Configure layouts, statuses and workflows

An Aha! workflow is the set of statuses and transitions that a record such as an initiative, feature or idea may move through during its lifecycle. You can customize your team's workflow by product or workspace so that Aha! mirrors however your team works best. You can also customize your team's record layouts, types, and statuses. 

From the default workflow, you can customize the status names, parent categories, colors, and transition buttons that will be seen on the goals, initiatives, releases, master features, features, requirements, and ideas pages. You can also customize the feature types for each feature workflow. 

You will need to be an administrator with customization permissions to create a custom workflow at the account level. But any user with owner permissions can apply created workflows to their product or workspace. They can also clone workflows to create a copy for themselves or edit existing workflows to make changes. 

Throughout this article, we will use Aha! product management terminology as an example use case — such as features for units of work and releases that contain features. Your own terminology may differ depending on your use case or how you have chosen to customize your account's terminology. Marketing teams, for example, might refer to these as activities and schedules instead. 

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Add a new custom workflow

To add a new custom workflow, go to Settings > Account > Configure statuses and workflows

When you click the Add workflow dropdown, you can select which type of record workflow you wish to customize. 

Aha! offers built-in example workflows for a variety of record types, including releases, features, and ideas in products; schedules, activities, and requests in workspaces; and goals and initiatives in both places. You can use the example workflow provided for your record type or add your own to guide users through your processes. 

After you select from the dropdown, Aha! will create a copy of the example workflow for that record type. Update the name of the workflow and add a description if you desire.

You can then customize the status names, status categories, status colors, and transition buttons.

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Add custom statuses

You can build your own custom statuses. A record's status represents where your release, feature, requirement, or idea is in relation to your workflow.

There are two ways to add custom statuses. You can edit the workflow's example statuses to reflect your processes. Or you can delete the example statuses and create new ones by clicking Add status.

You may want the names of your custom statuses to map to the statuses used in other third-party tools (like your bug tracking system). This is particularly valuable if you have integrated Aha! with a third-party tool.

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Choose status categories

Status categories in Aha! have a special purpose — categories help you automate certain displays and actions. For example, releases, features, and ideas in the Shipped category include a green checkmark in some places.

When you add a new status or edit an existing status, you will be able to choose the status category that best matches. You can have multiple custom statuses that have the same status category. If the status does not match one of the category options, leave it blank. 

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There are some considerations when choosing status categories for ideas:

  • When a user adds a new idea, the idea defaults to the first status that has not been assigned to a status category. These appear in order from top to bottom — you can drag statuses to reorder.
  • Promoting an idea to a feature will automatically change the idea status to the first custom status in the status category In progress
  • Only statuses that are in a status category will be published to or trigger email notifications from public and private ideas portals.
  • Shipping a feature triggers the idea status to change to the first status in the status category Done

 Status categories also affect features and releases:

  • When a release is shipped, all features with statuses not in the categories Done, Shipped, or Will not do will be moved to another release.
  • Any features with statuses in the category Done will be changed to Shipped.

Finally, the status changes of a feature's requirements affect the parent feature: 

  • If any requirement has a status in the category of In progress, then the feature status will change to In Progress.
  • If all requirements have a status in the category of Done, then the feature status will change to Done.
  • If all requirements have a status in the category of Shipped, then the feature status will change to Shipped
  • If all requirements have a status in the category of Will not implement, then the feature status will change to Will not implement.

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Set transition buttons

Transition buttons help Aha! users follow a predefined workflow. To add transitions between two statuses, click the + icon in the Transition buttons column beneath the first status. Then, you can choose how the statuses should flow and add a name for the transition button. 

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The name of the transition appears on the button for moving between states, so choose an action phrase, such as "Start designing." It is also helpful to acknowledge the completion of a step in your flow, such as "Requirements completed."

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Add feature types

When you create a new features workflow, scroll to the bottom of the workflow creation page for the option to edit or create custom feature types. When you add a new feature, the first type on the list will be the default. We recommend reordering feature types to represent the most commonly selected types first.

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Apply a custom workflow to a product or workspace

The last step in setting up a custom workflow is to apply it to a product or workspace. This step is a workspace-specific setting and cannot be applied at the product line or workspace line level, so be sure to select the desired workspace in the hierarchy dropdown. 

Once you have configured your customized workflows, navigate to Settings > Workspace > Configure to apply a custom workflow to a workspace. This is true for all workflow types, except ideas, which are covered in the next section.

Changes to a workflow are applied immediately and affect existing records.

Remember, you need to be an administrator with customization permissions to create a workflow, but owners can apply the ones they wish to use for their given workspace.

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To change your account’s default workflows assigned to new workspaces, navigate to Settings > Account > Configure statuses and workflows and click the Set defaults button at the top of the page.  

The default workflows you set are automatically applied when new hierarchy elements are created. Note that the updated default workflows are only applied to newly added workspaces — they are not applied to existing ones, which you must update individually.

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Apply custom ideas workflow

Idea workflows are assigned in Settings > Workspace > Ideas > Configure. Click on the Edit ideas workflow button and select the new workflow to be applied. You will then be prompted to map current statuses to new statuses. 

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After your ideas workflow is updated, you can also decide which statuses show in your ideas portal. Go to Settings > Account > Configure statuses and workflows. Select your workflow and you will see a column that indicates whether the status is visible on your portal or not.

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To show a status in your ideas portal, click on the status and check the Show in ideas portal option.

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