Just Launched! — Set Time Frames for Your Product Goals and Initiatives

Aha! is the easiest way to set and manage a winning product strategy. Ultimately, by clearly defining your product strategy through high-level goals and initiatives, you can ensure that your roadmap (and engineering team) are focused on what matters most to customers and the business.

Now that the new year is here, many product managers are busy working on their strategic goals for Q1 and the first half of the year.

That’s why today we are making it easy to visualize the goals and initiatives you are working on now, and filter the ones you will focus on later. We have introduced time frames for your strategy and it also makes it possible to archive what you have already achieved.

We did this by giving you the ability to organize strategic goals and initiatives by time-based groups. This allows you to simultaneously manage multiple strategic horizons and better report on current vs. future goals and initiatives.

You can use these new time-based groups for any type of strategic horizon including: quarter, semi-annual, annual, or longer. And when you do, you can use the same grouping mechanisms across your product portfolio. This means that every product will automatically have the time frames that you have set in one product so you do not need to recreate them everywhere.

We have started using the new strategy capabilities ourselves and they have been a huge help to the Aha! team as we organize our goals for the upcoming year. We hope they will help your team too.

Here’s how the new strategic time frames work:

Associate goals and initiatives with a time frame
You can now create time frames for strategic goals and initiatives. This makes visualizing the right goals and initiatives easy, so you can focus on what is right in front of you. You can also categorize goals you have already achieved to compare with your current goals.
initiative-add-time-frame
Above you can see an initiative drawer with the selection being made to associate it to a time frame. Think of time frames as a simple way to group your strategic plans. 

Filter goals by time frame
Your product goals must have a measurable end result that can be achieved within a fixed time frame. So, using time-based filters for goals has many benefits. For example, you can set and visualize value and effort charts for Q1 goals and keep them separate from what you are planning in Q2.
Quarterly Filtered Goal
Above a goal page with chart is shown filtered by a time frame (i.e. Q1 2016).

Filter initiatives by time frame (too)
Initiatives allow you to specify key work that must be completed to achieve your goals. That’s why the same time-based filters that you can select for goals can also be used for all of your initiatives.

Initiative with filter drop down open

Above an initiative page with chart is shown with filtering options by a time frame and status.

Report on time frames
You can now report on goal time frames with respective goals and initiatives. The time frame is a column value which allows you to easily report on goals and initiatives using Aha! Reports. For example, you could report on the key initiatives to help you reach your goals in 1H 2016 and 2H 2016.
Goals and supporting initiatives
Above a Pivot table report which shows the 1H and 2H time frames and the associated goals and initiatives for the Fredwin Cycling product.

You could also dive into more detail by reporting on the releases and features which helped you reach specific goals and initiatives by time frame.
Features delivered against initiatives 2015 2016
Above a Pivot table report is shown that lists the features related to each initiative by time frame year.

Configuration
It’s easy to add time frames to your goals and initiatives. Just click on the main initiative or goal page drop down to create a new time frame. You can also do this directly from the goal or initiative itself. With the time frame created, add each goal or initiative to their correct time frame.
add time frame and archive
Above the modal window is shown for creating and editing time frames. Click on the drop down arrow next to All and then select Add/edit time frames. 

Strategic thinking is a moral imperative for us at Aha! — and these new capabilities allow you to group strategic drivers based on the time horizons they belong to. This allows you to maintain a goal-first approach to your product while planning across the quarter, year, and entire lifecycle of your product.

Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy
Goal and initiative time frames are available for all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30 day trial now. See why over 30,000 users trust Aha! to set product strategy, create visual roadmaps, prioritize features, and capture ideas.

About Keith and Aha!

Keith is a product marketing pioneer. He is the VP of Marketing at Aha! — the world’s #1 product roadmap and marketing planning software. Previously he blazed new trails in customer acquisition strategy at RealPage [RP], a top 10 SaaS company with more than 60 products worldwide.

Sign up for a free trial of Aha! and see why more than 250,000 users worldwide trust Aha! to set brilliant strategy, capture customer ideas, create visual roadmaps, and manage breakthrough marketing programs.

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Comments

  1. Ramon Felciano

    Nice new feature! Does this include some basic understanding of the relationship of timeframes with different scopes? For example, on this page you show time frames at the year, half-year and quarterly granularity. If I have an Initiative scoped to 2Q16 and then I later want a time-based filter by year 2017, will it appropriately remove my 2Q16 initiative? That is, does it know that “2Q16 is not part of 2017”?

    Reply
    1. Keith Brown Post author

      Thanks Ramon! I believe you are asking if goals can be associated with multiple time frames in a given period? At this point when you filter goals it will only show the goals associated with that filter. There is not an inherent breakdown from years into quarters/months, etc. You have an interesting idea though, if you would like you can submit it to our ideas portal for consideration (http://big.ideas.aha.io/).

  2. Robert tharp

    In larger team deployments a top level initiative needs to be re-entered for succeeding levels of sub-releases. For example, in a hierarchy where Director / Manager / Product Manager all have to put in individual initiatives and link them to the next layer up. Is there a way, or a future update, to allow lower level releases to be associated with upper level initiatives without re-entry at the lower level?

    Reply
    1. Keith Brown Post author

      Hi Robert. Great question, and it is one we have been discussing here internally the last few weeks. It is not currently possible, but will be coming soon. Stay tuned!

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