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Aha! Roadmaps | Prioritize and track strategic initiatives

Most companies have a long list of initiatives that they want to work on, but they do not have a good way of identifying which strategic initiatives are most important in reaching the overall vision and goals.

Initiatives prioritization page

Strategic initiatives are the bridge between your vision and your roadmap. If you standardize how you prioritize initiatives, you can feel confident that your roadmap will include the most important work, which in turn will enable you to reach your key business goals.

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Create an initiative template

To prioritize initiatives, you have to be able to compare them to each other. You have two tools to help you standardize initiatives throughout your Aha! Roadmaps account, and help orient cross-functional teams to their work in the same way:

  • Custom layouts are the arrangement of fields and tabs on your initiatives. You can design your initiative layouts to match you teams' workflow, include custom fields that capture important data, and prioritize information that highlight's an initiative's value. In the next section, we will discuss custom scorecards, a custom field that will be the foundation of your prioritization conversation.

  • Custom initiative description templates pre-populate your initiative descriptions, so that anyone who creates a new initiative using the same custom workflow modal will structure it in the same way.

Custom initiative description templates will appear for initiatives created through the create modal, not through CSV import or the starter roadmap.

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Score initiatives

Prioritizing initiatives starts with a scorecard. Your scorecard will help you determine the potential value of your initiatives — so you can make informed prioritization decisions. Use the product value scorecard to prioritize work consistently across record types at multiple stages of the product development lifecycle.

The product value scorecard calculates an initiative's product value score. Each scorecard metric covers an aspect of work estimation that most product teams need to consider:

  • Population: How many customers will this item impact?

  • Need: How important is it for those who require it?

  • Strategy: How closely connected is this work to your company and product strategy?

  • Effort: How much work will it take to build?

  • Confidence: What is your level of confidence in each score above?

These metrics combine into a scorecard equation that weights each of the first four metrics equally, and applies a confidence multiplier, like this:

( 1.0 * Population + 1.0 * Need + 1.0 * Strategy - 1.0 * Effort ) * Confidence

This same scorecard is also available for ideas, epics, and features — so that your team has a consistent orientation to value.

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Add a custom scorecard

The default product value scorecard will work for most use cases. But you may wish to change it, or add an additional custom scorecard to quantify a different type of product value.

To do this:

  • Navigate to Settings ⚙️ Account Aha! scorecards. You need to be an administrator with customization permissions to create a scorecard.

  • Your initiative scorecard will be made up of metrics. Each metric should reflect some aspect of your strategy to ensure you can use it to objectively measure its value. Add a custom scorecard field to initiatives to use your newly created scorecard, then add that custom field to a custom layout. The custom field configuration is in Settings ⚙️ Account Custom fields, and the custom layout configuration is in Settings ⚙️ Account Custom layouts.

  • Finally, you need to make sure that initiatives in your workspace use the initiative layout you just created. Navigate to Settings ⚙️ Workspace Configure. You need to be an owner in your workspace to do this.

You can add custom fields at either the workspace or workspace line levels. If you add custom fields for a workspace line, all of its child lines and workspaces will inherit its custom fields by default (though you can choose to customize this for each workspace or workspace line). This can save you significant time by enabling you to create custom fields once and have them used by many workspaces.

With the scorecard added, you can score your various initiatives to capture how they measure up against your different metrics. You can then use the reports tools in Aha! Roadmaps to analyze the scoring information and the roadmap tools to visualize it.

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Prioritize initiatives

An ambitious strategy and limited resources means you need to be intentional about what initiatives your team will prioritize. The prioritization page is a great way to align people around the priorities for initiatives within your product or the larger product portfolio.

Initiatives prioritization page with multiple priority limit lines.

Use the Change view type dropdown to access this page, then score or stack rank initiatives — and add priority limit lines to show thresholds for what your team could accomplish in the next time frame.

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Compare initiative views

To help you analyze your initiatives from different views without, use the Change view type dropdown to switch between several common views while retaining any filters you have added.

Filters you add yourself will transfer to a new view. Page filters — filters associated with the original view that cannot be removed — will not appear on the new view.

Your View type options are:

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Visualize your strategic roadmap

After the priorities are clear, create a strategy roadmap based on initiative scores. This allows you to reflect the timing of each of the prioritized initiatives and ensures that the entire team is moving fluidly in the right direction.

A strategic roadmap with initiatives, goals, releases, and features

You can use the view options and filter controls to select only the initiatives you wish to communicate to ensure the team is focused on what matters most. To see how initiatives at lower levels of your hierarchy contribute to your overall strategy, include roll-up initiatives in your roadmap.

You can visualize cross-team dependencies on the strategy roadmap, to highlight items that an initiative depends on that might not be visible on the roadmap. You can also use custom reports and charts to analyze critical dependencies.

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