Best practices for managing solution offerings

A product in Aha!, in its simplest form, is where you manage features and releases; it represents what you deliver to your market.

However, it is not as straightforward as this in all software product management situations. In some workflows, the 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.

Key questions to answer

Your products may benefit from a product/solution structure if the following is true:

  • If you defined products 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 products?

For this scenario, we recommend taking a different approach to how you view your product. You should define a core application product 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 product and solution visibility in parallel -- your product team can choose one (or more) depending on your needs.

Solution visibility with tags

This is the simplest approach and is often utilized 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 utilize a custom field instead of the default tag field. You can create a "Solution" or "Service" field for features that utilizes a pre-defined list of tags to choose from, putting much more structure around the process.

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.

Solution visibility with products

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 can take this to the next step and create a secondary set of products for your solutions or services. 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 product line in your account to group the services together in. 

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

Solution visibility with custom Tables (Enterprise+ only)

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

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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