How to think about integrating Aha! and JIRA (two-way)

A large number of customers integrate Aha! and JIRA.

This document describes how to think about the workflow between Aha! and JIRA when setting up this two-way integration. Regardless of whether you found Aha! directly or through the JIRA Marketplace, it's important to think about what each application does and how they work together.

Aha! comes first and JIRA second. Aha! is for the "why," "when," and "what," -- JIRA is for the "how." Do your product strategy, roadmapping, and feature definition in Aha! Then, push items to JIRA for engineering to build. We keep all features up to date in Aha! as engineering does their work.

Aha! is designed to help you and your product team collaborate to define the strategy/roadmap and vet/prioritize features. Think through the process of what goes into prioritization, and how features and requirements map to the work development in JIRA. This will help you set up your integration to ensure that product and development stay in sync.

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Feature mapping

Features can be broken into more discrete requirements. Consider how you want to map features and requirements from Aha! to JIRA so that the handoff from product to development is seamless. For example, agile teams typically map features to user stories, and requirements to sub-tasks (reference Agile and non-Agile mappings for more help).

Higher level capacity planning

Development team resources are finite. This means that communicating when a customer facing release will be ready is tough. To increase accuracy and minimize the risk of delays, you can turn on capacity planning. This is a way for you to take a first guess at what it will take to complete a feature. Invite the product team lead or manager into Aha! to help with ballpark estimates. Then, let the development team plan the detailed, line-level estimates in JIRA. If you turn on capacity planning, estimates get sent to JIRA and will be updated automatically by the dev team (from JIRA). 

Prioritize features

When tradeoffs do need to be made, it's important to know which features should be worked on first. Use the Aha! Scorecard to help vet features against your strategy by using metrics to rate each feature. Using a consistent scorecard ensures that each feature is rated against the same objective criteria. Organize the feature cards in Aha! in their preferred rank order to maintain the rank integrity in JIRA. To do this, create a custom field in JIRA for rank and map Aha! rank to your custom JIRA field. This keeps all teams aligned with what matters.

Send releases, features, and requirements to JIRA

After you have captured and prioritized your features, push your releases, features, and requirements from Aha! to JIRA using the “Send to JIRA” option in the Actions menu. You can do this for a single feature or for all features in a release. The feature ranking will only be performed when the issue is first created and sent over from Aha! to JIRA.

Updates are two-way and automatic

The sync between Aha! and JIRA is deep. For more details on what gets sent over and back from JIRA or help configuring the JIRA integration, please refer to the Integrating with JIRA document.

If updates are made in Aha! to features and requirements after they have been sent to JIRA, those changes are automatically updated in JIRA. And when changes are made in JIRA (including to status), these are automatically reflected in Aha! so that the product team is kept up to date. This includes new JIRA items that are created as part of the Release (version) or Feature (JIRA issue mapped to Feature). This ensures that if development splits an item into several tasks, the product team can monitor progress. 

For details around the advanced functionality of the JIRA integration, please refer to the Advanced JIRA functionality document.

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