Introduction to master features and master activities

Master features are used to group features that share a common business objective. With master features, you can track and prioritize groups of work. Similar to features, you can also add key strategic elements like goals and initiatives to master features.

Master features are very flexible. They can be used to manage groups of features that reside in multiple workspaces across multiple releases. Or if you prefer, they can be used to manage groups of features within a single release.

Note: Depending on your workspace type, this article may refer to Aha! record types differently than your team does.

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When to consider using master features

  • Your product team is agile and you are looking for master features to group your stories.
  • Your marketing team has large objectives that will take several schedules to complete. You need a way to track these master features and view them on a roadmap. 
  • Your team currently uses strategic initiatives to group user stories but you would rather utilize initiatives for strategic themes and group user stories by master feature instead.

For the purposes of this article, we will use the product management terminology of features, master features, and releases. Just remember that these records function the same way, even if you are working in a different workspace type

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Setup and configuration

To enable master features for your workspace:

  1. Navigate to Settings ⚙️ > Workspace > Configure > Master features.
  2. From there, you can select Enabled, Disabled, or Inherit from [parent line].

The default value is Inherit from [parent line], which means the setting is enabled or disabled based on the status of the Master features setting on the parent line. Once enabled, you can begin adding master features. 

To further customize master features:

  • Update the terminology from master features to any label that works better for your team.
  • Create custom statuses and workflows for master features on the Settings ⚙️ > Account page.
  • Customize the master feature card design. Just like features, master features have their own customizable card design. They can also be scored using the same custom scorecards that are used on features.
  • Show master features and features on the same board by enabling the Show master features setting. When this setting is enabled, the master feature name and feature reference ID will appear in a tab above the feature card. This setting is located on the features board by clicking the Customize cards icon, which opens the Customize feature and master feature cards modal. The features workflow board also has its own customizable feature cards, which can be configured to show master features using the Customize view icon.
  • Show master feature labels on the Features > Details page by enabling the Settings ⚙️ > Workspace > Configure > Customize record cards > Show master features setting.

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Use master features

Once you have enabled master features, you can add and manage master features from the Features > Board or the Features > Detail page. The toggle located on the features board in the upper-left corner switches between master features and features. When you toggle to master features, you can create a new master feature by clicking Add master feature or by clicking the More options button located next to each release name. 

Master features have Start dates and Due dates, but because master features can have child records — features — you can choose to have a master feature's dates Calculate from features. If you select this (or if a workspace owner has set this as the Record dates default setting), your master feature's Start date will be same as the earliest feature Start date, and its Due date will be the same as the latest feature Due date. If a feature's dates change in such a way that it affects your master feature's dates (even through an integration), your master feature's dates will update automatically.

Note: If an integration updates a master feature's Start date or Due date, the calculation type will change back to Enter manually, and updates to child features' dates that you make in Aha! will not update the master feature.  

You can configure master features further by adding information to them, or by opening a master feature's detail drawer and selecting the More options button. 

  • Add to initiative to link your master feature to an initiative. 
  • Link to another record to create a record link.
  • Create related idea to create a linked idea with your choice of idea's visibility.
  • Convert to initiative to convert your master feature to an initiative. Master features and initiatives both organize large bodies of work, so it is not uncommon to discover that what you thought was a theme of work is substantial enough to upgrade to an initiative. 
    Note: Converting records may cause them to lose information.
  • Time tracking history breaks down the estimates and time tracking applied to your master feature. 
  • Use features estimates generates an effort estimate for your master feature based on the individual estimates of its child features. 
  • History shows you an audit log of changes made to the master feature.
  • Add progress field adds a progress field to your master feature. You choose from several different methods for calculating your master feature's completion progress and visualize its progress in roadmaps. 
  • Add custom field adds a custom field to your master feature layout. You can also create custom fields in Settings ⚙️ > Account > Custom fields, of course, but this option is useful for times when you realize you need to add a custom field but do not want to leave the page and lose context.
  • Edit custom field layout pulls up the master feature layout, which lets you add, remove, or rearrange existing custom fields. Again, you could edit your master feature's layout in Settings ⚙️ > Account > Custom layouts, but this option lets you edit your master feature layout without leaving the master feature itself. 
  • Add automation rule takes you to Settings ⚙️ > Workspace > Automation, where you can add a new automation rule. Automation rules, available to Enterprise+ customers, are useful for streamlining your workflows and driving consistency across your workspace. 
    Note: This option will only appear in the More options button for Enterprise+ customers.
  • Copy master feature copies your master feature, including requirements and to-dos, and to-do assignees (but without to-do due dates). 
  • Delete master feature deletes your master feature.  

Master features can be prioritized the same way that you prioritize features on the features board.

Although master features reside within the workspace and release where they will be completed, you can assign a master feature to child features from multiple workspaces and releases

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Report on master features

Once you have your master features defined, you can create reports to share with your stakeholders. The toggle that appears on the features roadmap allows you to visualize the master features that will be shipping in upcoming releases. You can also build custom analytics reports and roadmaps with data from master features.

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Show master features on the Gantt chart

It can be helpful to visualize master features in a Gantt view to see how your releases affect your master features. Navigate to Releases > Gantt to see this view.

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To show master features on the Gantt chart, click the Master features button at the top of the page. You can customize this view just as you can the releases view, including the ability to add dependencies between features and master features. 

There are two differences to note: 

  • You can choose to color the bars by Workspace or Release as well as StatusAssignee, and Type
  • You can see a new field at the top of the Gantt view called Release names. Click this to see the Release dates of the releases in the date range you have chosen. 

Features with and without Start date and End dates will appear in the master features view, at the start of a master feature with hazy borders to their bars.

  • Assign dates to a feature by clicking and dragging its bar on the Gantt view or by clicking on it to open the feature detail drawer.
  • Hide the feature from the Gantt view by clicking the More options button beside the feature's name and selecting Remove from Gantt. This will not remove the feature from the master feature, it will just hide it from the view. To display the feature again, click the More options button beside the master feature and select Show hidden feature

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Use master features in integrations

Master features are available to integrate with any 2.0 integration.

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