Aha! Roadmaps | How to build your product strategy
Your product strategy is a key part of effective product planning. It allows you to align everyone in your organization around what you aim to achieve, and keeps you focused on the work that matters most. Once you have a solid foundation of goals and initiatives, your high-level product plans fall into place, enabling you to move forward and focus on defining the work that will help you reach your goals.
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Create and manage goals and initiatives
Link strategic records to higher levels of your workspace hierarchy
Set your goals
What do you want to achieve? If you have a product vision, you probably already know. Goals help provide clarity, focus, and direction to your teams — so your entire organization can channel their efforts towards what truly matters.
You can create goals for every workspace in your Aha! Roadmaps account, at every level of your product hierarchy. Then you can roll up goals in your workspace to higher level goals in its parent line, connecting your strategy at every level.
For this article, let's say we are on a product team responsible for Fredwin Cycling, a fictitious mobile app, and we are preparing our product strategy for next year. We already have a well-defined defined vision, product positioning, and have a put together a thorough competitive analysis — but we need to create our high-level goals and determine how we will know when we have achieved them.
If you are following along:
Navigate to Strategy Goals.
Click + to create a new goal.
Name your goal. We are naming our first goal "Top rated social fitness app" because we want the Fredwin Cycling app to be the the most popular social fitness app on the market.
Enter a Success metric. This is how we will know you have achieved our goal. We will enter "#1 rated in iOS and Android marketplaces" because that will indicate that we have reached our goal.
Enter a Description. Here, provide more context and background for your goal. We will explain here why we want to be the top rated social fitness app — to help us reach new customers and grow our customer base.
You can use the AI writing assistant to create a first draft of your goal descriptions — then make adjustments until it is just right.
Click Create goal.
After you create your goal, you can add more detail.
Enter a Time frame for your goal. This should align with your team's planning cadence and is the time frame in which you aim to achieve it. We will enter 2024 1H for our goal because we would like to achieve it by the end of the first half of next year.
Roll your goal up to your workspace line, if applicable. We will roll our goal up to the higher-level goal of "#1 social fitness software" so we can connect related strategy and work on every level.
This link is critical to many of the reports and roadmaps in your Aha! account, because it can help you visualize how product strategy supports larger company strategy.
Select a Color for your goal. This color will show when you link your goal to other records and will help you distinguish it from other goals in reporting.
Repeat the steps above to enter all your goals. After you do, anyone with access to your workspace can visit them for a better understanding of your product strategy.
Create your initiatives
We have created our goals — so we know where we are headed. But how will we get there? Initiatives are the bridge between strategy and work. They help build a framework that helps you plan and prioritize the right work. They also give your team context on how their efforts contribute to your goals. So we want to build out our initiatives so we can connect them to our goals and to our work, creating a red thread of strategy that both keeps us on track and also reminds us of what we are working toward.
If you are following along:
Navigate to Strategy Initiatives.
Click the + to create a new initiative.
Name your initiative. We will name our initiative "Mobile app upgrades" because we think mobile app upgrades will help us achieve our goal of being a top-rated social fitness app.
Enter a Description for your initiative to provide more context and detail about what the initiative will entail. We will enter "Enhance iOS and Android mobile applications."
Next, we have the option to Roll up to workspace line initiatives. We will not roll up our initiative as it is not closely related to parent workspace initiatives.
Next, we will select "Top rated social fitness app" next to Link initiative to goals to tie everything together.
Click Create initiative.
Now that we have created our initiative, we can customize it further by adding a time frame and color, just as we did our goals.
Repeat the steps above to enter all your initiatives. Most of your initiatives will be linked to goals, but you may have initiatives that do not. If you have initiatives that do not link to goals, you should discuss them as a team and decide if they should be included in your plans — then remember your decision when it is time to prioritize work.
Build out your plans
With our strategy in place, we now have a clear direction for our plans. We understand where we want to go and how we will get there and we have enough to build out a roadmap to align our teams around what we will work on next year. The work you have done creating your goals and initiatives has built the foundation for your roadmap. And, if you have linked roll-up goals and initiatives, you have everything but the visual part of your roadmap already built.
Navigate to Roadmaps Strategy and create your strategic roadmap with the goals and initiatives you have added to your workspace. Then share it with your organization to align everyone around your strategic plans.
If you are not ready to build your roadmap and want an easy way to visualize high-level plans fast, use the Strategic roadmap whiteboard template.