Create One Unified Product and Engineering Backlog in Aha! Develop

See product and engineering work together in a single view on the backlog management page.

December 2, 2021

Create One Unified Product and Engineering Backlog in Aha! Develop

by Jeff Tucker

How do you balance building new product functionality against improving technical capabilities? Many product development teams struggle with this challenge. You want to deliver features that move your strategy forward, but you also need to work through technical debt, performance improvements, and bug fixes. And you will never have enough time to do it all. This is why you need a clear view of the work that needs to be prioritized — so you can see how it is all connected and focus on what creates the most value.

Use the new backlog management page in Aha! Develop to evaluate roadmap-driven work from product management alongside engineering priorities. And finally end up with a prioritized backlog that everyone agrees on.

You can access the new backlog management page in the "Plan" section of Aha! Develop. When you use Aha! Develop and Aha! Roadmaps together, you will see one column for product work that has been assigned to engineering from product management and another column for engineering work — which includes any work you have captured in your parking lots. Pull cards from each column into a single prioritized backlog to create a unified set of priorities.

As part of this update, we removed the concept of releases in Aha! Develop. The main container for organizing engineering-driven work is now parking lots. (Any existing releases in your account have been converted to parking lots.) We also added more details about each work item — such as the Aha! score and due date — on cards in the sprint planning and backlog management views. All of these improvements help you better distinguish strategic product work that is defined in Aha! Roadmaps from other technical work you need to get done.

Let's take a closer look at how you can organize work and create a prioritized backlog:

Capture technical work

Organize engineering work that has yet to be prioritized into parking lots. In the example below, we created parking lots for customer support, technical debt, and defects. Now we can add user stories, group them into categories, and rank them by different criteria — such as creation date, estimate, or score.

Add as many parking lots as you need to organize your work.

Create a unified backlog

Navigate to the new backlog management page. You can now see all of the work assigned by product management from Aha! Roadmaps alongside internal engineering priorities from Aha! Develop. Drag and drop work items from each column into a unified backlog and place them in priority order based on criteria you choose — so everyone is aligned on what matters most.

Use importer extensions to bring in issues from other tools like Zendesk, GitHub, and Sentry.

Streamline agile planning

Your prioritized order is set. Now you can move cards from the top of your backlog into sprints or pull them directly onto your workflow board. It is easier to create the right blend of work based on the team's capacity now that you are pulling from an agreed upon backlog.

Your backlog is also accessible on the left side of the workflow board.

Streamline backlog management and keep product and engineering teams happy.

Get started building a cohesive backlog today. You will enjoy improved visibility into the work assigned to your team and be able to advance technical work, too. Organized product development teams are happier and more productive.

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Aha! Develop is a fully extendable agile development tool — completely customize how you work through extensions. Sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 500,000 users trust our cloud-based software to build lovable products.

Jeff Tucker

Jeff is passionate about promoting customer empathy throughout product and engineering teams. He is a Senior Product Manager at Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software. Jeff has more than 10 years of experience across product, design, and engineering roles. Previously, he managed products at developer tool and cybersecurity startups.

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