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 in a release. This is typically called a backlog. It's 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.
Parking lots enable 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.
Parking lots are part of the Feature Board within Aha! Releases are on your left and parking lots are on your right, in the gray space. You can:
- Drag the gray space to your left to increase the workspace.
- Click the chevron arrow to hide parking lots.
- Create new parking lots by clicking on Add column, then renaming each parking lot to create desired categories.
- Drag each parking lot in the desired order.
- Convert a parking lot to a release (and vice versa) by checking Parking lot under the Actions menu.
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 parking lots before they get added to your product releases. We recommend that you organize your backlog by Category, Workflow, and Score. As you organize your backlog, 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 backlog 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 folks who use Kanban or Kanban-style workflows, you can set up parking lots like Kanban boards that live in Aha! This means you no longer have to take screen shots of whiteboards with stickies that are out of date! Create each parking lot as one of the columns in the Kanban board, moving from right to left. When a feature is ready for development, move it to the Release. Call 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 aren't visible.
You already know you can score each feature, but for some folks, it'll be easiest if you also group features by score. If you know that you're always going to take the highest scoring items first, create 2 or 3 parkings lots to split your scores into groups. Keep in mind that Releases typically have themes related to the value you're 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 lower scoring features to determine if they should move up in value.