About Kaufman Hall
Kaufman Hall provides management consulting and software to help organizations realize sustained success amid changing market conditions. Since 1985, Kaufman Hall has been a trusted advisor to boards and executive management teams, helping them incorporate proven methods into their strategic planning and financial management processes and quantify the financial impact of their plans and strategic decisions to consistently achieve their goals.
We had a problem
The product team at Kaufman Hall is responsible for a portfolio of enterprise performance management solutions that provide advanced business planning, modeling, analysis, and reporting capabilities. We have specialized solutions to serve the unique needs of healthcare, banking, and higher education industries. Each of these solutions sits on top of a core platform and supports the company’s overall vision to help our clients achieve sustainable, long-term success.
Our solution roadmaps are complex to manage as they require us to unify our vertical strategies around the core platform, while also balancing the unique needs of different industry-specific solutions. Previously, we managed separate plans by industry vertical with information kept in an array of documents and spreadsheets. This made it difficult to leverage platform capabilities across verticals and to ensure solution consistency.
Aha! as a solution
The vision, business model, and goals for each of our vertical solutions are now captured in Aha! This gives our leaders better visibility into what we want to achieve. It makes it easier to execute our strategy across different industries and will help us as we expand our portfolio of solutions. We also create a roadmap at the master feature level and review it with key stakeholders to gain alignment around the priorities and timeline.
Master features are then broken down into user stories and assigned to sprints for implementation. We define the detailed requirements in Aha! and use Aha! mockups to visualize the user experience. These are communicated to the development team using the integration with Microsoft TFS. Because the integration is bidirectional, we are also able to track the completion of requirements and features in real time. Our release manager uses Aha! to visualize our launch process, coordinate platform dependencies, and ensure that everything comes together as expected.
Life is good
Aha! is the backbone of our product management operations. We now have a way to organize all of our information and activities so that we can understand it, see it, and report on it in different ways.
This helps us manage the complexity associated with multiple vertical solutions and create a unified plan that we can execute against. We can now trace our strategy all the way from our high-level business goals through to the features that go into development. By tying it all together in such a logical way, Aha! keeps us on the right track and helps us see any gaps.