Releases represent more than the time between the day development starts and the day development finishes. A release represents the full cross functional effort required to successfully deliver new functionality to market -- a release is a project. As a product manager you need to take ownership of delivering the entire release and you need a release plan. This brings consistency to the planning process and keeps the team focused on what needs to get done.
Release templates in Aha! provide a way to streamline release planning by laying out your standard phases and key milestones automatically when a new release is created. Most releases have critical dependencies, deliverables and tasks to be completed, these can all be captured as part of your release template.
How it works
To create a phase and milestone template you will need to be a Product Owner in your account. The functionality is located under Settings > Product > Release phases and milestones.
Note: If you create your template on a product line, it will be available to all child products in your account. Because of this, most teams should be creating these templates at a product line level, not a product level.
Once on the Release phases and milestones page, click the '+' to add a release template. You can then begin adding phases and milestones to your template.
When adding phases and milestones you will be presented with a few options:
- Name: The name of the phase or milestone.
- Description: The description that appears when accessing the phase or milestone details.
- Type: Allows you to select if this is a phase or a milestone. A phase represents a range of time with a start and end date while a milestone represents one specific date.
- Days after prior phase: Allows staggering of your phases and milestones. Using a negative value here will allow you to define phase or milestone overlap in your template.
- Depends on: Allows creation of dependencies between phases and milestones within your template.
- Default duration: The default duration allows you to specify how long each phase is. This is not applicable to milestones since milestones are a single specific date.
- Color: Allows you to specify the color of the phase or milestone when visualized on roadmaps.
- To-Dos: Allows the creation of to-dos as part of the template. Template to-dos can have a summary, description and assignee. They cannot, however, have pre-defined dates.
After creating your template you can give it a name so it is easily identified when creating new releases. With the template in place, you will have the option to select your template on the release creation modal window.
Note: You cannot retroactively apply templates to existing releases, they are only available for new releases.