The Aha! data model - product hierarchy, strategy, releases and features

The main purpose of Aha! is for product managers and engineering to capture and curate ideas that will deliver the greatest business value and be happy doing it. Our data model has been built to make this as easy as possible. Start by creating product hierarchy and setting product strategy at each level. Then, weave your product vision throughout your roadmapping process by linking releases and features to your strategy. 

The Aha! data model does two things: it highlights the key building blocks in Aha! and it explains the relationships between these entities. There are five main objects: product lines, products, releases, features and ideas. Strategy can be set at both product lines and product levels, and then linked to releases and features. 

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Product lines and products

Products can be organized into product lines to create groupings. You can create as many levels as you need. For example, you might have a top level company name, a product line under it, and then products under it. Creating hierarchy is important if you want to ease navigation, set up more sophisticated user permissions, and create roll-up views on the dashboard of your strategic initiatives.

You can add hierarchy by creating a product line and then selecting which products belong to it. Or, you can select a product and choose which product line it belongs to.

Product strategy

Strategy can be set at the product and product line levels in the hierarchy and then linked to product release and feature work. For more on strategy, please see Capture your product's strategy: Foundation, Market and Imperatives.

  • Vision

Your product vision should enhance the overall company strategy, your outlook for the product, and where both are headed. A good vision is supported by details of who the customers are, what they need, and your go-to-market plan. It captures the essence of what you aim to achieve, the opportunities you have, and the threats that you face. 

  • Goals

Your product goals must have a measurable end result that can be achieved within a fixed time frame. Your objectives should represent the crucial accomplishments needed to make your vision a reality. 

Goals can be rolled up to higher level goals as well as linked to initiatives, releases, and features. 

  • Initiatives

Initiatives allow you to specify key work that must be completed to achieve your goals. Think of these efforts as high level projects that should be accomplished within a specified period of time -- even if this is over a few months. 

Initiatives can be rolled up to higher level initiatives as well as linked to goals, releases, and features.

Releases

A release is the date when a company is ready to deliver a new customer experience. This involves supporting every customer interaction point associated with this new experience. Start from the perspective of your customer, and prioritize releases that will offer the most value. Releases are created only in products.

Features

Features are children of Releases and define a set of capabilities that are specified through descriptive text, images, and additional meta information. Features also can be further defined through requirements or grouped together into themes or larger enhancements through master features.

Ideas

Ideas are where you collect and manage all of the potential enhancements to your product. Ideas can be promoted to either a feature or a strategic initiative, depending on the size and scope of the body of work. 

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