How to use a digital whiteboard to kick off product planning

Last updated: March 2024

Product planning can be one of the most thrilling parts of product development. Whether you are doing early-stage planning for a new offering or annual planning for an established product, you have the opportunity to define the future. You are merging strategic thinking, creativity, and experimentation — coming up with bold ideas that will fuel your product roadmap and help create real value for customers and the business.

Our product management team at Aha! depends on whiteboards in our own software to capture initial concepts during early-stage product planning. We use whiteboards to sketch designs, create diagrams, and collaborate — all in one place. We can start from a blank board or use pre-built templates to think through new approaches to customer challenges or outline now-next-later plans for the upcoming quarter.

Try whiteboards in Aha! software — with a free trial.

2x2 prioritization matrix large

This is an example of a whiteboard template in Aha! software — the 2x2 prioritization matrix.

If you have never used a virtual whiteboard before, product planning is a fantastic use case to begin with. This is your chance to think big and tap into your creativity. Let's explore some best practices and template guidance to get started.

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Lead with strategy

When you think of product planning, what comes to mind? Perhaps it is prioritizing features to build, doing detailed capacity planning, or figuring out launch day activities. These are all important types of work, but they must be grounded in strategy first. Product planning does not begin with features (the "what") or development and releases (the "how") — everything must start with the "why." That is, the reason your product exists and the value it brings to customers.

So when you think about using a whiteboard in product planning, center everything on your vision and product goals. Starting with this mindset will help you decide where to spend your time. Depending on your stage in the product lifecycle, you might need to do foundational planning work first, such as building a business model or identifying audience segments. Or if you are in a later stage, you will be ready to map out user stories or visualize release plans.

If you choose to use Aha! software, any work you do on a whiteboard can be converted into initiatives, epics, or features on your product roadmap — so early ideation is closely connected to your more detailed work.


8 digital whiteboard templates to begin product planning

Let's look at a few of the most useful templates you might choose to guide your journey. These are our favorites for early-stage product planning, but feel free to visit our template library for a complete list.

Brainstorming session

Ideate on new product ideas and move ahead on the best ones.

Business model

Analyze 11 different business and market factors in a single view to refine your product strategy.

Competitive analysis

Gather essential information about your competitors so you can address customer needs better than others in the market.

Customer research plan

Capture your strategy and plan out customer research, including objectives, target audiences, methods, and more.

Mind map

Organize your thinking by exploring a central topic or question to reveal new ideas, patterns, and relationships.


Build your potential customers' ideal profile to help your team develop empathy for the people you want to serve.

Product positioning

Anchor your product in the value you bring to the market by articulating key differentiators that help you stand out.

Product vision

Define or evaluate where you want your product to be in the future to help everyone understand its larger purpose.

Depending on the template you choose, invite core team members across engineering, UX, customer success, and marketing to contribute to the whiteboard live or asynchronously. Make sure everyone you invite understands the goal behind the collaboration, then provide them ample time to think deeply and participate.

As you progress, you can continually add templates and refine different sections of your whiteboard — it is a limitless canvas. Teams can even work within different areas of the whiteboard simultaneously. With everything housed in one central location, it becomes easy to review information and provide feedback in an organized way.


Additional digital whiteboarding resources

Your plans are taking shape — it is time to start firming up specific product functionality and value. Here are a few digital whiteboard templates to help you continue your product development journey:

Remember to bring others into the conversation and share your work with stakeholders to secure feedback and validation. Then convert concepts directly into features in Aha! Roadmaps, aligning upcoming work with your strategic plan.