Just Launched! — 5 Strategic Planning Models Every Product Manager Needs

“So… what is our strategy?” I was once asked this at a quarterly executive review meeting. Twenty different answers raced through my head. The product strategy or the business strategy? Our strategy for this year or longer term? Of course, we were thinking strategically and had big plans. But the truth is that, considering someone had to ask that question, we really did not have a strategy at all.   

The most successful products are built from a clear strategy that everyone understands. By setting the right plan and making it easily accessible, you align the company so everyone moves in the same direction to make the biggest impact. 

It was already possible to set your vision in Aha! and describe your strategic plans using the business model canvas. But perhaps you are not building a new business or introducing a new product right now. Maybe you are considering a new partnership, assessing where your product fits in the market, or evaluating the competitive landscape. We want to give you a complete set of strategic models to help with that work too.

You now have five strategic planning models to choose from in Aha! to help you visualize where your company and product are headed: Lean Canvas, SWOT, Porter’s 5 Forces, Segment Profile, and 9 Ps Marketing Matrix.

These carefully selected and crafted strategic planning models allow you to analyze a variety of business and market factors in a single view. You can customize the model to create the look you want. Once you are pleased with the layout and information that you have added, it is also easy to share the model with your team.

Here are the five new strategic planning models in Aha! and how you can start using them today:

Lean Canvas: Assess potential business models
Lean Canvas is a one-page, actionable business template which helps organizations deconstruct an idea into its key assumptions. Define strategic building blocks as you fill in the data for your organization, then use the model to determine whether you should pursue the opportunity.

Edit the components by entering a description, changing colors, or attaching files to support each building block. This template was based on work by Leanstack and Business Model Foundry licensed CC BY-SA 3.0.

SWOT: Analyze the competitive landscape
SWOT is an acronym that stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is used by product and marketing teams during strategic planning to identify what their product is doing well, where it can improve, and how it fits in the competitive landscape.

In addition to adding building blocks to your strategy model, you can customize the layout by dragging and dropping components to fit your desired look and feel.

Porter’s 5 Forces: Evaluate your market or industry
Porter’s 5 Forces is a tool used to analyze the competitive landscape of a market. This model was created by Michael Porter of Harvard Business School and was first published in Harvard Business Review in 1979. Porter’s 5 Forces is used to describe the existing marketplace, what alternative solutions might be available, and to evaluate the leverage your buyers and partners have in the market.

You can remove components from the layout. Note that the component is still available after being hidden — the action simply removes it from the layout view.

Segment Profile: Define a market segment and how you serve it
The Segment Profile model was designed to assess how attractive each customer segment is, whether you should pursue them, and how you should do it. You can use this model to describe the characteristics of each segment, along with the market factors impacting them.

If there are additional segments you would like to capture, you can add new components to further customize the model for your own analysis.

9 Ps Marketing Mix: Identify the key marketing attributes for success
The 9Ps marketing matrix helps you to identify the key attributes for successfully bringing a product to market. Identify your product, define what benefits you plan to communicate, and plan how you will get that message in front of your customers. By setting this framework, you can ensure that you have armed yourself with a winning marketing strategy.

Once you have selected and customized the perfect model, your strategic model is complete. Now it is time to share it with your team as an image, PDF, or secure web page (seen above).

Your strategic models will no longer be lost and forgotten in presentation decks. They will always be top-of-mind.

Now you have a home for these strategic planning tools in Aha! — along with the rest of your product plans, documents, and roadmaps.

Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy
Strategic models are available to all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Aha! now to see why more than 150,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, and prioritize releases and features.

Aha! is a trademark of Aha! Labs Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

About Jessica and Aha!

Jessica is passionate about showing product managers there is a better way. She is the Product Marketing Manager at Aha! - the world’s #1 product roadmap software. Previously she led product at YouEarnedIt, a top five employee engagement platform. Before that she was a product marketing manager at several business-to-business SaaS companies.

Sign up for a free trial of Aha! and see why 150,000 users at the world’s leading product and engineering teams trust Aha! to build brilliant product strategy and visual roadmaps.

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