How we tracked customer projects holistically using Aha!

Danny Ellis


We had a problem

Our biggest challenge has been developing product management processes that connect the business and engineering teams together. We started by trying a variety of software programs, web apps, and even handwritten processes, but could never find a process that worked for everyone in the company.

Everyone works differently and everyone finds different software appealing to their methodology. Regardless of how an individual wants to organize their day, we still needed a high-level plan that brought everything together.

Our engineering team eventually settled on Jira for their development process. The business team attempted to use Jira, but it was clunky and not designed for business tasks. We had attempted a variety of other task management platforms, but none of them were able to connect easily with the engineering team.

Our next challenge was connecting our overall strategy with our day-to-day operations. We would spend two days off-site at the beginning of the year planning out our strategy. Everyone would feel pretty good about it — then we would look back many months later and realize we hadn’t executed on parts of the strategy that were not tracked regularly.

We have never done a good job connecting personas and our competitors to our day-to-day tasks or quarter-to-quarter goals. While we will discuss them and monitor them, other than high level direction, it hasn’t played into our project management.

Aha! as a solution

Aha! was the first platform we found that was similar to Jira in functionality and agile development, but not purely for an engineering team. Once the Aha! team walked us through how to use it for marketing, sales, and business development, we realized this was the perfect middle ground between business and engineering. The way Aha! seamlessly integrates with Jira allows the engineering team to keep their agile development in their tool of choice while the business team handles their work in Aha!

I love Aha! because it perfectly ties together our company strategy with our day-to-day execution.

Aha! is also the only platform that focuses on company strategy first, followed by projects and tasks. We have already developed a strategic plan in Aha! — making it easy to start from there and enter our entire plan. Then, when we focus on products, customers, release dates, and milestones, we are able to point back to our strategy and be very clear about why we’re working on certain features.

Life is good

It is incredibly easy to track multiple projects to multiple customers, all while understanding which goals and objectives in the company strategy are most important.

Along with strategic planning, the focus on personas and competitors gave us another dimension that we had not previously connected. We are now able to point directly to what type of customer we are developing for and what competitors we are trying to beat to market.

Aha! significantly helps break down large projects into manageable and trackable daily tasks, allowing us to plan and execute better.

The ideas portal makes it very easy to ask the team and our customers about their feedback. We can keep track of all the awesome ideas that come up throughout the development and launch cycles, without them completely taking over a project. Then we can refer back to those ideas and compare each one to our overall strategy and our customer needs to decide what to work on next.