Roll-up releases and roll-up schedules

Roll-up releases function as parent releases for several child releases. Roll-up releases exist at the parent line level of a workspace hierarchy; releases exist at the workspace level.

Roll-up releases are used in a few common situations:

  • Organizations practicing SAFe that are looking to coordinate a cross-product release train

  • Organizations looking to standardize the release process across teams, such as a monthly cadence

  • Organizations looking to coordinate a cross-workspace launch for a major event, such as an upcoming trade show

A roll-up release contains phases and milestones representing the combined delivery steps. It also contains sub-releases, which are releases at the workspace level. Roll-up releases do not contain features — the sub-releases at the workspace level contain the feature content.

Note: This article refers to releases and features. Depending on your workspace type, you may see "schedules" and “activities" in your workspace.

Click any of the following links to skip ahead:

When to use a roll-up release

It's important to understand when to create and when not to create a roll-up release. It can be tempting to divide Aha! workspaces into components based on how your team's development resources work, and then use a roll-up release to represent the actual go-to-market workspace release.

This will lead to undue overhead and should be avoided. For more help determining how to set up your workspace and parent line structure, read How to define your workspace. Once you decide how to set up your workspace, if you do need to manage components, you can do so through the use of custom fields.

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Add a roll-up release

  1. To add a roll-up release, make sure a parent line has been selected in your workspace hierarchy dropdown next to the home icon.

  2. Navigate to Releases.

  3. Click the Add roll-up release button along the top of the screen.

Note: If you do not see the Add roll-up release button, you are most likely navigated to a workspace, not a parent line. Parent lines will show up as bold text in your navigation, similar to how Lifestyle Products is displayed in the above screenshot.

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Add sub-releases

A workspace-level release associated with a roll-up release is known as a sub-release.

When you create a roll-up release, you can choose to automatically add a new sub-release to child workspaces, add existing releases as sub-releases once the roll-up release is created, or do some combination of both.

If you choose to create new sub-releases, they will inherit their names and release dates from the parent roll-up release. If you attach an existing release, the sub-release will retain the name, but the release date will change to match the roll-up release. You can always rename sub-releases later.

To add sub-releases to the roll-up release, navigate to Releases → Details, click on the Related tab, then click Attach existing or Create new.

Roll-up release details view.

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Customize the Gantt view

You can further customize the Gantt view of your roll-up release to focus on critical elements of your plan.

From the top of the Gantt page:

  • Use the filters on top to show or hide different date ranges, workspaces, releases, or shipped releases. If you hover over the filters bar, you can click the Add filters + icon to add basic filters, or click the Edit filters icon to add advanced filters.
    Note: You can also add the Release settings dropdown as a filter on many roadmaps and reports, where it will allow you to show or hide parking lots and shipped releases.

  • Use the Releases / Epics toggle to group features by release or by epic.

  • Use the Customize view ⚙️ dropdown to customize your Gantt layout.

    • Customize view: Choose whether to display weekends, assignees, or progress.

    • Color bars by: Choose whether you want to color the Gantt bars by Status, Assignee, or record Type.

    • Sort releases by / Sort epics by: Releases and epics on your Gantt chart are sorted chronologically by their Start dates by default, but you may prefer a different sort order. Use this submenu to sort your releases or epics by Start date, End date, or Name. You can also sort releases by their Release date, and sort epics by their Aha! Score.

      Note: If the data you sorted by changes over time (or if you drag the releases or epics to create a custom sort order), your Gantt chart will not automatically re-sort itself. If you ever want to re-sort your data by one of these options, just reselect that option from this submenu.

From the lefthand side of the page:

  • Click the More options dropdown beside any roll-up release to:

    • Edit release details

    • Align with visible children

    • Hide features with no dates

  • Click the More options dropdown beside any sub-release to:

    • Edit release details

    • Align with visible children

    • Hide features with no dates

    • Sort phases and milestones by their Start dates, End dates, or Alphabetically. This changes the view for you but not for other people who view the release. To share your view with other people, click Save in the upper-right corner of the page.

    • Sort features by Rank (their rank on the Features → Board), Start date, End date, or Alphabetically. Sorting features on the Gantt view does not affect their sort order in the Features → Board view, and does not change the view for other people who view the release. To share your view with other people, click Save in the upper right corner of the page.

  • Click the More options dropdown beside any release or phase to Align the release or the phase with its visible children. This is useful if you want your release to start with the Start date of your first feature, and finish with the End date of your last feature.

  • Click the More options dropdown beside any feature to Remove from Gantt. This will hide the feature from the Gantt view without removing it from the release. You can click the + icon and Add existing feature to show the hidden feature again.

From the Gantt chart:

  • Click and drag vertically to re-sort the order of any roll-up release, sub-release, feature, epic, release, release phase, or milestone. If a record has child records, it needs to be collapsed before you can move it.

  • Click and drag horizontally to adjust the dates of any record on the Gantt chart. If the record has child records and is expanded, all child records will move with the parent record. If the record has child records and is collapsed, just the parent record will move.

From the Releases → Details page for a roll-up release:

  • Attach or create new sub-releases according to the unique needs of your release. Select the roll-up release to bring out the release detail drawer (or go to Releases → Details). To attach existing sub-releases, click Attach existing release. To create a new sub-release, click the Create new sub-release dropdown, then select the workspace where you would like to create the new sub-release.

    Note: The Releases → Details view is hidden for new Aha! accounts. If you would like to enable it, you can do so by customizing your menu navigation.

From the Releases → Details page for a sub-release:

  • Add or remove phases and milestones according to the unique needs of your release. Select the release to bring out the release detail drawer (or go to Releases → Details). To remove phases or milestones, hover over the desired one and click the x icon to the right. To add, click the Add Phase or Add Milestone buttons.

    Note: The Releases → Details view is hidden for new Aha! accounts. If you would like to enable it, you can do so by customizing your menu navigation.

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Calculate roll-up release dates

In addition to using sub-releases to align your work, you can calculate a roll-up release's Start date and End date from sub-releases.

To do this, open a roll-up release's details view, then choose Calculate from sub-releases from the dropdown beneath the roll-up release's dates.

Note: Workspace owners can set default record date settings by navigating to Settings ⚙️ → Workspace → Configure → Record dates.

If a roll-up release is set to calculate its dates from sub-releases, and one of those sub-releases' dates change in a way that affects the roll-up release's dates (even through an integration), the roll-up release's dates will update automatically. If a roll-up release is set to calculate its dates from sub-releases, but it doesn't have any sub-releases, its dates will remain blank.

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Visualize the roll-up release

Once you create a roll-up release, you can visualize it and its sub-releases on the Releases → Gantt page and the Roadmaps → Features page. The Roadmaps → Features page is the recommended view to share a visual roadmap of your roll-up release, sub-releases, and the features you wish to highlight.

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 roll-up release. Then, filter and/or check and uncheck features to focus on only those features that matter most. See Create a features roadmap for more on the Roadmaps → Features page.

The features roadmap that includes the roll-up release and sub-releases.

Note: The roll-up release will automatically be displayed when sub-releases are selected.

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Roll-up releases across parent lines

A roll-up release is created at a parent line level. It can only contain sub-releases belonging to workspaces that are the parent line's children.

This guarantees that a user with the ability to view a roll-up release can also view all of the sub-releases under that roll-up release.

However, the roll-up release can be associated with any level in the parent line hierarchy. So, if you have (or add) another parent line grouping together with other parent lines, you can have a roll-up release that spans all of your workspaces.

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Manage roll-up releases

The Releases tab in your navigation includes three different ways to manage your roll-up releases. Depending on your workspace type, some of these are disabled until you customize your navigation to show them. The available pages are:

  • Gantt: A Gantt chart of your roll-up or sub-releases. At the sub-release level you can organize your work in this view by releases or by epics.

  • Calendar: A calendar-based view of your work. Calendars can be built around initiatives, releases, release phases, epics, features, and to-dos.

  • Details: The detail view of your roll-up release, where you can see the structure of your release at a glance.

To switch between your views, you can of course use the navigation bar at the top of your page. However, if you have used filters to focus your view, use the Change view type dropdown to switch between several common views, while retaining any filters you have added yourself.

Note: Filters you add yourself will transfer to a new view. Page filters — filters associated with the original view that cannot be removed — will not appear on the new view.

Your View type options are:

  • Gantt: The gantt chart view of your work.

  • Details: The details view of your work.

  • Calendar: The calendar view of your work.

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Shipping a roll-up release

A roll-up release can have multiple sub-releases, which each might ship independently. For this reason, shipping a roll-up release does not ship child sub-releases.

To ship a roll-up release, first ship the child sub-releases as their work completes. Then ship the roll-up release itself.

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