Product Management — Aha! Keeps the Team Informed

Product management team watchers

Products are successful when product management, engineering, and other key stakeholders are efficiently working together and enjoying it. We just revamped how product teams can keep each other informed without having to send emails, update spreadsheets, or report status on a wiki. The following enhancements make Aha! even more enjoyable to use and help teams avoid the “no one ever told me that changed” breakdowns.

There are two concepts to understand when it comes to Aha! giving you and your team the ability to stay up-to-date on all additions and edits that are taking place in your account. There is a concept of Watchers who are people who are following whether info is added or updated in Aha! and there are Notifications which are the emails that get sent out. That’s it. Aha! is designed to do the right thing and work for you.

Here is how the system works:

1. Watchers
Individuals (with permission to access a specific product) can be added to watch at the product, strategy, release, and feature levels. Watchers can be added on each one of the following screens.

product management watchers

If a user is set up to watch at the Product level they will receive notifications of all adds and changes across the entire product — this means that any change of the Product, Strategy, Releases, or Features screens will lead to a notification email being sent.

If the user is added as a Watcher at the Strategy Vision level, they will only receive notifications for adds and changes on that page and the strategy components.

If the user is added as a Watcher at the Strategy Goals level, they will only receive notifications for adds and changes on that page and the Strategy Initiatives screen.

If the user is added as a Watcher at the Release level, they will only receive notifications for adds and changes to Releases and Features.

If the user is added as a Watcher at the Feature level, they will only receive notifications for adds and changes to that specific feature.

Now, if you are the the owner of a product (meaning that you originally created it) you will automatically be a Watcher at the Product level. The same is true for the creator of Releases and Features — the creator automatically becomes a Watcher. If you no longer want to watch an object that you created you can simply click in the Watcher field on the appropriate screen and remove yourself.

(Note that a Watcher of a product line does not automatically receive notifications about changes to Products, Releases, and Features in the product line, only changes to the product line itself and its strategy.)

2. Notifications
These are emails that are sent to Watchers. Notifications are sent when changes are made to Product, Strategy, Releases, and Features that Watchers are following. They are also sent when a user has commented on a Product, Strategy, Release, or Feature and someone else has responded with an additional comment.

product management notifications

Watching and comment subscribing are two different concepts and are managed separately. If you comment on anything in Aha! you will automatically receive email updates if other users add their own comments after yours. However, you can choose to unsubscribe from a comment thread at any time by clicking on the unscubscribe button.

When you are adding or editing text on the various screens in Aha! or adding comments, you can decide whether to allow the system to send the email notification to the appropriate Watchers or Subscribers automatically (it will do this approximately 30 minutes after you started adding text on the Product, Strategy, Release, or Features pages and 5 minutes after you start adding a comment to cut down on mid-stream notifications), choose to send it immediately, or not send it all. The choice is yours and a control appears at the top of the screen or within the commenting box that gives you control.

(Note that if you are a Watcher of a Product, Strategy, Release, or Feature you will also receive notifications for comments that are added on those items. However, you can choose to unsubscribe to individual comment threads as desired.)

Aha! makes it easy to keep everyone on the same page and avoid finger-pointing.

If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30 day trial of Aha! now and see why the best known software and Web companies are using Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, and work with engineering to build lasting product greatness.

Follow Aha! co-founder and the author @bdehaaff

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About Brian and Aha!

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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