Initiatives are high-level efforts that help you achieve your goals. Adding initiatives to Aha! helps you weave the "thread of strategy" throughout your roadmapping process. Every release you plan will have a purpose of driving towards one or more of your initiatives. Releases, master features, and features can be directly linked to the initiative they impact. Linking the work to initiatives ensures that the product team is delivering what matters.

Initiatives are often achievable within 3-12 months, but can sometimes be longer term. You can create them at any level in your hierarchy and roll them up from the product to company level. To use a product management example, your "Expand into China" initiative at the product level may take 12 months, but it is rolled up to the "Expand internationally" initiative at the product line level  — which may take multiple years to fulfill.

Note that depending on how your team uses Aha!, your terminology for Aha! record types might differ. You might have "projects" instead of "products," or "activities" instead of "features." Regardless of your use case, initiatives help focus your goals. 

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Ways to use initiatives

After you create initiatives, you can use them to:

  • Track and share initiatives with your team and key stakeholders using Aha! presentations
  • Explain the relative value and effort of each initiative by manually dragging them to the chart on the Strategy > Initiatives page.
  • Based on relative value and effort, you can rank or order them within the list, and the Initiative Rank can be exposed as an attribute in the Reporting area. You can show your progress by setting it from the Progress dropdown next to the initiative below the chart. 
  • You can also link the related goals and initiatives to the time frame in which they are expected to be completed. This allows teams to do long-term strategic planning and then filter based on the time frame to keep the team focused on what is next.


Create an initiative

Follow these steps to create a new initiative.

  1. Go to Strategy > Initiatives.
  2. Click Add initiative and then enter the initiative name and a description. 
  3. To roll it up to an initiative at the product-line level, select a product line from the Roll up to product line initiative dropdown. To learn more, see "Connect product strategy to product line strategy."
  4. To link the initiative to a goal, select a goal from the Link initiative to Goals dropdown.


Link an existing initiative to a goal

While initiatives can be independent entities, you can link them to goals when they drive the team to achieve that objective.

For example, your goal may be to become the #1 mobile app in your market. You can link initiatives related to enhancing your iOS and Android apps directly to that objective. You may also have a goal at a product-line level above that. If enhancing your mobile apps will impact that goal, you can link those initiatives to the product-line goal as well.

Follow these steps to link an existing initiative to a goal.

  1. Go to Strategy > Initiatives. (You can also link them from the Strategy > Goals page.)
  2. Click on an initiative to open the details card.
  3. Click in the Goals field on the right and then select goals that are at the same level or higher in the product hierarchy. 



Link an initiative to a feature

Linking features to initiatives allows you to show the strategic importance behind why features are being prioritized.

  1. Go to Features > Board.
  2. Click on a feature to open the details card and then click in the Initiative field.
  3. When prompted, choose one of the following:
    • Select an initiative from the dropdown.
    • Select Add initiative, enter the appropriate information, and then click Create initiative.

Note: Linked records in Aha! do not inherit any links from each other. For example, linking an initiative to a feature will not link any goals associated with that initiative down to the feature. Read this article if you also want to link goals to features or other Aha! records.


Link an initiative to a release

You can also link initiatives to releases. By considering which initiatives (and goals) a release impacts, you can identify what does and does not matter. Clearly defined initiatives keep the team on track and enable you to tell key stakeholders why your plan is the best strategy.

  1. Select Releases > Overview.
  2. Click on a release to open the details card and then click in the Initiatives field.
  3. Select one or more releases from the dropdown.
  4. Click X to close the details card and save your changes.

Note: Linked records in Aha! do not inherit any links from each other. For example, linking an initiative to a release will not link any features associated with that release to back to the initiative. Read this article if you also want to link goals to releases or other Aha! records.



The initiatives board

To view your initiatives in a kanban-style board, click the workflow view button Aha-workflow-view-button.png located in the upper left corner of any screen in the Strategy > Initiatives section. The workflow view offers a way to help you easily move, compare, and prioritize initiatives across your organization. To move initiatives between statuses, drag an initiative card from one status column to another. Use the customize view button Aha_customize_view.png to configure the initiative cards or statuses that appear on the board. 


Filter initiatives

Follow these steps to filter your initiatives to show which ones are completed, in progress, not yet started, or any other custom status that you have set up.

  1. Go to Strategy > Initiatives.
  2. Click the Change filter icon in the top-left corner and then select a filter.


Chart and compare initiatives

You can visualize your initiatives on the chart to help you better understand which initiatives to pursue. Drag your initiatives on the chart to compare them as they relate to one another in the context of your goals or your product.


Edit initiative grid labels

You can also customize the text to use terminology that fits how you want to map them. Click on the default labels and axis values on the grid to edit them. Then type in the new value or metric. 



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