Aha! gives us one authoritative source of truth

John Harris

Director of Product Management

We had a problem

Our team has grown quickly. With over twenty product management staff working across eight product verticals, we have a lot going on. First, we needed a standard way of managing product backlogs and keeping track of what’s in and what’s out of a release. Even release dates were hard to keep track of across our product line. We needed an authoritative source of “truth” and a way to communicate everything to all the impacted parties. We also wanted a way to prioritize. Our prioritization process was largely subjective and we used anecdotal evidence and gut feel about what was most important. This made balancing the needs of all stakeholders very difficult. We conducted quarterly product summits where we gathered opinions and feedback and even scored priorities, but the analysis and follow-up was poor. We needed to be more empirical in our approach.

Another issue we had was linking product vision and market requirements to mid-term goals and strategies and near term release plans. Having everything in static documents, slides and spreadsheets made this extremely difficult. Finally, we had no good way of doing high-level capacity planning. We built bar charts in Excel as we did release planning, but it wasn’t easy nor did it facilitate collaborating with our engineering colleagues. We knew what we wanted to do, but we were muddling through without the proper tool.

Aha! as a solution

With Aha! in place, we have an authoritative source of “truth” and the whole team is in sync. We moved all of our feature backlogs out of spreadsheets, wiki pages, emails and word documents into Aha! and now we have all our different product lines organized under roll-up releases. This allows us to easily see what is in or out of any given release. Aha! enables us to consolidate all product plan information, from our vision, goals and high-level initiatives, down to detailed feature requirements and support including customer comments into one system that we can easily share with all stakeholders.

Aha! works how a product manager thinks. It is flexible and feature rich, yet intuitive. We’ve quickly replaced spreadsheets and disparate wiki pages with a single authoritative tool that gives our whole organization transparency to our product plans.

We love the capacity planning and scorecard tools in Aha! which help us to quantify our anecdotal evidence and gut feel. Moreover, since we are all working within the same tool, analysis and follow up are easy and natural outcomes of the work. Using Aha! the entire team, from management to engineering and with room to grow, can easily see where each product is, what our defined priorities are and where we need to go.

Life is good

Aha! gives us one authoritative source of truth for all our product plans. With our rapid growth, this is critical to sustaining our success. Using Aha! we are able to provide transparency to our plans across our organization. This enables upstream (e.g. architecture) and downstream (e.g. product marketing, education) teams to be more effective while also raising the bar for our product management team.

Aha! has been a natural for us. It is flexible, easy to use and helps us do our job better.

With Aha! we have clearly articulated visions, goals, initiatives and roadmaps for all products. This empowers us to demonstrate control of the work to our senior management and gives them confidence in us to drive the direction of our products. Using Aha! brings the whole team together to get the job done.

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