You deserve a purpose-built whiteboard tool for product development

Still using generic whiteboards? Try a world-class tool made for product teams instead.

May 15, 2024

You deserve a purpose-built whiteboard tool for product development

by Claire George

An end to chalkboard dust. Physical whiteboards first became popular for this reason — offering a tidy solution to a simple problem. As a product manager, the problems on your mind are probably more complex than a little dust. But these days, whiteboard tools are far more sophisticated, too. So I think it is worth asking this: Is your whiteboard tool built for product teams?

You do not have to stick with something generic — you can choose a better whiteboard for product development.

Like water coolers and cubicles, whiteboards were once essential office fixtures. They adorned most conference room walls. Folks used them as key props for brainstorming sessions — with markers and sticky notes kept at the ready. But times have changed for many of us.

Virtual collaboration is the new norm. Many people see physical whiteboards as relics of "traditional" businesses. It is really no fun to hold a boisterous ideation session, but then be forced to forward yourself photos of what was written on the board (in which you are barely able to see or read the text). As a result, digital whiteboards have emerged — offering exciting new capabilities for remote teamwork.

Unlike its ubiquitous predecessors, whiteboard software requires you to be more intentional about when and how you use it. You also have to choose from many different tools. At this, you might think: Can digital whiteboards really be all that different? Why not just pick one? And perhaps you would be right — if you need something one-size-fits-all.

But if you are reading this, you are probably part of a highly ambitious product team that wants to integrate all of the work you do across all phases of the product lifecycle. So it is worth examining your options more closely.

Everyone has a use for whiteboards. But not all whiteboard tools should be for everyone.

There are definitely popular tools in the space, but they are not purpose-built for enterprise product teams. To be sure, product management templates are wonderful (we have dozens), but templates are just a starting point. And tool sprawl is rarely the answer when you need to move fast across teams.

Product builders do not have time to "make something work." You deserve a tool that already does. That is why we built Aha! Whiteboards — our answer to the basic boards out there. Here are five practical areas in which you can use Aha! Whiteboards for product development:

Shape your product strategy

At the start of any product endeavor, you have to define your direction. You can use Aha! Whiteboards to articulate your approach and set things in motion:

  1. Choose from more than 20 whiteboard templates made for planning your strategy — such as a lean canvas, SWOT analysis, or value proposition. Flesh out what you want to achieve and who you want to serve.

  2. Share and validate your strategic models by inviting stakeholders to your whiteboard to give input — live or on their own time.

  3. Once you are aligned, you can convert any shapes or sticky notes on your strategy whiteboard to real goals and initiatives in Aha! Roadmaps. That way, you can track progress in an always-current roadmap view moving forward. (This works for features and ideas, too.)

Innovate with UX

Form and function — both matter when planning new product enhancements. And both take back-and-forth between product and UX, which Aha! Whiteboards is equipped for:

  1. Share early-stage design ideas with wireframes on whiteboards — mock up user interfaces with dedicated templates, components, and icons.

  2. Bring in UX for a look. People can comment on specific design elements to leave precise feedback.

  3. Use the clip tool and bulk editing to adjust fast so you can expedite wireframe reviews before moving on to high-fidelity designs.

Prioritize product features

Feature scoring and prioritized list views are essential to staying on track. But when you want to take a more unstructured approach, you can prioritize on a whiteboard:

  1. Pull items from your product backlog in Aha! Roadmaps right onto a whiteboard. Evaluate their importance with a matrix or another prioritization template.

  2. Show dependencies between records on your whiteboard to see how cross-functional work affects their standing.

  3. Need team input? Run a voting session to get quick consensus on what matters most.

  4. Once priorities are clear, update dates, scores, estimates, and more right from your whiteboard — and see the shifts live on your roadmap.

Align with stakeholders

Leadership, partners, customers: You have a lot of people invested in your product's success. You want to get their feedback in the early stages of your plans. Here is how you can do so on a whiteboard:

  1. Whether you are creating brainstorms, diagrams, or roadmap sketches, turn any whiteboard into a presentation with frames and a smooth built-in presentation mode.

  2. After showing off your ideas, invite whoever you need to leave feedback. You can add people outside your account with unlimited guest access via link or email.

  3. Move forward knowing everyone is on the same page. You will always have change history available for when you need to revisit what decisions were made and why.

Deliver the product

Tighten the transition from ideation to implementation. You can get even more out of Aha! Whiteboards leading up to launch:

  1. Make it seamless to jump into a whiteboard when release plans are underway. Embed whiteboards where the whole product team can access them — like in a feature requirement or meeting note.

  2. Build detailed technical diagrams to show data flows and system architecture, building everyone's technical understanding of the new functionality.

  3. Work together with engineering to plan sprints on a whiteboard. Add your Jira records and try our templates for development work (like these ones for Scaled Agile Framework® PI planning).

Once you see the difference a purpose-built whiteboard can make, we doubt you will go back to the basics.

So, what are you waiting for? Try Aha! Whiteboards now to see for yourself. And know that this is just the start of what we have planned. We are adding new features rapidly with all sorts of exciting capabilities — everything that product teams care about. (Tell us what you need.)

Start a free trial today

Our suite of tools includes Aha! Roadmaps, Aha! Ideas, Aha! Whiteboards, Aha! Knowledge, and Aha! Develop. Use each product individually or combined to help teams deliver even greater value. Sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 1 million 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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