About a year ago Minerva started productizing our knowledge as add-on solutions to Aras Innovator.
Since Product Development in order to bring out standard products, rather than developing solutions for our customers, was something new to us, we did not have any tools to support the Product Management part of the process. We needed to capture and share ideas, prioritize them. Link approved ideas to products. We needed to link products and bundles together, and have a common tool of communicating status of developing projects and roadmaps for running products.
We looked at a lot of different solutions for this, and we tested a handful on live projects. All of them had some good features that supported parts of process, but none of them could support the entire process from capturing the idea, through development of the product, to support of customers and capturing and developing enhancements.
As our product portfolio continued to grow, it got more and more difficult to structure all the information and ensure that everybody involved got access to the information they needed. It started to be a combination of excel spreadsheets, word documents and different web tools.
Finally I had to do something, so I skyped one of our technical consultants (David) and explained the problem. He suggested that we should just do it in Aras!
And we started working on it during the Skype session. I shared my screen and started drawing the data model, and while I was drawing David set up an Aras system to solve the issues. After 1 hour and 28 minutes (!) we had a working system, and after another 2 hours I had data in the system and could start working with it. This of course gave some ideas for some additional functionality. So I skyped David again, and 12 minutes later it was in the system!
To me, this really underlines the strength and flexibility of Aras Innovator. In less than a day I had a system completely designed to fit my requirements with my data in it. Of course not a 100% finished solution, but close enough that I could start using it right away. And, as we continue to expand and develop the solution in small sprints it keeps getting more and more functionality and covering more and more of the process. I just wish we would have done it from the beginning, and saved ourselves a lot of frustration and wasted time.