Manage features and dependencies in and across releases

Even in the age of agile development and small teams, a release is a cross-functional effort that requires planning and coordinated work. Aha! makes it easy to visualize feature due dates and dependencies to keep everyone on track.

You can plot features right on the Releases -> Overview screen. As you plot or pull the bars to lengthen or shorten them, you will visually see the date range beside each feature.

One of the most difficult aspects of roadmap planning is dealing with feature dependencies. It's easy to link two features together within a release or across other releases in your entire portfolio. For any team that focuses on dates and has complex releases, it helps clarify that certain features cannot be completed because they depend on another feature.

Add Features with due dates

You can add both existing and new features by mousing over any expanded release (on the left) and choosing +New feature or +Existing feature. When choosing to add an existing feature, the user can multi-select from a listing of available features for that release and can also choose to add those features to a specific release phase.

 

This will place the features directly onto your Release -> Overview Gantt chart and automatically add a start and due date field to that feature. You may then drag or expand the feature to adjust these dates.

Some folks want to add due dates without adding the features to the Roadmap view: Enable capacity planning and you will be able to add due dates to any features from the Features Board or within any feature drawer. 

There are additional options to associate a feature with a specific phase. You can drag and drop a feature to the specific phase on the Roadmap viewAlternatively, click on the feature to bring out the feature slider and select Actions -> Link to release phase. You can also do this in bulk through the Features -> List view! Features added to a release phase through either the feature slider or bulk edit utility containing no "Start on" or "Due on" date are automatically assigned both values to match the release phase start and completion dates. This enables them to automatically appear on the Gantt chart. The dates can then be modified as desired.   

To set up custom phases please see Create release phases and milestones

Note: use the Fit option to determine what's visible when publishing this screen to a notebook.

Create and visualize Feature dependencies

Just as you can create and visualize dependencies between release phases, you can create and visualize dependencies between features in the Release -> Overview view.

Simply mouse over a feature's bar on the chart and a ball icon will appear.  Click the ball and drag it to another feature within or across releases to create a dependency.

You can create and visualize dependencies across any products and product lines to which you have permissions.

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Feature capacity estimates

If capacity planning is enabled on your account, and you have not already added a feature estimate, adding a feature to the gantt chart will add an estimate based on the start and due date of that feature. As you manipulate the dates of the feature, the corresponding estimate will change to reflect the total time the feature spans on the gantt chart. 

If a capacity estimate has been defined by manually inputting a value, then manipulating the feature on the gantt chart will not impact the capacity. This allows teams to visualize a feature that may be worked on across multiple days, but have an overall capacity impact lower than the duration of calendar days it is expected to be worked on.

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