Overall Satisfaction with Aha!
- Aha! is an all around product management suite. It is great for breaking product plans into initiatives, features, and user stories. This helps the organization understand the product plan and what is driving individual work items. Unlike JIRA and project management tools, it helps you prioritize by major themes, features, and releases. Once you start to use it, you can't go back to a project management tool because the views for organizing and prioritizing features just isn't there.
- Aha! also excels at idea management. You can create a portal for users to submit ideas and manage them through a workflow. Users can submit ideas through a variety of channels, including email, ZenDesk, and Salesforce. You can even attach account values to an idea submitted through Salesforce, though the UI in Salesforce is a little kludgy. This is a great feature for those that have the capacity to manage feedback this way, but be aware that it takes time to manage.
- Aha! works pretty well with JIRA so that project managers can have their backlog that is understandable to the business and engineering can break down those work items however they want.
- Aha! also has a lot of useful integrations: Slack, ZenDesk, Zapier, etc. It also integrates with every major software project management tool on the market: JIRA, Pivotal, Rally, Redmine, and TFS.
- There are a few catches once you get down to using it. For example, Aha! maps products to projects as a one-to-one in JIRA. Why should anyone care? If your Engineering team is organized into functional groups that work on more than one product, this can be a mess. You can't send features to two different teams for one product. Other products like Wizeline support this.
- Idea management can be overvalued. Be sure you need it before you make it a must-have feature. Idea management is great for enterprise B2B companies with a small base of users to support and the development capacity to be responsive to ad hoc feedback. Think a closed beta participant group, a CAB or small disciplined internal user group like Customer Success. However, it takes a large PM team and excess capacity in Development to manage this sort of feedback. Otherwise, you set yourself up for failure. Look at Aha!'s own idea portal, and you can see it takes a large PM team to track everything, and even then, the user community has to accept that there isn't going to be an immediate response the way a service desk would respond to a problem ticket. If this functionality is not key, there are other tools like User Voice that can be purchased separately later to provide best of breed feedback management.
- Capacity Planning is a major missing feature. Aha! has half functional capacity planning. It requires manual entry and does not support easy bottom up feedback and progress tracking from the dev team working in JIRA. My team found that it was not usable enough to show what was above or below the line on the fly. This is very disempowering for Product Managers who 'want their mojo back' as Aha!'s marketing says. There is a huge discussion in the Aha! user community about this. Even Brian and Chris have responded, so they are looking at it. It's hard to lead management discussions about what to do when resource tradeoffs on what is above or below the line are not clear. This has been one of the most requested features that is still not there after a year of users clamoring for it...
- The Salesforce integration is not as useful as we thought. My Sales Team found it unusable because of kludgy UI issues. Also, it was hard for users to pile on with other accounts needing the feature, so it only represented one ask from one account, not the market. Plus, it can be totally random which sales person speaks up, leading to a squeaky wheel effect. We found it easier to run this kind of analysis through our web analytics tool, Woopra. Any major account requests were just handled the old fashioned way.
- We did not use the strategy or roadmap screens as much. We really just needed a wiki to store this info. Old fashioned PowerPoint and tools like Product Plan can cover this as an alternative. Our core usage centered around the initiatives, the product backlog screen, and the reporting (for the roadmap as opposed to the actual roadmap page).
- Aha! is the all around product management tool. You need something once you build out a product management role and grow beyond a small scrum team with one or two products. JIRA, Pivotal, and project management tools don't cut it for aligning [engineering] with product initiatives once the backlog starts to scale.
- On the other hand, there are several unfinished features that my peers all admit to having to work around: Capacity Planning, Salesforce Integration, Roadmap Display Flexibility, User Feedback, etc. This year has been all about reporting in terms of feature releases. As Aha! grows, they will fill in these other areas, so stay tuned.
Aha! Roadmaps Feature Ratings
Support always answered in 24 hours for any inquiry-- a reasonable timeframe for most of our requests. The PM team participated actively in supporting their features, keeping them close to the product.
Problems get solved
Kept well informed
No escalation required
Immediate help available
Support understands my problem
Support cares about my success
Quick Initial Response
Yes - Yes