Roadmap releases contain features that have been prioritized. However, you also need a spot for all the features that you want to implement but have not yet found a home for in a release. This is typically called a backlog. It is important that the backlog lives in Aha! because, as features get prioritized, they should be aligned with product strategy. This ensures that, when a release is finalized and sent to development, the whole team is working on what matters.
Your backlog in Aha! is called the parking lot. The parking lot enables you to organize your backlog features based on similar characteristics. For example, some customers use "modules," "categories," or "perceived priority." Some customers even use the parking lot as a kanban board.
The parking lot is part of the Features board. Releases are on the left and the parking lot is on the right, in the gray space. You can:
- Click and drag the parking lot to increase the workspace.
- Click the grey arrow to hide the parking lot.
- Create new columns in the parking lot by scrolling to the far right and selecting Add column.
- Rename the columns to create desired categories.
- Drag columns into the desired order by hovering over the column name and clicking the arrows icon that appears.
- Convert a parking lot column into a release (and vice versa). To do this, click on the title of the column to open the details card. Click the More options button on the top-right and uncheck the box next to Parking lot.
Managing feature backlogs can be overwhelming. The larger they are, the more intimidating they become. Aha! has built-in ability to prioritize features with an Aha! score. This feature keeps you aligned with your strategy and reduces arguing over which feature comes first.
The Aha! score feature is even more powerful when you also organize your features in the parking lot before they get added to your product releases. We recommend that you organize your parking lot by category, workflow, and score. As you organize your parking lot, you can temporarily customize your feature cards to display additional details you may wish to consider while organizing.
Creating themes or topics for each bucket will keep your parking lot organized by categories that are meaningful to your business. Let's say your roadmap is informed by customer requests — you must improve product design and usability and you need excellent analytics. You may create three categories to help organize around those respective topics.
When ready, you can drag the features that belong in the next release to the left, where releases live (in the white space).
For those who use kanban or kanban-style workflows, you can set up your parking lot like a kanban board. Create each parking lot column as one of the columns in the kanban board, moving from right to left. When a feature is ready for development, click and drag it into the desired release. Name the release "In Development" and choose a release date far enough in the future to work for your needs. Then, as you complete each feature, ship it at the feature level. This makes room for the next feature to be dragged over from your "Ready for Development" column.
Note: Filter the feature board by status so that shipped features are not visible.
By Aha! score
You already know you can score each feature, but sometimes it will be easiest if you also group features by the Aha! score.
If you know that you are always going to take the highest-scoring items first, create two or three columns to split your scores into groups. Keep in mind that releases typically have themes related to the value you are delivering. Therefore, you should balance this in your methodology.
Add features that will deliver the value your customer expects. For everything else you add, let the score determine which feature goes next. As market conditions and requirements change, don't forget to revisit low-scoring features to determine if they should move up in value.