UST Global Aha! Moment
Aha! is the obvious choice for managing a complex product and marketing portfolio. It brings discipline to strategic planning and instills confidence in our plans with executives.Matt Zarem, Head of Product, Digital Transformation
About UST Global
UST Global is a digital technology services company that leads global companies through critical digital transformations to drive higher business value. UST Global specializes in six next-generation digital services – design, cyber security, mobile, social, analytics, and cloud.
We had a problem
We are transforming our company to have a product-driven approach. This is a significant shift from both an organizational and cultural perspective. We needed to build a product management function, establish a framework for setting product strategy, and create a consistent software delivery process.
Initially, our biggest challenge was identifying and evaluating our entire portfolio – more than 30 products. We had some applications that were created to support service engagements and others that had been acquired. All of these products were managed informally and lacked a clear roadmap. We needed to assess the state of each product, evaluate the business opportunity, and create a strategy to drive growth.
Our marketing team also wanted a better way to create plans and show how day-to-day activities support the overall business objectives. Previously, this information was scattered across spreadsheets and slides. It was difficult to highlight strategic work and report on the progress of marketing programs.
Aha! as the solution
Aha! provides a single location to manage both our product and marketing work. We started with the product management team.
Each time we identified a product, we entered it into the application and used the business model template to articulate essential information – such as the problem it solves, what makes it unique, and the growth opportunity. This gave us a way to see what we have and make our product portfolio tangible.
Next, we built a roadmap for each product. We set goals and initiatives and linked those to overall company revenue targets. We reviewed the existing backlog of features against our strategy and created a delivery plan. This top-down approach to product planning set the foundation for how we now build and maintain roadmaps across the organization. We also integrated Aha! with tools such as Jira and Microsoft Azure to keep product management and engineering teams in sync.
Then, we rolled out Aha! to our marketing team. Product and marketing work together in the same account. We capture strategic marketing information – including positioning, buyer personas, and competitors – and define program and campaign plans. This makes it easy for the entire team to collaborate on activities and streamline approval processes in a shared workspace.
Life is good
Aha! is critical to our success as we become a product-driven company. It pushes us to think strategically about how we want to grow our portfolio. And we can see how individual product plans impact the overall business.
We now have roadmaps that are visual, consistent, and always up-to-date. This level of visibility gives our executives an entirely new understanding of our portfolio. They can see the rigorous planning that informs our product decisions. And they can check in Aha! for the latest updates in real time.
We also love using Aha! for creating visual marketing plans. Our CMO now has a holistic view of the work and results together in one place. For example, we capture the number of MQLs and SQLs that each campaign or event generates in Aha! and create reports to show the impact of our work.