How To Move Early-Stage Whiteboard Concepts to Your Product Roadmap

Convert any text-based object on a whiteboard into an Aha! record.

November 10, 2023

How To Move Early-Stage Whiteboard Concepts to Your Product Roadmap

by Claire George

Editor's note: Aha! Notebooks has been split into Aha! Knowledge and Aha! Whiteboards.

It is a joy to hear from Aha! customers. Particularly now that so many of you are starting to use our virtual whiteboards. You have told us that you love bringing your team together to explore early-stage ideas. But you want to better understand how to convert these ideas into real work on your roadmap.

Aligning early-stage planning with your product roadmap is critical — otherwise, you risk disconnecting powerful ideas from the product innovations they fuel.

Product teams generate a ton of information. Mind maps, customer feedback, meeting notes, retrospectives — this data creates a veritable potpourri of knowledge that tends to get scattered. If you do not keep it organized, you will not have a good way to funnel your findings into daily product work.

This challenge is similar to what our own team faced. It is why we were determined to integrate notes and whiteboards in Aha! Notebooks with product plans in Aha! Roadmaps. Now, we have our meeting agendas and follow-up tasks captured within the same platform. We can collaborate on a whiteboard and convert our best ideas into real work items (such as an initiative, epic, feature, or idea). Or we can pull Aha! records into a whiteboard to visualize, discuss, and modify them. Everything happens in the same ecosystem, so there is no need to copy and paste information or open other tools.

Bringing bold ideas directly to your strategic roadmap is now easier — so you can avoid manual work and take action fast.

I bet some examples would help. Let's look at a few ways you can make this happen:

Build from a brainstorm

Imagine that you bring a cross-functional team together for a whiteboard-based brainstorming session. Creativity is flowing — so are sticky notes, inline comments, and even emojis. Everyone agrees on a few new features to add to your backlog. Now what? Click on any text-based object on your whiteboard to convert it into a feature. (You can even select multiple objects and convert them in batches.) Now, you can move from ideation to more structured planning and feature definition processes.

Use Aha! Notebooks to add emoji reactions to sticky notes on whiteboards — so you can quickly gauge sentiment before moving ahead.

Explore a new feature

You are now writing a feature and want to map out potential solutions. Within the feature record in Aha! Roadmaps, navigate to the Research tab. Here, you can add a whiteboard (or link to an existing one) to jumpstart your thinking. You can also link to notes here as well, such as existing customer or market research. Bringing everything together builds connections that might have gone unnoticed if work was managed separately.

On the Research tab, you can jot down notes, collaborate in whiteboards, and link to existing customer feedback.

Get stakeholder feedback

Imagine you are ready to share an early look at your 2024 roadmap with stakeholders. You have sketched out the high-level goals and initiatives on a strategic roadmap template. Now, you can invite stakeholders to weigh in as guests or reviewers — both permission types can review documents and provide feedback in Aha! software. Once you have alignment on the strategy, you can start building out more detailed roadmap plans.

Use a strategic roadmap template to communicate your product direction and timelines for major bodies of work.

From unstructured notes and whiteboards to structured product strategy, roadmapping, and feature details — now you have one place to manage all the work that goes into building a lovable product.

These are just a few examples of how you can simplify the path from idea to action. Check out other ideas on how you can spark creativity, jumpstart planning, and gather feedback. And we would love to hear from you. How are you connecting notes and whiteboards to your product plans? Let us know.

Start a free trial today

Our suite of product development tools works seamlessly together to help teams turn raw concepts into valuable new capabilities — for customers and the business. Set strategy, crowdsource ideas, spark creativity, prioritize features, share roadmaps, manage releases, and plan development. Sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 700,000 product builders trust our software to build lovable products and be happy doing it.

Claire George

Claire George

Claire is passionate about helping product development teams learn how to bring their strategy to life. She is the director of product marketing at Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software. Claire has 20 years of marketing and software experience. Previously, she led product marketing at an agile-based work management platform.

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