Aha! Develop | Automation (Advanced plan)

Every job has repetitive tasks. They keep you busy — but not focused on meaningful work.

In Aha! Develop you can write code-based automations to streamline recurring tasks. If you are a Develop Advanced customer, you can also create no-code automation rules streamline your workflow, drive consistency across your team's work, and focus on higher-level objectives.

Click any of the following links to skip ahead:

Create an automation rule

To create an automation rule, navigate to Settings ⚙️→ Team → Automation. You will need to have team owner user permissions to create automation rules.

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

  • Releases

  • Epics

  • Features

  • 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 created or updated.



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 team) but will not include collaborative fields like feature descriptions.

Once you have selected a trigger, it is time to choose an action. Each rule can have multiple actions, which all 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 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:

  • Features are related to the releases or epics 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! Develop users in your account. You can customize the email subject and body text, and #mention other Aha! Roadmaps records.

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

Add a comment

Add a comment to the record that triggered the automation. You can customize the comment and #mention other Aha! Roadmaps records.

Add a to-do or approval

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

You can also assign the to-do to one or more users. Or dynamically assign 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 disabled by default. If you want to enable your rule, check the Enabled checkbox next to the Save rule button.

Note: Team automation rules will only run if the record in question is assigned to that team.

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

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Dynamically assign users

Dynamically assigning users is a helpful option for automation rules that should not assign the same predefined user every time. You can assign work to the teammate listed in any standard or custom user field — such as the record's Created by user.

In the Actions step of your automation rule setup, select an action that uses an Aha! Develop user field — like changing a feature assignee or creating a to-do. To dynamically assign users, select the same as from the Aha! Develop user field action, then select the user field you would like to reference for your assignee. When the rule runs, it will look up the current user in the selected field and assign work to them.

A custom user field is a good way to capture which teammates will work on a record at different stages of your workflow. For example, you could create a field to show which UX designer will work on a feature with you. You could then configure an automation rule to automatically assign a feature or a to-do to that person when the status changes to "Ready for design."



If the user in the field you select changes before the automation rule triggers — for example, if a feature is assigned to a new designer before it reaches the design stage — the automation rule will use that new person when it runs. When the rule is run, it will check to make sure that the referenced field is not blank and that the assigned user has access to the team. If not, then the rule will not run and a message will be captured in the rule's log.

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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

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

Epic

Sync feature statuses to linked epic status.

Epic status changes to specific value

Update related record feature status

Epic

Email the executive team when an epic is complete.

Epic status changes to a specific value

Send email

Feature

When the feature's status changes to In design, assign a to-do to the Designer.

Feature status changes to specific value

Add a to-do assigned to the same as the Designer custom field

Feature

When the feature's status changes to Done, tag it for product manager review.

Feature status changes to a specific value

  • Update the Tags field to add the tag PM Review

  • Add a comment

Feature

Tag a feature to trigger a security review.

Feature tags changes to a specific value

Add a to-do, assigned to a security engineer, to review the feature

Feature

Add a feature's requirements to a sprint if a feature is added to a sprint.

Feature's sprint is changed to the current sprint.

Update the related record Requirements and change their sprint to the current sprint.

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 epic and feature statuses, so that if an epic's status changes to Shipped, all features linked to the epic change their statuses to Shipped as well.

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.



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 an epic status of In progress, and another rule to link a feature status of Ready to ship to a related epic status of Ready to ship.

  • If the related records are from different teams, make sure that both teams use the same workflow in Settings ⚙️→ Team → 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 team

Automation rules depend on your team settings to run correctly. Across the teams in your account, you may have configured different workflows, statuses, layouts, or custom fields. Users may have different permissions in different teams as well. Because of this, each automation rule runs in the team where it was created.

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

First, navigate to Settings ⚙️ → Teams → 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 team dropdown to select the team where you want to move the rule.

Third, navigate to the team where you moved your rule and confirm that it will still run as expected. Any team-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!

Notes for integrated accounts:

  • If you have integrated your Aha! Develop account with Aha! Roadmaps, that Aha! Roadmaps account must be on the Enterprise+ plan to enable workspace automation there.

  • Automations in Aha! Roadmaps and Aha! Develop cannot trigger each other. For example, if an automation rule in Aha! Develop changes a record assignee, that cannot trigger a rule in Aha! Roadmaps whose trigger is an assignee change. This is to prevent automation rules from forming endless loops.

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Notes for integrated accounts

Both Aha! Roadmaps and Aha! Develop offer automation rules in advanced plans. If you have integrated your Aha! Develop account with Aha! Roadmaps, there are several things to keep in mind:

  • Aha! Roadmaps account must be on the Enterprise+ plan to enable workspace automation there, just like the Aha! Develop account needs to be on the Develop Advanced plan.

  • Automations in Aha! Roadmaps and Aha! Develop cannot trigger each other. For example, if an automation rule in Aha! Develop changes a record assignee, that cannot trigger a rule in Aha! Roadmaps whose trigger is an assignee change. This is to prevent automation rules from forming endless loops.

  • Automations in Aha! Roadmaps and Aha! Develop cannot the other product's workflow status. For example, an automation rule in Aha! Develop cannot change an Aha! Roadmaps record's workflow status.

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View automation logs

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

  • In the top right of of a rule's Configuration window, you can see whether it has been enabled, and a count of how many times your rule has run since it was created.

  • Under the rule's title, 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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