Aha! Develop | Statuses and workflows
An Aha! Develop workflow is the set of statuses and transitions that a record such as an epic, feature, or requirement may move through during its lifecycle. You can customize your team's workflow by team so that Aha! Develop mirrors however your team works best. You can also customize your team's record layouts, types, and statuses.
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Create, customize, and manage
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Add a custom workflow
To add a custom workflow, navigate to Settings ⚙️ Account Statuses and workflows.
Click the Add workflow button to create a new workflow.
Click the Set defaults button to set default workflows.
Use the Workflow type dropdown to filter the list of existing workflows.
When you click the Add workflow button, you can select which type of record workflow you wish to customize. You can create workflows for the following record types:
Features This also applies to epics and requirements.
If you want to create a custom workflow from scratch, select Simple example. If you want to use one pre-built, select an example workflow, then click Create workflow to create your workflow.
You can customize your workflow once you have created it. Update the Name of the workflow and add an optional Description.
Next, select whether your workflow will be flexible or fixed.
Flexible workflows allow users to skip steps in the workflow and do not support approval gates. They are best suited for workflows that do not follow the same steps in the same order every time.
Fixed workflows do not allow users to skip workflow steps and support approval gates.
While they are an option in Aha! Develop, Fixed workflows are not well suited to most teams' workflows. The majority of Aha! Develop users should use Flexible workflows.
If you choose to create a fixed workflow, you will also see the option to Restrict approval changes. When selected, only administrators with customization permissions will be allowed to edit or delete approval to-dos created by the workflow.
Set default workflows
You can set a default workflow by clicking Set defaults. From the modal, select the workflows you want to be the default for each record type.
Requirements and epics both use feature workflows.
Once set, the workflows you select will be the default workflows the next time someone creates a team. Team owners can change the default workflows if they need to.
Add custom statuses
There are two ways to add custom statuses. You can edit the workflow's example statuses to reflect your processes. Or you can delete the example statuses and create new ones by clicking Add status.
Choose status categories
Status categories in Aha! Develop help you automate certain displays and actions.
When you add a new status or edit an existing status, you will be able to choose the status category that best matches. You can have multiple custom statuses that have the same status category. For example, Design and Development statuses might both be part of the In progress status category. If the status does not match one of the category options, leave it blank.
Releases' statuses affect feature statuses:
When a release is shipped, all features with statuses not in the categories Done, Shipped, or Will not do will be moved to another release.
Any features with statuses in the category Done will be changed to Shipped.
If you do not have a status category of Shipped in your release workflow, shipping the release will revert the release to the first status in the category Not started.
The status changes of a feature's requirements affect the parent feature:
If any requirement has a status in the category of In progress, then the feature status will change to In Progress.
If all requirements have a status in the category of Done, then the feature status will change to Done.
If all requirements have a status in the category of Shipped, then the feature status will change to Shipped.
If all requirements have a status in the category of Will not implement, then the feature status will change to Will not do.
Set transition buttons
Transition buttons help Aha! Develop users follow a predefined workflow. To add transitions between two statuses, click the + icon in the Transition buttons column beneath the first status. Then you can choose how the statuses should flow and add a name for the transition button.
If you want to add approval gates to your transitions — so that a record will need a formal approval before it can move to the next status — you will want to read more about workflow approvals.
The name of the transition appears on the button for moving between states, so choose an action phrase, such as "Start designing." It can also be helpful to acknowledge the completion of a step in your flow, such as "Requirements completed."
Sync statuses to another record type
Ambitious work gets completed one step at a time: feature by feature, requirement by requirement. You can already calculate an epic's or a feature's progress from its child records, but you might also want epic and feature statuses to update as contributing records progress through their workflow.
With these settings enabled, parent records' statuses will stay in sync with their child records' status categories — so for example, once a feature moves to a status in the In progress category, the epic's status will change to the first status in its In progress category.
A few things to note about workflow syncing:
You can always manually change the status of any record.
The parent record's status will change once the first child record's status advances to a new status in the workflow.
The workflow sync follows your records through the workflow from Not started to Shipped or Will not do. It will not stay in sync if you move backwards in the workflow.
Workflow sync works with automation.
If you have synced requirements and features, and features and epics, it is possible for a requirement's status change to update a feature's status, which then updates an epic.
To adjust these settings, use the appropriate dropdowns:
Epics: Choose whether an epic's status should automatically update when its features update.
Features: Choose whether a feature's status should automatically update when its requirements update.
Add feature types
Your team commits to different types of work, and even if that work needs to follow the same workflow, you might need different record descriptions for each type. Features that document new functionality, for example, need to capture different information than a standard bug report.
You can standardize these types of work with Custom types. A single Features workflow can include multiple custom types. Each type can have its own feature and/or requirement description template.
To add custom types, create a new custom Features workflow or open an existing one. Scroll to the Custom types section of the workflow and click Add type. Name your custom type, then add a description template for features or requirements that use that type.
When you add a new feature, the first type on the list will be the default. We recommend reordering feature types to represent the most commonly selected types first.
Create record description templates
The work your team commits to likely involves significant time and resources. You can use custom record layouts to standardize the fields and tabs on records in your Aha! Develop account, but it often makes sense to include a standard description template as well, so that your team can define them in a consistent way.
You can create record description templates for the following record types:
To create a description template for epics, features, or requirements, use the Features custom workflow. Since those record types are often closely related to each other, you may choose to add epic, feature and requirement description templates to the same custom workflow.
To add a record description template, create a new custom workflow or open an existing one.
Scroll to the bottom of the workflow to the Epic template section and click Add template. The Create epic template modal will appear. Use it to create a standard record description for epics that use the workflow. Click Save when you are done.
For features and requirements:
Scroll to the bottom of the workflow to the Custom types section and click Add type. Name your custom type, then add a description template for features or requirements that use that type.
After you have added the template, every record created in Aha! Develop will see your template’s text in their create modal’s Description field. Records created in other ways — through a CSV import, importer extensions, etc. — will not see the record template.
If you do not see the Description field in a record’s create modal, make sure you have added it to that record’s custom layout.
Apply a custom workflow to a team
The last step in setting up a custom workflow is to apply it to a team. Team owners can do this by navigating to Settings ⚙️ Team Configure. This is true for all workflow types. Changes to a workflow are applied immediately and affect existing records.
Note: If you change the workflow for a record type in Settings ⚙️ Team Configure, it will change the statuses for all records in that team, which cannot be undone.
To change your account’s default workflows assigned to new team, navigate to Settings ⚙️ Account Configure statuses and workflows and click the Set defaults button at the top of the page.
The default workflows you set are automatically applied when new teams are created. Note that the updated default workflows are only applied to newly added teams — they are not applied to existing ones, which you must update individually.
Highlight stalled records
Ideally, your team's work moves through its workflow efficiently. If something gets stuck midway, that can be a sign that the work is inadequately defined — or that your team has a bottleneck. You can highlight records that have spent a long time in a particular workflow status by customizing the card layouts on your sprints and workflow boards, filtering your board, or customizing your reports.
To do this:
From the Plan Sprint planning or Work My/Team board pages, click the Customize cards ⚙️ dropdown and select Customize card layout.
Under Time in team status select the Time in team status icon and drag it onto the Epics, Features, and/or Requirements card layouts.
Click Save to save your changes.
Records in progress on your page will now display a timer for how long each record has been in its current status. If this timer looks too long — for example, if a feature has been In progress for a week — then you can have a conversation with your team about impediments and prioritization.
You can also choose to color record cards by their time in a particular status. To do this:
Click Customize view Customize card layout.
Under the gear drowdown in the upper right corner, click Card highlight and select Time in status (sidebar).
The cards on your page will now show the following colors to indicate the time in their current workflow status:
Time in status
Less than three days
Three to six days
Six to nine days
More than nine days
To filter your board by time in workflow status:
Adjust the Days in status filter to show records on your board that have been in their current status for a particular number of days.
Finally, it can be useful to analyze records that spent a long time in a given status. To do this:
Navigate to the Work List page.
Add a Data column for Record time in team status.
Add a filter for Record days in team status.
Analyze the available data as you see fit — sort the list view by records that spent the longest time in their current status, or filter by a particular number of days in a workflow status.
Highlight at-risk work
Missing estimates, overdue features, unresolved dependencies — you can only mitigate launch risks that you can see. Automated risk indicators highlight records that might be stuck, so you can resolve issues faster and give your team the best chance to deliver on time. You can also manually flag records as at-risk to track indicators that are unique to your team's workflow.
Customize record cards on the Aha! pages where your team spends the most time, so you can get alerted to at-risk work in context.
You can add four types at-risk indicators to your cards:
Flag symbol: Indicates that a record has been manually flagged as at-risk.
At risk: Indicates that an automated risk indicator has triggered for this record.
At risk symbol: Indicates that an automated risk indicator has triggered for this record.
Stopwatch symbol: Lists the time that a record has been in its current In progress status. Use it to check whether a time-based risk indicator (such as Started late or Dependencies past due) has triggered for this record.