Best practices for managing solution offerings

Workspaces in Aha! are designed to help you set your strategy, link your strategy to your work, and bring your work — be it a product, project, program, or service — to market.

If you work in a product management team, but deliver solutions or services rather than traditional products, then you have a few options for managing your offerings. 

First, if you think of your team as a services rather than a product team, you may want to use a services workspace instead of a product workspace. Both workspace types give you the same functionality, but there are several differences: services use slightly different terminology for feature types and have a few more pages enabled by default. If you want to explore a services workspace, feel free to enable the Fredwin services (Demo) workspace in your account.

Second, if your team goes to market with a "solution" or a "service" that is essentially a collection of features designed to benefit a market segment or use case, you can certainly benefit from a solution structure. In this article, we will give you a walkthrough of how to structure your workspace for solution offerings. 

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Key questions to answer

Your workspaces may benefit from a workspace-per-solution structure if the following is true:

  • If you defined separate workspaces for each solution or service, would upcoming features need to be duplicated?
  • Do you need to roadmap at a customer "solution" level that actually includes one or more workspace?

For this scenario, we recommend taking a different approach to how you think about your product. You should define a core application product workspace in Aha! which will be the place where your feature backlog exists, releases are planned and work is sent to development. 

From there, you can represent your solutions a few different ways, all of which allow you to create solution-specific roadmaps. The following three options will provide workspace and solution visibility in parallel. Your team can choose one (or more) depending on your needs.

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Solution visibility with tags

This is the simplest approach and is often used by smaller teams. You simply tag features as being related to various solutions or services. A feature can be tagged to one or more solutions or services, resolving the feature duplication issue that would exist if you define each solution or service as a product.

We strongly recommend that you use a custom field instead of the default tag field. You can create a Solution or Service field for features that uses a pre-defined list of tags to choose from, putting much more structure around the process.

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With your features tagged, you can easily generate solution specific roadmaps by filtering features based on the tag. You can also report on the work delivered against each solution through the reports functionality.

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Solution visibility with workspaces

If your team has more robust needs around managing your solutions or services, such as the need to plan solution specific strategy or go-to-market releases, you might like to create a secondary set of workspaces for your solutions or services, nested under one parent line.

It is important to note, in this workflow you will still identify features through tags as defined in the previous workflow. 

We recommend creating a new parent line in your account to group the services together in. Then, you can use a portfolio roadmap to visualize your solution workspaces in context of the larger portfolio.

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You can then manage the delivery of product features through the core parent workspace and you can manage solution specific activities, such as solution go-to-market launches, through the solution.

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Solution visibility with custom tables (Enterprise+)

The use of custom tables works as a bridge between only using tags and defining solutions as full blown workspaces. With a custom table, you can extend the Aha! data model and create your own object in Aha! to represent solutions/services.

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This is a great option if you are on the Enterprise+ plan and would like to capture more detail than just tagging features, but do not have the need to manage a solution as a full product.

You can create a custom table for your solution, and then use the many-to-many relationship custom field to associate the custom table records to features, similar to the tagging workflow. The advantage here is that your custom table can capture more information than simply the solution name, allowing you to build up a detailed solution description including go to market information, market size, etc.

If you are an Enterprise+ customer that would like to take this route, please reach out to support and we would be happy to set up some time to help walk through getting it set up.

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