Use custom tables to manage strategic opportunities

You need a way to analyze opportunities across your portfolio — then prioritize work accordingly. Custom tables pair perfectly with the portfolio roadmap to help you do this.

Opportunities in your account could be:

  • Strategic customers whose needs impact plans across roadmaps

  • New or emergent opportunities that have just started portfolio planning

  • Acquisition or merger opportunities

  • Marketing assessment of offering gaps

Note: This article refers to releases and features. Depending on your workspace type, you may see "schedules" and “activities" in your workspace.

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Custom tables for opportunity tracking

In this article, we will use custom tables as a single source in your portfolio for opportunity tracking. This is especially important if there are opportunity-level stakeholders that must have visibility into all touch points for the opportunity in your company.

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A single opportunity may drive seemingly unrelated programs across several workspaces, individual features in a particular workspace's roadmap, or even the research and development into a brand-new product.

When you track your opportunities in a custom table, you can use custom fields to link to the opportunity from any record in your account. The custom table then becomes a central hub for all information related to the opportunity.

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Create a custom table for your opportunities

Let's build an opportunities custom table together.

The first step is to create the custom table at the account level. Select Settings ⚙️→ Account → Custom Tables and click Create custom table. You will need to be an administrator with customization permissions to do this.

Name your custom table "Opportunities," or something similar, then provide an optional short description of the table. Finally, provide the unique key for the table.

Next, add custom fields to your custom table. In this example, we will use the following fields:

  • Name (Text field)

  • Type (Predefined choice list — in our example, the choices will be Organic sales, New market, Acquisition, and Other)

  • Forecast (Numbers field)
    Note: you may choose to have multiple year columns based on ROI visibility needed.

  • Owner of the overall opportunity (Users field)

  • Market dimension scorecard (Scorecard field) to track how the opportunity benefits particular dimensions of your company's overall market

Each field you create will become a column in your table.

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Populate your table with data

After the custom table has been created, you need to populate it with data on your opportunities. You might do this yourself, or you might instruct the opportunity owners to fill out details on their opportunities.

Typically, the opportunities will be entered at the highest or corporate level in your workspace hierarchy so that all aspects of your portfolio may reference them.

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Use the opportunity information

Now, it's time to link your custom table to Aha! record types. In this example, we will link our opportunities table to:

  • Features

  • Parent line initiatives

  • Releases

  • Ideas

In general, the first step is to create a custom field for your Aha! data linked to the custom table, and the second step is to expose the link in a custom layout.

First, go to Settings ⚙️→ Account → Custom fields and create a Many to many relationship custom field linked to the opportunities table. Again, you will need to be an administrator with customization permissions to do this.

Once the custom field has been created, edit the custom field layout that is used in all workspaces that will contribute to opportunity visibility. Once the field is visible in the layout, it will be available in Aha! for use.

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As the opportunity becomes linked to key strategic work across your portfolio, you may go to the custom table detail record to centrally see all in-progress work associated with the opportunity.

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Create reports with the opportunities table

Once opportunities are added to the custom table and then linked across your workspaces, you can use the fields from the custom table as columns to create opportunity-specific reports and roadmaps. For example, you could create a stacked bar chart showing opportunity forecast by type.

Navigate to Roadmaps → Charts to create your bar chart. Click Create a new chart, then select your custom table from the list of available record types. Add the Opportunities name and Opportunities Forecast fields as axes, and the Opportunities Type fields as a series. Choose to Sum your y-axis values.

Add filters in the next step of the report builder, then click Create report to create your chart. You can also edit the title of the chart or customize the color scheme using the Customize view dropdown, and selecting Customize style.

The chart will provide a visual representation of the opportunities forecast to help others understand future growth potential.

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Tailor it to your company

This custom table example is a simple one to demonstrate the flexibility of custom tables. How you track opportunities at your company may require additional data and leverage different styles of reports. Custom tables can be used to track any data you choose. If you would like to discuss how to tailor this use case for your company's needs, contact the Aha! Customer Success team for guidance.

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