Six hours, 700 handshakes, thousands of mouse clicks. Your annual sales kickoff and partner trade show are important events for sharing your roadmap. But it can be exhausting to manually present your plans. Over. And over. And over.
Have you ever spent way too long piecing together a puzzle of Excel printouts? I know I have. Aside from the paper cuts, it was especially annoying because I spent a significant amount of time creating the perfect detailed view. But because of the scope of the plan, it ended up spilling over several pages and printing in sections. And if I tried the “fit to page” option, you needed a microscope to read it. Ouch.
It started with a trip to the bookstore. As a kid, I had always enjoyed tinkering with things. So when I spotted a book on web design, I was intrigued. I asked my mom if we could buy it and immediately began devouring the content. It was amazing. I could not believe that this information was freely accessible to anyone. And I loved it. Read more…
You are in a deep Slack conversation with the product team. Finalizing launch details. Making product trade-off decisions and agreeing on how an important new feature will work. The team is working well together. You want to keep the conversation going and make sure you capture the important new ideas that will impact your roadmap as they happen. Now you can.
Dates keep us sane. From scheduling releases to prioritizing daily tasks, product managers take comfort in knowing precisely what needs to be done and when. But there are days that even the most productive among us struggle to keep up with the growing to-do list. When it happens to me, it becomes hard to focus on what is most important.
Life as a product manager moves fast. You need to craft strategic roadmaps that outline your goals and initiatives but also track the daily details of features and releases. You must be able to see both at all times. And everyone on the team must be kept in sync along the way.
I am obsessed with baseball.* Anyone who knows me can vouch for this. Unfortunately, I blew out my arm throwing when I was 18, which made playing the sport impossible. So I started watching and following professional games. Soon after, my love for our national pastime merged with my love of numbers. I started developing advanced algorithms for my college team. I still do this for fun today — mainly for the Cubs.
We have all been there. You are working closely with the team. Defining requirements, iterating quickly on designs. Everyone is pushing hard to get the feature definitions completed. But now you need to revert to an earlier version of your mockups. But where are those designs? Did someone save over them?
Managing one product is a big job. Managing multiple products? Even bigger. The truth is that, as the size of your product portfolio increases, so too does the complexity. You want to be able to quickly showcase how each product is contributing to the overall goals of the business. We might not be able to magically streamline your product portfolio, but we can give you the visibility you need.
Art was always my favorite subject in school. Throughout my education, I had incredible mentors and teachers. During college, I was able to share these lessons with other students while working for a local non-profit called Generation Communication (GenCom, for short). At GenCom, I led high school students in creating social impact projects, such as recycling awareness and anti-smoking posters for other non-profits.
Are you panicking yet? It is that time of year. Last-minute gift shopping. Maybe you are rushing off to the mall or paying extra for overnight shipping. Or, if you celebrate Hanukkah, you are now just late. We get it — you want to give the people you care about the absolute perfect gift. Our team at Aha! feels this way all the time. But our gift-giving looks a little different.
Making promises is usually a bad idea for product managers (and worse for salespeople). We always advocate against promising features, unless you are absolutely confident that you will be able to keep your word. Last week, we pledged an integration update for Rally (CA Agile Central). And our confidence was justified — Rally users, today is your day.
What is the path to building great products? It starts with strong communication between product, engineering, sales, and support teams. Every team deserves a purpose-built tool — but not at the expense of effective communication and collaboration. This is why we are committed to improving the way Aha! integrates with the tools you rely on most.
Are you trying to get a clearer picture of what will really make an impact in 2018? I think this is the case for most product managers this time of year. Of course, you want to avoid the dreaded analysis paralysis. But to make the right decisions for your product next year, you need access to the right information. And quickly.
There is no love lost between product managers and spreadsheets. It is not the fault of Microsoft Excel though — one of the most powerful applications ever built. It was just designed for complex data analysis — not product management. But while Excel falls woefully short as a product management solution, it still has a place in your toolkit. And when you do have to use Excel, you want to be able to get data into it easily. We get it.