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

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.

Note: 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.

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Report on effort estimates

Now your team-level feature estimates can be used in reporting. A pivot table is ideal to show total effort estimates for all features in a release broken down by team.

In this example, column totals show the combined team effort required for each feature. Row totals show the combined effort to deliver all the features in the release by each team.

To create this report, navigate to Roadmaps Pivot and click Create new report. The Aha! Roadmaps report builder will load.

Select Create your own pivot report, then follow the next step in the report builder to Select records for your pivot table. You can select from Popular, Advanced, or (for Enterprise+ customers) Custom tables. We will use Features with releases for this pivot table. Click Next.

In the Add fields step, click Add records and add the Workspace table to the Record hierarchy. Then:

  • Add Workspace name, Release name, and Feature name to the pivot's Rows.

  • Add Product Team (Hours), Design Team (Hours), and Testing Team (Hours) to the pivot's Cells.

  • Set Within cells list as to Sum values.

  • Set Summary row/column to Total.

Click Next. In the Add filters step, you can choose to add filters to the pivot table (and actually filter the information after you have created the report).

Click Create report to create your pivot table.

Finally, click the Customize view ⚙️ dropdown and select Customize style. Check the box by Show cell headers, then click Done. This exposes the individual metrics from your resource scorecard as individual header columns in your pivot report.

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Report effort estimates across multiple releases

The same principles above can be used to show aggregate team estimates across multiple releases. The column totals show the effort required for each release for all teams. The row totals show the effort required by each team for all of the selected releases. You can add color to your pivot table for greater clarity and reporting impact.

These powerful reports can be invaluable in estimating and reporting the effort required from all teams to deliver your roadmap. Your collaborative team can be better informed of potential bottlenecks before they impact roadmap delivery.

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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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