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Status Future consideration
Categories Roadmaps
Created by Stephanie Redl
Created on Mar 15, 2024

Now/Next/Later Roadmap - Configure columns based on Status field

Who would benefit?

Product Teams who actually follow the Lean Roadmapping approach. Please read this awesome overview from Janna Bastow:

What impact would it make?

"The Now-Next-Later roadmap exists because timeline roadmaps aren’t effective, simple as that. Timeline roadmaps insist on deadlines, which means product teams are deprived of the flexibility that allows them to do their best work."

By forcing PMs to configure and maintain exact date durations for start/end dates on roadmap initiatives, we are telling them: well, yes, it's called Now/Next/Later, but actually it isn't. We still need you to figure out exact dates. Which means, to avoid overpromising to stakeholders (who can click on the initiative in Aha! and see the dates, no way to avoid that), they need to do all the prep work with R&D to get to feasible durations. Even for initiatives in Later which might never make it, or turn out completely different as new information comes up.

Also, maintaining these date ranges is super bureaucratic and just adds work. Even if it's calculated based on child records, these also need to have dates. The point of the Now/Next/Later or Lean Roadmap approach is to start specifying things that are in Next and add detailed timelines when things are in Now, to avoid overpromising and to avoid investing work into things that might never make it to the roadmap.

How should it work?

In the configuration of the Now/Next/Later roadmap it should be possible to select non-date fields for mapping to the individual columns. Easiest would be to map by record status - which also makes sense as things that are In Progress/In Dev are now, vs. things that are "Under Consideration" are Later, design, specs etc. is in Next. So that fits for initiatives, epics and features.

Status changes are easy to maintain and that is also done naturally as part of keeping Aha! records up-to-date. If the dev team system is integrated, status of Features is driven by the R&D workflow, Epics can be updated automatically based on their child Features, so no extra maintenance needed.

Another option for Initiatives could be the "Time frames" field which is a time range of years or quarters.

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  • Guest
    Mar 18, 2024

    I previously voted on Idea A-I-16375 but have since removed that vote and added one here.

    The Now, Next, Later view is really promising, but doesn't quite hit the mark for us either. I would suggest allowing us to define those based on the Status of Initiatives instead of dates - something along the lines of Now = In Progress, Next = Next Up, Later = Not Started. Some Initiatives currently being worked on (Now) may take longer to deliver than the current quarter and we often won't have dates especially for the Next and Later items.

    Until then, we've created a Pivot view that delivers a structure that meets our needs - it is just not as interactive (and can't show the images).

  • Kim Bremer
    Mar 18, 2024

    Maybe give us a configuration setting by workspace - use NNL with 1) dates, 2) status, 3) time frames. And then provide a mapper for each similar to how statuses map to status categories, except it would allow us to map Now, Next, and Later to the 1) dates (obviously not literal dates, but the relative date range options of last q, this q, last month, this month etc), 2) statuses, or 3) time frames that we want represented in each. That way it is flexible despite custom statuses or whatever scheme of timeframes an organization might use.


Dateless Now Next Later roadmaps

Who would benefit? PMs seeking to adopt the full spirit of the Now Next Later roadmap. What impact would it make? It would make the current Now Next Later roadmaps usable. How should it work? Allow configuration of Now Next Later columns based on ...
Guest 2 months ago in Roadmaps 0 Future consideration