How to think about integrating Aha! with your development tool (Jira, Azure DevOps, Rally)

It is quite common to integrate Aha! with your development tool. You can set strategy in Aha!, link it to the work that your team needs to complete, then send records straight to a development team with those strategic links intact. In return, you get progress updates and new records created in the development tool.

Aha! provides two-way integrations with a number of popular development systems, such as Jira, Rally, Azure DevOps, and many more.

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The integrations workflow

When considering an integration between Aha! and your development system, it is important to understand the intended workflow between the two systems.

  • Aha! is a planning tool. It is where teams define strategy, organize their backlog, and prioritize work into releases to create their roadmap.

  • Development systems are for the execution of this work. They are where developers manage the task of implementing the planned features.

You plan before you work, so Aha! is designed to come first in the process. Plan in Aha! and then use the integrations to send the planned work from Aha! to your development system for your team to build.

Integrations support the mapping of the following Aha! records to your integrated development system:

  • Initiatives

  • Releases

  • Epics

  • Features

  • Requirements

In addition to mapping the Aha! records to your development system, you also can determine how the fields within the records map to corresponding fields in your development system — including the direction of the mappings.

Once the work has been sent from Aha!, a two-way link is established, allowing updates on either end to flow back and forth. As part of the integration configuration, you have the option to specify if outgoing changes from Aha! send automatically or require review prior to approval.

The overall workflow allows your team to work in Aha! and your development team to work in their tool of choice without requiring each team to go back and forth between systems.

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Send records to your development tool

Each integration establishes a link between an Aha! workspace and a project space in your integrated system. You can also integrate a single Aha! workspace with the same system multiple times or integrate a single Aha! workspace with multiple different systems.

So first, you need to create, configure and enable your integration. Aha! has more than 30 integrations to choose from.

After you have an integration configured and enabled, you can send records from Aha! to your integrated system. The option displays in each record, in the Send dropdown as shown below.

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After you send the record from Aha! to your development system, the integration for that record becomes active, allowing changes to sync back and forth based on how you have the integration configured. You will notice an integration link appear on the record, making it clear in Aha! which records are integrated and which are not.

Future updates from Aha! to your development system can be handled in one of two ways.

  1. You can opt to have all changes post to the integration updates window in Settings ⚙️→ Integration Updates, where your Aha! users can review changes prior to committing them to your development system.

  2. You can have changes in Aha! sent over automatically, so that any time an integrated record changes, it automatically updates your development system.

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Receive updates from your development tool

Changes to integrated records coming from your development system into Aha! are handled separately. They are automatically imported as soon as the change happens. This is handled by adding an integration webhook in your development system.

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In addition to sending outgoing changes and receiving updates to integrated records, you can import new records that originated in your development system any time a record matching a type mapped through your integration is created in the development tool.

Depending on your integration settings, the record(s) will automatically populate as import candidates on the Aha! side, where they can be reviewed and accepted for import. Alternatively, some integrations allow the record(s) to be automatically imported into Aha! and linked to the appropriate parent record.

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