Estimate effort using custom scorecards

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Estimating the effort required to complete a piece of work is important for any Aha! user. A successful delivery will usually depend on the contributions of many teams working together. Aha! 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! using a custom scorecard and visualized in a pivot table or chart.

We created the default Aha! scorecard to fit most use cases, but yours may differ. In that case, you need to create a custom scorecard.

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

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

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How it works

Custom scorecards are a flexible feature across Aha! to track different metrics together as a whole. We can use custom scorecards to track the effort of each team as the individual metrics and then the Aha! score is the overall effort. The steps to accomplish this are as follows:

  • Create a resource scorecard

  • Add the custom scorecard to the right areas of Aha!

  • Capture effort estimates

  • Report effort estimates

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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! 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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Add the custom scorecard to the right areas of Aha!

The resource estimation scorecard can now be applied to various objects within Aha!

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 and add a new custom field at the feature level.

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. Don't forget to add your new custom field to the appropriate feature layout.

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Capture effort estimates

Open a feature's details, and you will now show the new resource estimate score that you have created. 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 or dragging the slider to update the custom scorecard.

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Report 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.

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

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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 (if required)

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 Aha! integrations

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

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