Manage your cross-product portfolio roadmap with Master Releases

Do you manage a suite of products that often are released on the same date? If so, you need a master release. In some cases, you may have multiple releases in parallel for the same product, although this is less common. You need a way for several product teams to work independently; at the same time, you also need ability to create a visual roadmap that represents this combined delivery. 

A master release contains phases and milestones (representing the combined delivery steps) and sub-releases (which are releases at the product level). Master releases do not contain features; the sub-releases at the product level contain the feature content.

It's important to understand when to create and when not to create a master release. It can be tempting to divide Aha! products into components based on how your team's development resources work, and then use a master release to represent the actual go-to-market product release. This will lead to undue overhead and should be avoided. For more help determining how to set up your product and product line structure, read What's your product and how should you think about it? Once you decide how to set up your product, if you do need to manage components, you can do so through the use of custom fields

Add a Master Release

  1. To add a master release, make sure a product line has been selected in your product navigation menu (next to the home icon).
  2. Select the "+▼" button on the Releases -> Overview or Releases -> Details screen.

Remember: a Master Release does not contain any features. Features still belong to the individual product releases.

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Add Sub-Releases

A product level release associated with a master release is known as a sub-release.

When you create a master release, you can choose to automatically add a new sub-release to child products; add existing releases as sub-releases once the master release is created; or do some combination of both.

If you choose to create new sub-releases, they will inherit their names and release dates from the parent master release. If you attach an existing release, the sub-release will retain the name, but the release date will change to match the master release. You can always rename sub-releases later.

To add existing releases to the master release, simply go to Releases -> Details or bring out the master release slider (as shown below) and click Attach Existing Release.

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Visualize the Master Release

Once you create a master release, you can visualize it and its sub-releases on the Releases -> Overview and Reports -> Features views.  The Reports -> Features view is the best view to share a visual roadmap of your master release, sub-releases, and the features you wish to highlight.

You can customize what shows by adding releases to the timeline and clicking the “x” if you do not want to show a sub-release as part of a master release. Then, filter and/or check and uncheck features to focus on only those features that matter most. See Create a Features Roadmap and share it with others for more on the Reports -> Features view. 

Master Releases across product lines

A master release is created at a product line level. It can only contain sub-releases belonging to products that are the product line's children.

This guarantees that a user with ability to view a master release can also view all of the sub-releases under that master release. 

However, the master release can be associated with any level in the product line hierarchy. So, if you have (or add) another product line above all of your product lines, you can have a master release that spans all of your products.

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