Best practices for managing product platforms

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Many organizations with multiple products will build those products upon a single platform or set of shared components. As individual products need new common features, work will be done on the platform first and then the various go-to-market products can leverage that new functionality as needed. We can use the workspace hierarchy in Aha! to create product workspaces that are separate, but linked.

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Key questions to answer

If you can answer "yes" to these questions, your product is likely a platform product:

  • Does your product provide generic capability that, once available, is leveraged in other product roadmaps in your company?

  • Do you independently manage this backlog of capabilities?

For example, let's say you are adding new mapping functionality to your product. Since several products will use the mapping functionality, you should build the core mapping functionality on the platform and then leverage it with each of the component products. Make enhancements on the platform, and each individual team can implement them into their respective products.

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Configure the products

It is important to view features in Aha! as the unique work being done for each individual product. With capability or technology platforms, there are generally two separate features that need to be tracked in Aha! — one for the platform enhancement, and a second for incorporating that new capability into the go-to-market product.

In order to organize and track these individual features, you will first need to create a platform product workspace plus the go-to-market product workspaces that are built on the platform.

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Manage features and dependencies

You'll need to be able to track the work that is planned for the platform so that your individual product teams can make plans for adding the new capabilities to their products.

Add a feature to the platform product workspace to represent the enhancement made to the platform.

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Add features for each of the go-to-market product workspaces that plan to implement the new capabilities and create a dependency between the platform feature and the related product features.

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Share the roadmaps

It is likely that you'll need to be able to track and report the dependencies across the platform product workspace and go-to-market product workspaces. You can visualize the dependencies in a timeline format using the Release → Gantt view. Select the relevant workspaces and releases using the Workspace name and Release name filters and expand the releases and phases to display the dependencies.

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You can also create reports that include feature dependency information using the Record links column or visualize dependency relationships using the interactive dependency map.

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