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In the final blog of this series, Adaptavist Senior Business Consultant - AIS, Meghan Kutz, discusses how Aha! Roadmaps supports organisations to realise their company vision in one place. You can improve your organisation's agility by sharing your vision company-wide as a single source of truth and use it to ensure all day-to-day work supports it.
Compare strategic product roadmapping tools
Aha! Roadmaps, Advanced Roadmaps for Jira and Jira Align
Capture and communicate the vision so everyone can see it
You mentioned in the implementation blog that the company strategy isn't captured in Jira as it only goes to the epic level. How do you capture the vision within Aha! Roadmaps and how would doing this make you more agile?
Jira was initially designed as a bug-fixing program to log bugs that needed fixing in software. Over time, it has expanded to include fully-fledged features, but it’s still fundamentally rooted in the execution or operational side of things.
While there are custom builds you can configure in Jira software, 'program' is the highest you can go without additional functionality. Jira isn't designed to answer questions like:
- What kind of company do we want to be?
- What is our purpose?
- How does the work I'm doing today tie into our vision?
Your vision can't be represented in Jira alone, making it difficult to connect your day-to-day work to your overall strategy. This is where Aha! Roadmaps comes in.
Aha! Roadmaps offers a dedicated space and template to document your company vision, which is visible to all users. It helps to guide your strategy formulation for everything else you put into Aha! There are two key elements to strategy: formulation, and execution. When we think about agility, we’re often talking about the latter. How can we transform our business to operate with more agility?
What about strategic agility? If something happens to impact your operations on a global scale, what do you do? Or, what happens if you see a new market opportunity on the horizon? If your entire organisation needs to suddenly pivot, your features backlog simply does not provide enough data.
In these scenarios, you need two things:
- The understanding that strategy formulation is an ongoing process, not a one-time event.
- Strategic agility, the ability to respond at strategic and operational levels to opportunities and threats.
Aha! Roadmaps unlocks both of these elements. By its very design, it reveals when your strategy has gone stale or is no longer working, forcing teams into more of an ongoing process of strategic planning. This enables teams to shift their focus and make strategic decisions, regardless of volatility, because their work is aligned to the strategy.
Aha! Roadmaps | How to set strategic goals
Join the dots between the vision and company goals to keep everyone focused
Once you have built the vision, can you see it in action with reports and subsequent roadmaps? How are they connected?
Aha! splits its strategy modules into three categories:
- Foundation: for your vision, models, and positioning. These help you to understand the purpose behind your products and services.
- Market: for your customers and personas. This helps you to determine how you will change the industry, and what your customers are most interested in.
- Imperatives: for your goals and strategic initiatives. This helps you to develop your short-to-long term goals, and the projects that will move your business forward.
It's a top-down approach. First, clarify your vision. Then, discover your differentiator. Finally, nail down your strategy to accomplish your goals. This process really encourages you to do strategy better. It forces the issue of better planning, better formulation, and a more ongoing revision process.
Aha! isn't only for strategic planners. Any Aha! user can see this information and understand how the work they do supports the business.
When priorities change, everything shifts!
Markets and customers' needs change. How can Aha! Roadmaps support organisations in practising strategic agility by regularly reviewing the strategy?
In an ever-changing market, it's easy for teams to become overwhelmed. Aha! will show you when you have too many features in a release, or when you've assigned too many features to a single team member. This enables you to better understand your team's capacity. When your team's work is directly connected to your strategy, you can also understand how shifting priorities will affect your bottom line.
You can also easily move your strategic initiatives around based on shifting priorities, whether you need to be reactive or proactive. Any changes will cascade and automatically shift the features out and modify the resources accordingly. This means you don't have to make strategic-level decisions in a black box or in isolation. You can see the impact that shifting priorities have on your teams at an operational level, which can be a huge blind spot.
It's something many of us have experienced. A new leadership appointment comes in and wants to change ways of working, and there isn't an easy way to understand the impact on the day-to-day work. Aha! enables you to see that impact.
Strategic goals should be watertight, and leaks will be detected
Limiting the gap between strategy and execution is tricky. How does Aha! Roadmaps help to keep strategy at the centre of every product decision?
Do you often feel like you're spending too much time reacting to customer demands? When you find yourself creating features that don't align with your strategy, you might discover that your original strategy missed the mark.
If you haven't paid enough attention to movements in the market, you may need to revisit your approach to strategy formulation. We talked about Aha!’s Ideas Portal in the previous blog–that’s just one way to inject your customer's voice into strategic planning much earlier in the process. This can stop work from feeling so reactive in the future.
Can organisations check and recheck that they have set the right goals as a single source of truth?
Every strategy record in Aha! has its own measures and indicators to help you determine whether it's on track or not. Progress bars will also tell you where a goal is up to. This can be automatically calculated from the other records linked to it in Aha! The progress of those initiatives is based on the features linked to them. This gives you full transparency to see which goals you're making progress with, and which ones are stuck and might need to be revisited.
From the initial vision to developing a strategy and creating goals and epics, Aha! Roadmaps keeps the whole team honest and accountable.
If you would like to speak to us about how Aha! Roadmaps can form part of your agile transformation tech stack; please contact one of our experts.