Automation (Enterprise+)

Every job has repetitive tasks. They keep you busy — but not focused on meaningful work. Automation in Aha! lets you create rules to automate important tasks so that you can streamline your workflow, drive consistency across your team's work, and focus on higher-level objectives.

Automation is an Enterprise+ feature. You need to be a workspace owner to configure automation rules.

Click any of the following links to skip ahead: 

Create an automation rule

To create an automation rule, navigate to Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Automation. You will need to have workspace owner user permissions to create automation rules. 

You can create an automation rule for the following record types: 

  • Goals
  • Initiatives
  • Releases / Schedules
  • Ideas
  • Master features / Master activities
  • Features / Activities
  • Requirements

Click Add rule to create an automation rule. From there, select a record type to create a custom automation rule or choose an example rule to get you started. 

Automation rules have two parts: triggers and actions. Each rule starts with a trigger. If the trigger happens, then the actions you define will run automatically. 

Let's start with triggers. Each rule has one trigger — when a record is first created or when a specific field is updated. 

aha-automation-idea-category-trigger.png

Use the dropdowns to choose a trigger. The list of available fields will include both Standard and Custom fields (if you have any enabled for your workspace), but will not include custom tables, custom worksheets, or collaborative fields like feature descriptions

Once you have selected a trigger, it is time to choose an action. Each rule can have multiple actions, all of which run simultaneously if the trigger happens. 

You can choose from the following actions:

Action Effect

Update the field

Update a field on the record that triggered the automation. 

Note: You cannot update custom tables, custom worksheets, or collaborative fields like feature descriptions.

Update a related record

Update a field on a record that has a parent or child relationship to the record in the trigger.

Note: Related records are not the same as linked records.

For example: 

  • Ideas are related to records they have been promoted to (initiatives, master features, or features). 
  • Features are related to the goals, initiatives, releases, or master features they are children of. 
  • Features are also related to the requirements they are parents of.

Send an email

Send an email to one or more Aha! users in your account. You can customize the email subject and body text, and #mention other Aha! records.

Each email will include a link back to the record that triggered the automation. 

Add a comment

Add an email to the record that triggered the automation. You can customize the comment, #mention other Aha! records, and @mention other Aha! users. 
Add a to-do to the record

Add a to-do or an approval to-do to the record that triggered the automation. You can customize the to-do title and description, #mention other Aha! records, and @mention other Aha! users.

You can also assign the to-do to one or more users and set the due date for a certain time after the to-do is first created.

When you have created your action, you can create another or click Save rule to save your rule. 

Your rule will be Enabled by default, and will start running immediately. If you want to disable your rule, uncheck the Enabled checkbox under the rule's title at the top of your screen. 

Back in the Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Automations page, you can see a list of all the rules you have created, sorted alphabetically. The order of the rules does not matter — all rules run simultaneously, not sequentially.

Note: Automation rules are workspace-specific. They can affect related records in other workspaces, but they can only be triggered in the workspace where you created them. This is because each workspace in your account may use different workflows, statuses, layouts, or custom fields. You can copy an automation rule and move it to another workspace, but you should make sure that it fits that workspace's settings before you enable it. 

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Example automation rules

Need some inspiration? When you click Add rule, you can see a few example automation rules. Click any of them to get started or choose an example rule from this list.

You can always customize an example rule to fit your needs. 

Record Name Trigger Actions
Goal When a goal's time frame changes, update the Budget custom field. Goal field value is changed Update field
Initiative Add an approval to-do whenever an initiative's status changes to At risk. Initiative status changes to specific value Add to-do
Initiative Add a comment to an initiative whenever its due date changes. Initiative due date any change Add comment
Release Email the executive team when a release date slips by more than a week. Release date changes by 7 or more days later Send email
Release When the release status changes to In review, create a to-do for the project manager to review it. Release status changes to specific value Add to-do
Idea Assign an idea to the reporting team when the category changes to Reporting. Idea categories is changed to add Update field assigned user
Idea Send the product team an email reminder whenever an idea becomes popular. Idea vote count over <number> Send email
Master feature Sync feature statuses to linked master feature status. Master feature status changes to specific value Update related record feature status
Feature Sync idea status to linked feature status. Feature status changes to specific value Update related record idea status
Feature Sync release goals to feature goals. Feature field value goal is changed to add Update related record release goal to add
Requirement  If a requirement moves to Peer review status, create a to-do with the Peer review checklist. Requirement status changes to specific value Add to-do

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Sync record statuses

A particularly popular use for automation rules is the ability to sync related record statuses. For example, you can use automation rules to map idea statuses to feature statuses, so that an idea's status updates as the linked feature moves through development. Or you might want to automate feature and initiative statuses, so that if an initiative's status changes to Achieved, all features linked to the initiative change their statuses to Completed.

To do this, create an automation rule with a specific status update as a trigger and an update to the status of a related record as an action, like this: 

aha-sync-status-automation.png

Note:

  • You will need to create a separate rule for each status sync. For example, one rule to link a feature status of "In development" to a related idea status of "In progress," and another rule to link a feature status of "Ready to ship" to a related idea status of "Ready to ship." 
  • If the related records are from different workspaces, make sure that both workspaces use the same workflow in Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Configure
  • You may want to disable the default status category automation by removing status categories from your record type's workflow. 

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Copy automation rules to another workspace

Automation rules depend on your workspace settings to run correctly. Across the workspaces in your account, you may have configured different workflows, statuses, layouts, or custom fields. Users may have different permissions in different workspaces as well. Because of this, each automation rule runs in the workspace where it was created, and workspaces cannot inherit automation rules from parent lines.

But this doesn't mean you need to manually recreate every automation rule in each workspace in your account. You can copy automation rules across workspaces in three steps.

First, navigate to Settings ⚙️> Workspace > Automation and hover over the rule you want to copy. Click Copy

Second, after editing the copied rule to your liking, navigate back to All automation rules, hover over your copied rule, and click Move. Use the Choose workspace dropdown to select the workspace or parent line where you want to move the rule. 

Third, navigate to the workspace where you moved your rule and confirm that it will still run as expected. Any workspace-specific fields in your new rule will be blank with a red border around them. Fill in the relevant information, Save your rule, and you're done!

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View automation logs

Your automation rule will run as soon as it is first Saved; automation rules are Enabled by default. There are several ways to see your automation rule at work across your workspace.

  • Next to the Enable checkbox in the Rule configuration window, you can see a count of how many times your rule has run since it was created.
  • At the top right of the page in the Rule configuration window, you can see an audit log of actions taken by your rule. Click View log messages to access the log. Red messages indicate errors, Yellow messages indicate warnings, and Blue messages indicate information.
  • In affected records' history, actions taken by an automation rule will show up as coming from Aha! automation.
    Note: Automated actions taken by a fixed workflow will also show up as coming from Aha! automation.

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