, and prioritize releases and features.