Aha! or Jira Portfolio to manage your portfolio when the backlogs are in Jira?

As a small PM team where we do not yet use any portfolio tool except various spreadsheets and documents, and where all of our teams are using Jira backlogs, we have been seriously investigation Jira Portfolio and found it very interesting and most probably our prefered tool in the near future.

We more recently discovered Aha! and realised it was very good as well and very much equivalent but we were wondering for the challenge on the integration level in both direction with the Jiras backlogs.

I found several discussion here and about the integration learning, steps etc ... several topics on the Aha! usage, but none really on the Jira Portfolio and less trying to compare the 2 together. I found this Reddit topic on it which again is very much on the integration aspects.

At the end of the day, I'm not searching for a revolution on the PM side, since I'm sure we'll need many doc still in future, but my main goal are to:

  • manage new ideas, turn some into a product roadmap and to priorities those roadmap
  • get those roadmaps easy to be found & understood by the for stakeholders
  • get those release into the engineering backlog and get new items from the backlog up into the roadmap as well
  • get the visibility into the teams’ progress to keep our plans up-to-date and play some scenarios

I'm pretty sure that I might get some users for Aha: and some for the Portfolio, but I wanted to see still if there would be experience to collect.

I guess that there are also many other tools that are more Project or Program Management tools and less Portfolio ones.

Thank you in advance.

14 Replies

Hi Julien,

I just completed a project integrating Aha! with JIRA and HipChat for a 35 person Product team. The integration was very easy and the process to onboard the team was easy. I had several meetings with the PM's Dev counterpart to help them see what the PM's were doing, why and how it would indirectly help them.

We also used this project as a catalyst for standardizing some high level processes for all of Product.

If you think it would help, I'm happy to jump on a call or Hangout with you to discuss this integration further.

All the best,

Greg Koeka

Hi Greg,

I'm sure that this is possible to do it, since I can read various people saying they did, but it's working also on the Portfolio and Jira backlog side. My question are more and the end solution differences and benefits.

It look like you would only know the Aha! solution and not the Altassian Portfolio, so can I ask more about the easiness to :

  • get those release into the engineering Jira backlogs and get new items create in the Engineering backlogs back into the Aha! roadmap,
  • get visibility into the teams’ progress from their Jira backlog (efforts, remainings logs) to keep our plans in Aha! up-to-date and play some scenarios before to set new release scope and planning back in Jira from Aha! ?

Thank you in advance.



Am I correct in understanding that you're using both Portfolio and Aha!?

I'm not, I have started to use the Portfolio yes, and I'm discovering Aha! but I need more experience sharing and details how to compare them.

We have been using Jira for many years and have tried to integrate Aha! with Jira. The bottom line is that it has been a failure. Updates in Jira don't get passed back to Aha! and Aha! overwrites the latest information in Jira causing problems for the developers. Status is not being sent back to Aha!

The product managers were trying to use Aha! while the developers work strictly in Jira. We have been using Aha! for over a year.

One of the dev managers evaluated Portfolio. I don't really prefer Portfolio over Aha! but I can see why the developers like Portfolio. It is a very good tool to clearly understand the team velocity and capacity for each release. Not so much for roadmapping.

Now I'm the only product manager that uses Aha! while the rest are using Portfolio. Unfortunately the Jira integration with Aha! is so poor that I have to periodically perform a manual update to get the information sync'ed between the two. The reason I continue to use Aha! is for the roadmap tools. Portfolio feels more like a project planning tool instead of a product planning tool.

I really wish that Aha! would work to fix the integration issues with Jira. If you are using Jira, then I would recommend going with Portfolio that is designed as part of Jira. If you can get the teams to use Aha! then I would recommend Aha!

Hi,

This was my guess, my fear, and now I know this is true. So thanks a lot for taking the time to read this past post and to reply. This is indeed saving me a lot of time to figure this out myself.

Kind regards.

Julien

Hi Julien, Which system did you end up using? Aha or JIRA Portfolio? Your input will help a key decision that we are going to make in my organization.

We have been using Aha for little over a year. We are moving from TFS to JIRA for development and were going to integrate Aha with JIRA in 2018. We learned about Portfolio and the question of using one system (all products by Atlasssian) or two systems Aha + JIRA if our final decision point.

Any insights on your decision and experience over the last 6 months will be of great value.

Best,

Yash Shah

@Mark Fears - Sorry to revive an old thread, but do you know what version of the Aha! - Jira integration you are using? 1.0 or 2.0? As a Product Manager, I'd like to use the roadmapping tools... but this sounds like a horrible integration.

We are using Jira integration 1.0. I saw that 2.0 came out recently but I’ve not had the time to update yet. It looks promising because 2.0 gives a lot more flexibility in what gets synced and allows reviewing of sync updates before pushing them to either system.

Aha! have released a new integration with Jira as of December 2017. See the Aha! blog HERE. Record mapping has improved greatly and a big one for me.. the ability to sync Master Features in Aha! to Jira. I would agree that Aha! is a better tool for a PM, and Portfolio makes more sense to the SCRUM master / dev manager / technical PM or PO (of course roles mean different things at different places).

It's also worth considering if Marketing / Sales / Management already have access to Jira as they are key contributors to strategy and planning.

After trying the new integration (2.0) for the past few months, I found that it doesn't work as well as the old integration. At least it doesn't alter records unexpectedly in Jira because I'm manually sync'ing records between the two systems.

Is this still a relevant issue for you, Mark? I have gone through the pain and worked it out myself from 1.0 to 2.0 integration and I strongly believe the problems you experience can be identified and removed. Ping me on daniel.pokryvka@gmail.com, we can have a remote session about it, if you like.

I really appreciate the offer. I've already spent way too much time trying to make this work. The 2.0 integration is worst that 1.0 to the point Aha is almost unusable for syncing records.

I don't have time to spend working on the Aha integration anymore. It's been two years now.

I'm focusing on my products which what Aha is supposed to do.

We integrated Aha! with 2.0 so I never experienced 1.0. Did records actually sync back from JIRA before? Atlassian put the bug fix on their long-term backlog & my company is considering pulling Aha! because it's so frustrating with data out of date.... Vote here: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/JSWSERVER-11149