Aha! helped us simplify the way we visualize and coordinate product plans

Jason Long

Director, Product Management

We had a problem

At Vertafore we manage a portfolio of 40 different products. Previously, we lacked a standardized toolset for tracking and reporting on our strategic plans. Trying to keep track of details and stay aligned on next steps was nearly impossible. We used dozens of spreadsheets to create different views of our data — including the overall roadmap, resources, and budget.

Maintaining these spreadsheets required a lot of manual effort. We created one spreadsheet for each product and then combined data to get the overarching insights we needed. But often that critical data was out-of-date and trying to uncover insights was hit or miss. It was a struggle to track dependencies and allocate resources across products.

It was consistently hard to track progress against the roadmap. Our engineering teams had to manually enter user stories in Rally and there was not an easy way for us to check the latest statuses. As a result, it was difficult to stay aligned on priorities and report accurate updates to leadership. It was clear we needed to reimagine the way we organized plans and tracked updates.

Aha! as a solution

Now Vertafore uses Aha! Roadmaps to set product strategy, build out plans, and report on progress — across our entire portfolio. The benefits were immediate. Being able to visualize release plans and track the status of features in one clear view was a big win.

We have tailored Aha! Roadmaps to match the way our organization works. We follow the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®), so the ability to plan in program increments and track cross-team dependencies is critical. Aha! makes it simple to create roll-up releases to coordinate product delivery and leverage work requests. Now it is easy to assign and track work across teams.

We get immediate value with minimal effort and now use Aha! Roadmaps to build strategy, coordinate across teams, and align our business and engineering process in the most efficient way possible.

The two-way Rally integration keeps product management connected to engineering. We can automatically send features from Aha! Roadmaps to Rally and keep the details in sync — even when plans change. The ability to track status directly in Aha! Roadmaps helps us stay aligned.

Life is good

Capturing all of our product data in one centralized place has transformed the way our product team works. We can easily share product strategy and plans across teams and keep everyone on the same page. We also built out all of our standard reports in Aha! Roadmaps. The data is automatically updated and reports are consistent across products.

Aha! Roadmaps helped us become better, more thoughtful product managers, and saved us hundreds of hours of manual work each year.

Leadership now has the visibility they need to make strategic business decisions. And we are able to work more collaboratively with our product, design, and engineering teams — so we can all meet our goals together.

With our new systems in place our teams can stay focused on achieving our strategic vision and planning the big things we want to tackle next. We know Aha! Roadmaps will be able to support our plans and process as we grow.