Manage Your Product Portfolio Roadmap — Aha! Now Supports Master Releases
July 15, 2014

Manage Your Product Portfolio Roadmap — Aha! Now Supports Master Releases

by Brian de Haaff

We have been humbled by the growth of Aha! across all industries, geographies, and team sizes. And by talking with over 1,000 product and engineering teams over the last year, we know that mid- and large-sized teams who are managing a portfolio of products have unique challenges. And that’s why we continue to roll out new functionality for teams that are managing a suite of products with sophisticated release requirements.

We just launched support for Master Releases. A master release is simply a container that includes sub releases from multiple products.

Aha! already allows you to configure your product hierarchy by setting up product lines and mapping the products that belong to them. You can even have product lines above product lines — which scales to support the largest of companies.

But until now you could not manage a release at the product line level that included sub releases from its underlying products. With the introduction of Master Releases — everything changes.

Master Releases are fundamental if you are managing a suite of products that often are released on the same date. You need a way for multiple product teams to work independently, but at the same time you need to be able to visualize how all of the individual product releases will come together to support the higher level release.

Imagine you have a company named Fredwin Software.

Fredwin Software has a suite of products for social fitness tracking. It has:

  • A cycling app

  • A running app

  • A hiking app

The company wants to release enhancements to all of the apps at the same time to support a launch — at the beginning of their huge user conference. Up until now, each team would need to work independently and it would be difficult to manage and report on the efforts across the portfolio. This Aha! release changes that for sophisticated product teams.

You can create Master Releases for product lines and select any releases from the child products in that product line as the sub releases. And the master release and each sub release can have its own phases and milestones.

To add a Master Release make sure a Product Line has been selected in the product name selector (next to the home icon). Select the + button on the Releases Overview or Details screen. Note that a Master Release does not contain any features. Features still belong to the individual product releases.

When you create a Master Release you can automatically have it create sub releases in the child products. This saves you from needing to duplicate the same release name in different products. Each of the sub releases will inherit its name and release dates from the parent Master Release. You can also add existing releases to a Master Release if they have already been created (see the section in the middle of the slider below named SUB RELEASES.)

Once you create a Master Release you can visualize it and its sub releases throughout Aha! Master Releases are highlighted on the Roadmap Timeline view and contain the sub releases. You can customize what shows by adding releases to the timeline and clicking the “X” if you do not want to show a sub release as part of a Master Release.

Master Releases are also highlighted on the home page Dashboard view with an extra ring. And finally, you can even view Master Releases on the Roadmap Pivot table.

If you are managing a portfolio of products we think you will appreciate this new capability. You will not find it anywhere else. Let us know if you need any help getting rolling.

If you are not already an Aha! customer, signup for a free trial of Aha! and see why the world’s leading product and engineering teams use Aha! to build software that matters.

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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