Introducing the New Product Value Scorecard

Product value scorecard available in Aha! software.

April 13, 2022

Introducing the New Product Value Scorecard

by Claire George

We recently wrote about the seven stages of product development. It starts with strategy and cycles through planning, building, launching, and beyond. It involves many teams and many viewpoints — often making it a challenge to align around how to prioritize what to build next. And once you build it, how do you validate its worth to customers? Product teams need a better way to estimate the value of new functionality upfront and then track progress through the product development process. Today we are introducing a new approach to measuring product value.

The new product value scorecard in Aha! gives you a way to measure and prioritize work based on its value — at multiple stages of product development.

The foundational concept behind the new scorecard is what we call value-based product development. Value is determined by your strategy and customers — whether they adopt and embrace what you have built. But it is not enough to estimate value during ideation. You need to refine and estimate the future value at multiple stages — then infuse the actual value that was delivered back in the product development engine.

We designed the original Aha! scorecard nine years ago with a similar purpose in mind — to assess the strategic value of features using metrics like sales increase, customer retention, and effort to develop. But the default scorecards within Aha! were different for ideas and features. That never seemed right because good ideas become features. The inconsistency made it difficult to establish a throughline from ideation to execution.

We have learned a lot about how customers used the original scorecard. Today's new product value scorecard builds on the utility of the former — now with a consistent score that carries through product development and lets you assess value at various touchpoints.

Each metric in the scorecard represents a core aspect of value-based decision-making. We selected these metrics based on our product development expertise and what some of the largest enterprise SaaS companies are using today. And it can be used regardless of what type of team you are on or what you are building. New metrics include the following:

  • Population: How many customers will it impact?

  • Need: How important is it for those who require it?

  • Strategy: How closely connected is this to the company/product strategy?

  • Effort: How much work will it take to build?

  • Confidence: What is the level of confidence in each score?

The default product value formula is (1.0 * Population + 1.0 * Need + 1.0 * Strategy - 1.0 * Effort) * Confidence. The score is dynamic — so you can easily hover, check, and adjust measurements as ideas and features progress through planning and build.

The scorecard also has a new look. You get two options for assigning values — a slider or a new clickable bar. The clickable bar can have up to 10 values, while the slider can have as many values as you want. A new heart icon reminds the team to strive for lovability. All customers get to enjoy the refreshed UX, regardless of the scoring framework you use.

When you add a new scorecard in your account settings, the new product value scorecard will be the default. Any scorecards that were already in your account will stay the same. Account customizations admins can set up custom scorecards and account owners can add scorecards to workspaces. Remember that switching to a new scorecard will reset existing scores in your account.

Let's take a closer look at how you can use the new value scorecard:

Score ideas early

Start with an initial value estimation when concepts are raw and not yet refined. Here we are reviewing a request that was submitted to our ideas portal. A high vote count indicates popularity and the idea also aligns with an existing product initiative. At this stage we know less about need and effort — so our confidence level is lower until further investigation. Based on our value estimate, we promote this idea to a feature.

Scoring is now built for greater accessibility — you can set each metric by tabbing and manually entering a value.

Go deeper during planning

After a feature has been further vetted during roadmapping and scoping, update its score. In this example, we are prioritizing features for an upcoming release. You can see that the initial idea score carried over. But now that we have done more research and definition, we have a more detailed understanding of scope and increased confidence. We can then sort features by score and move top scorers into our release.

The default rating scale for population, need, strategy, and effort is 0-7. The scale for confidence is 0 to 100%.

Analyze product value over time

Compare how the product value score changed between the initial value estimate and the refined value estimate. Because we are using the same scorecard for ideas and features, we can make a direct comparison. In the example below, we built a list report with our ideas and feature scores. Then we added a calculation column to show the difference between them. This view helps us understand how our value assessments changed over time — and identify the most valuable opportunities.

Use this equation to calculate the percent change between the ideas and features scores, and format the column as a percent: sum(field("Feature product value score")-field("Idea product value score"))/(field("Idea product value score")).

Take a more disciplined approach to estimating product value — the product team will appreciate the transparent decision-making and customers will love the outcome too.

Of course, you can always further customize your scorecard categories, metrics, and weighting based on the unique needs of your business and product. Say you want to weight certain metrics more heavily than others — you could easily change the default *1 to *2 (and so forth) in the equation.

This is just the start of how you will be able to track the product value of what is planned and ultimately built — so watch for more to come. For customers on the Aha! Roadmaps Enterprise+ plan we will also be adding the ability to automatically update scorecard metrics based on the value of other fields (such as estimates or idea votes) in the coming weeks.

We would love to hear from you about how you track the the estimated value of what is planned and developed. Send us a note and let us know.

Start a free trial today — be happy

The new product value scorecard is available to all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 500,000 users trust our software to build lovable products.

Claire George

Claire is passionate about helping product and marketing managers set brilliant strategy and deliver results. She is the Group Manager of Product Marketing at Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software. Claire has more than 20 years of marketing and software experience. Previously, she led product marketing at an agile-based work management platform.

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