As you prioritize what to build now, next, and in the short-term, you'll want to begin tracking when that functionality will be available.
That's where releases come in handy.
You can group features by release on the Features board.
And you can also use releases to group features on the Roadmap.
The Roadmap can be a helpful visualization for you to fine-tune your plans.
It's also the best way to help communicate your priorities to stakeholders across your organization, while indicating approximately when certain functionality may be available.
How to define your releases
You can define releases around sequential numbers (e.g. R17, R18, R19), broader time horizons (e.g. January release, February release, March release), or relative timeframes (e.g. Now, Next, Later).
Agile organizations often use a hybrid of the above, defining releases in a more granular way in the short-term and then getting more broad when extending further into the future (e.g. February, March, Q2, 2H, Later).
If you're using your releases to indicate when features might be available, the key is to avoid committing to specific dates (or narrow timeframes) whenever possible – particularly with regard to anything beyond the short-term. Having the flexibility to adjust plans as you learn more about the problems you're solving for, and the objectives you're pursuing, is a requisite for success with Agile.
Adding features/subfeatures to releases
On the Features board, use release columns to add features to one or more releases.
Features can span multiple releases.
- Press shift while adding a feature to a release to add it as an additional release, rather than updating the previously scheduled release.
You can also indirectly add a feature to an additional release by adding one of its subfeatures to a new release.
- Features span all releases their subfeatures have been added to.
- Features may also be added to additional releases that none of their subfeatures have been added to.
Subfeatures can be added to releases in a similar way as features, but can only be added to one release in any given release group.
A feature/subfeature can also be added to a release by dragging and dropping it into a new release grouping. This can be done from the Features board or Roadmap when grouped by release.
Finally, a feature/subfeature can be added to a release from its details pane.
Creating multiple release groups
Multiple release groups is available on the Scale and Enterprise plans.
If you have multiple teams working out of the same productboard workspace, each using a different release schedule, you can manage each as a separate release group.
Create a new release group from release field configurations.
You could also create multiple release groups to manage when features are getting worked on, or when they are tentatively planned to be released, separately from the broader releases that are shared with your organization on the Roadmap.
Multiple release groups example
In the example below, a Roadmap buckets release group is used to manage the releases appearing on the Roadmap whereas the Team A release group is used to manage more granular releases for coordinating work with engineering.
- If you're using the Jira integration, these more granular releases could even be mapped to Jira fix versions.
In the case above, a given feature owned by Team A would be added to a Roadmap bucket release as well as a Team A release. If the timeframe for a feature changed, you'd need to update its releases within each of the release groups. In many cases, this is preferable because it gives you complete control over how a feature's future availability is communicated to all on the Roadmap.
Sharing settings for release groups
While release groups are visible to everyone by default, you can also restrict access to just makers, or keep a release group private. This can be especially helpful for waiting until tentative release plans are finalized before rolling them out to stakeholders.
Displaying release groups
On the Features board, you can show columns from multiple release groups simultaneously. When grouping features By release you can only use releases from one release group at a time.
On the Roadmap, you can only display releases from one release group at a time. So if you're using release groups to manage different teams' release schedules, features for each of these teams will need to be captured on a different saved view.
Watch our on-demand webinar!
Learn best practices around planning your releases. A member of team Productboard will explain key concepts, share tips, and answer questions so you feel prepared to hit the ground running.