As a PM, you’re not only leading a product – you’re also in charge of a process for getting things shipped. That means doing both the fun stuff of figuring out what you should build, but also being part-time Project Manager, ensuring that “trains run on time”.
You need to track progress, manage scope and communicate with Support, Marketing, Sales and Execs, so they know what’s going on.
Efficiency-minded as PMs are, you’ve probably tried at least one of these things to keep people updated about your status and progress:
This gets you to a point where you know that simple notifications don’t work, putting in the effort to create status and progress docs or wikis isn’t worth it, and people won’t likely go into apps you set up for them.
But you also know that you must have some kind of process to keep them on the same page, or you’ll be bombarded with questions all the time…
“Is that bug fixed yet?”
“How far along are we on My Pet Feature?”
“Is the release still on for Tuesday?”
“What was on our last release?”
“What did you guys work on last week?”
So you resort to what everyone does:
And although these can do the trick, they suck hours of your time every single month. Plus, you still have to prepare the meetings and remember to create the reports and announcements – so you add even more context-switching and responsibilities to your already overburdened head.
You wish you could have more time for research, strategy, talking to customers, or even just focusing on a spec without being interrupted, but by now you’ve accepted that all this busy work is part of the job, right?
Well, screw that.
Imagine everyone simply had the info they need from you, at the cadence that makes sense for them. They’d be happily in the loop, and you… well, what could you do with the extra time of not having to run status meetings and cobble together reports and announcements?
That’s exactly what Underway lets you do. By getting data from JIRA, you can set up great-looking, automated status and progress updates with a human touch for the people you want, without them having to go into a new tool. Here’s the gist of how it works:
But really, the secret sauce is in the little details we’ve built in to make life easier for you and your stakeholders:
Choose from our great-looking and readable reports that let you answer the most common types of questions you get:
Choose the right audience and the right frequency for each update. Schedule reports to go out daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly. Send them in the morning or just before the end of the day. And if you need to let people know as soon as there’s a release, you can use “just released” notifications.
We cache data from JIRA and all links are magic. This way, recipients can read more about a release, or feature without having to login anywhere. Links expire after 3 weekdays. It’s simple and saves you money – less JIRA or Confluence licenses for people that don’t really need to go there.
Sometimes you don’t want full automation, we get it. Which is why you can:
Share a calendar feed with past and upcoming releases so others can see exactly when your releases are happening (and what’s going to be in them). Release dates come from JIRA, so no need to update 2 or 3 different apps. Sanity!
Share friendly, non-technical release notes that stakeholders actually read. You can use emojis, GIFs, and other attachments to make your content more engaging. But even if you don’t do this, we’ve got you covered: stakeholders will be able to see a changelog with all features grouped by type and showing their current status.
Think of Underway as your tactical communications engine. It’s not Yet Another Tool that you or your stakeholders are supposed to learn and spend time on. Our goal is the exact opposite – Underway’s there to help you save time on the day-to-day, routine stuff so you can use it for what’s most important: figuring out how to make your own products more successful.