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Aha! Roadmaps | Estimate effort using custom scorecards

Estimating the effort required to complete a piece of work is important for any Aha! Roadmaps user. A successful delivery will usually depend on the contributions of many teams working together. Aha! Roadmaps includes scorecards to help you rank your competitors and prioritize initiatives, features, and ideas.

Careful estimation helps for planning changes and showing stakeholders that the delivery date is achievable. Effort estimates across teams can easily be captured in Aha! Roadmaps using a custom scorecard and visualized in a pivot table or chart.

Of course, effort estimation is only half the purpose of a custom scorecard. We created the default Aha! product value score to compare a work item's value against the effort it would take to realize that value. You can use the default product value score to help you prioritize your teams' work, or modify it to fit your teams' workflow.

For this article, let's follow a product management team estimating effort on features.

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How it works

The default scorecard equation in your Aha! account uses the product value score, developed with value-based product development in mind. Each scorecard metric covers an aspect of work estimation that most product teams need to consider:

  • Population: How many customers will this item impact?

  • Need: How important is it for those who require it?

  • Strategy: How closely connected is this work to your company and product strategy?

  • Effort: How much work will it take to build?

  • Confidence: What is your level of confidence in each score above?

These metrics combine into a scorecard equation that weights each of the first four metrics equally, and applies a confidence multiplier, like this:

( 1.0 * Population + 1.0 * Need + 1.0 * Strategy - 1.0 * Effort ) * Confidence

If you ever want to weight certain metrics more heavily than others, you could easily change the default 1.0 to 2.0 (and so forth) in the equation.

You can use the default scorecard, or create a custom scorecard of your own. To do this:

  • Use or modify an Aha! scorecard, or create your own custom scorecard

  • Apply your scorecard to the relevant custom record layouts

  • Add scores to records

  • Report on record scores

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Configuration

Create a new custom scorecard by going to Settings ⚙️ Account Scorecards. You will need to be an administrator with customization privileges to do this. Add a new scorecard metric for each team where you wish to capture an estimate.

For example, use a linear scale of 1 to 100 with a suffix of "Hours." A simple addition formula for the Aha! Roadmaps score will calculate the total effort needed across all of the teams to deliver that functionality.

Save your custom scorecard with a descriptive title such as "Resource planning" for easy identification and to differentiate it from any other scorecards that are in use.

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Apply your scorecard to a custom layout

Now that you have created your custom scorecard, it is time to add it as a custom field and apply it to the right layout.

If you replace an existing scorecard with your new custom scorecard, note that historical metrics from the original scorecard will be DELETED. To avoid removing all your existing scores, create a list report of all records with scores in your workspace, export those scores to a CSV file, then reimport those score values to the existing records using your new scorecard metrics.

Consider adding the scorecard to initiatives for high-level strategic estimation or at the release level to highlight bottlenecks in your tactical delivery ahead of time. In this example, we will add the scorecard to features.

Go to Settings ⚙️ Account Custom fields, click the Features tab, then Add a custom field.

Choose a custom field of type Scorecard field and select the scorecard that you just created in the previous step. Giving the field a meaningful name such as "Resource Estimate" will help others to identify its purpose.

Finally, add your custom field to Workspaces or Layouts so that you can use it to estimate effort. Since in this example we are focusing on features, we will select Use in Layouts and then select the appropriate existing features layout(s).

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Capture effort estimates

Open a feature's details or drawer views, and you will now show the new resource estimate score that you have created.

Note: If you want to change where your new custom scorecard appears on the record, edit the custom layout in Settings ⚙️ Account Custom layouts.

Now the scorecard fields can be used during your planning process to record estimates against each of your features. You can quickly add or update scorecard values by typing them in directly, dragging the slider, or clicking on a metric's bar to update the custom scorecard.

The Aha! scorecard modal with each individual metric's slider in front of the features board.

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Report on effort estimates

You can report on any metric in your scorecard — including effort.

The first place to do this is the prioritization page. From here, you can gather a list of features, then sort them by Effort. Click and drag to apply a custom ranking, or adjust the Effort metric relative to other features in your list.

Features prioritization page in Aha! Roadmaps

You can also create custom reports involving effort scores. Add the Effort (Product value score) to any custom report or chart to visualize and analyze estimated effort across your features.

Pivot table of features in releases by effort score

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Map custom scorecards in integrations

If you send records from Aha! Roadmaps to other tools, it makes sense to send your new custom scorecard values along with those records. In the Mapping step of an Aha! Roadmaps integration, click Field mapping to map your custom scorecard field to an analogous field in the integrated tool.

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