Just Launched! — Add Approval Gates to Workflows in Aha!

How much time does your team spend each week tracking down the approvals needed to move certain work forward? I bet the answer is “too much.” Many teams struggle with the chaotic review cycles needed for work to proceed. It would be so much easier if you could standardize your workflow with specific approval gates. 

You can now assign approval tasks and due dates as part of your workflow in Aha! 

You could already define custom workflows and statuses in Aha! and set best work practices for your team. Custom workflows also gave you the flexibility to move between statuses in any order. Now you can create a “fixed” workflow, where work should proceed in a specific order and status can only progress one step at a time. As part of a fixed workflow, you can also require a formal approval before status can be changed. 

Creating a multi-step, fixed workflow is ideal for large teams looking for ways to drive consistency and streamline review cycles. This way, you can ensure work has been reviewed and approved by the right people in the right order — so everyone can proceed with certainty. 

Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can use the new approval functionality:

Require sign-off for new initiatives
Bring discipline to your planning process and track investment decisions. Create a stage gate for authorizing major efforts by choosing a fixed workflow with an approval step. In the example below, we added a step for leadership to approve the business case before an initiative can transition from definition to implementation.

Add a transition to move work between statuses and require approval before work can proceed.

Deliver cross-functional work in sync
Make sure the entire team is ready to go. For example, you can add a “launch approval” status to a product release workflow. Transitioning a release or schedule to this status immediately sends an approval task to a predefined group of people. Once approved by all assignees, the status will automatically update and you can launch with confidence.

See all your approval tasks at once in the to-do section of the “My work” page.

Understand approval status 
Work often needs to be reviewed by several teammates before it can be completed. Formalizing your approval process streamlines handoffs. But if you have several work items in review cycles, you may want to see progress at a glance. See the approval status of all your work items in a pivot report. The example below shows the review status of marketing activities for an upcoming launch.

Quickly create a pivot report using the link in the workflow approvals section of any Aha! record.

Manage ad-hoc approvals
We also wanted to give you a way to manage approvals for tasks that need quick reviews. For example, perhaps you would like your team lead to approve your plan for an upcoming release. Now when you create a to-do, you will see there are two types — a regular to-do or an approval. This functionality is available whether your team uses a flexible or a fixed custom workflow.

Assignees can approve, approve with changes, or reject the work.

Requiring everyone to follow the same approval process drives consistency — so you can focus on delivering high-quality work. 

When you formalize your review cycles from start to finish, you can be confident everyone follows the same approach. And your team will love the clarity.

Sign up for a free Aha! trial — be happy
Workflow approvals are available to all Aha! customers. If you are not already an Aha! customer, you may want to sign up for a free 30-day trial or join a live demo to see why more than 300,000 users trust Aha! to build and market lovable products.

About Claire and Aha!

Claire is passionate about helping product and marketing managers set brilliant strategy and deliver results. She is the Group Manager, Product Marketing at Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software. Claire has more than 15 years of marketing and software experience. Previously, she led product marketing at an agile-based work management platform.

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Comments

  1. Steve Brunt

    I have an Aha to JIRA integration, and some product teams make status updates in JIRA that are synced into Aha. I’m guessing this would bypass any control in Aha if I set up workflow approvals in Aha? Or would it prevent any Aha status updates being made?

    Thanks! This looks great by the way….I’m just trying to work out what I can use in my processes whilst considering our JIRA integration.

    Reply
    1. Claire George Post author

      Thanks for your question, Steve. The workflow order and approvals are enforced in Aha! the same way whether the status change comes from Jira or someone manually changes the status in Aha! If a feature changes to a status that requires an approval, the approval to-do will be created automatically. The approval to-do must be approved in order for the feature to change to the next status. Hope this helps clarify how it works. If you want to talk it through in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Success team at support@aha.io.

    1. Claire George Post author

      Hi Ross — great question! Users with reviewer or viewer permissions absolutely can approve work and add comments. Our goal is to make it easier for cross-functional teams to sign off on work, so ensuring that all roles can approve work is an important part of supporting that.

    2. Claire George Post author

      Hi Carah — thanks for sharing the same question. Let us know if we can assist you in setting up workflow approvals in any way.

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