Getting started with capacity planning (Enterprise+)

Delivering against your strategic plan requires a clear definition of the work to be done and an understanding of available resources. This is why Aha! provides sophisticated capacity planning functionality. You can visualize workloads in capacity reports — so you can anticipate and resolve scheduling conflicts before they happen.

  • Capacity planning for individuals is available for all Aha! Roadmaps plans. It helps with time tracking for individual team members at every level of your roadmap — requirements, features, releases, and initiatives. When you add estimates to features, those in aggregate can give you a capacity limit for the release. Once the work is assigned, use the capacity report to see the overall utilization of each person’s time. This helps you identify resourcing challenges so you can meet your release date.

  • Capacity planning for teams is available to Enterprise+ customers. It enables you to estimate work by team and set plans based on each team’s availability. Team-based planning is especially beneficial for large organizations with many strategic workstreams. You can align your plans with the capacity of each team in order to effectively allocate resources.

The guidelines below outline three typical use cases for capacity planning, along with a high-level summary of the steps needed to help you get started quickly. For any of these use cases, you will first need to enable capacity planning for teams in your account.

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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Determine if strategic initiatives can be completed in a specific time frame

Need to align big efforts for the next few quarters or year? Start here. Evaluate strategic initiatives at a high level. Quickly estimate the total number of hours required for each team to deliver each initiative. This helps you identify potential resource issues early in the planning process before investing time in defining the details.

An initiative's advanced capacity planning for teams estimate open in a drawer.

Steps to configure:

First, navigate to Settings ⚙️→ Account → Capacity planning. You will need to be an administrator with customization privileges to do this.

  1. Create a scenario configuration in your account settings using Hours by team.

  2. Define work schedules to capture when teams are available, including working and non-working days.

Next, navigate to the workspace where you are planning your strategic initiatives.

  1. Open your workspace capacity planning settings from Settings ⚙️→ Workspace → Capacity planning. You will need to be an owner in your workspace to do this.

  2. Enable capacity planning for teams. Select Initiatives from the list of record types.

  3. Add teams to represent the groups of people that are doing the work, including details about the overall capacity of the team and the number of people.

  4. Select the scenario you created as your active scenario.

  5. Add an advanced estimate for each initiative. The total number of hours automatically updates as you enter a value for each team.

  6. Visualize your team's workload using the capacity report. You can reallocate and reschedule work directly from this view.

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Determine if a team has the necessary skills and time to deliver against your roadmap

Ready to plan the actual implementation of your roadmap? Break initiatives down into features and create detailed estimates for work that must be completed in the next 3–6 months. This helps you evaluate if the right teams are available at the right time before you commit to doing the work — so you can achieve your plans with confidence.

Feature drawer open in front of features board with the capacity planning for teams advanced estimate highlighted

Steps to configure:

First, navigate to Settings ⚙️→ Account → Capacity planning. You will need to be an administrator with customization privileges to do this.

  1. Create a scenario configuration in your account settings using hours by team.

  2. Define work schedules to capture when teams are available, including working and non-working days.

Next, navigate to the workspace where you are planning your strategic initiatives.

  1. Open your workspace capacity planning settings from Settings ⚙️→ Workspace → Capacity planning. You will need to be an owner in your workspace to do this.

  2. Enable capacity planning for teams. Select Initiatives and Features from the list of record types.

  3. Add teams to represent the groups of people that are doing the work, including details about the overall capacity of the team and the number of people.

  4. Select the scenario you created in step 1 as your active scenario.

  5. Add an advanced estimate for each feature. The total number of hours automatically updates as you enter a value for each team.

  6. Set the advanced estimate in each initiative to automatically Compute the effort required from underlying features.

  7. Visualize your team's workload using the capacity report. You can reallocate and reschedule work directly from this view.

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Determine how work is progressing against your plan

Want to track progress against your plan now that the work is underway? Compare actuals against your plan so you can understand if everything is on schedule. This gives you visibility into whether or not the team is on pace to meet the target release date. In this example, we will use an engineering and product team, but you can follow these steps to track progress against your plan with any external team.

Custom worksheet on an initiative that aggregates individual feature estimates for comparison with the advanced capacity planning estimate

Steps to configure:

  1. Use the planning approach defined in the first use case for estimating the high-level effort required to deliver strategic initiatives.

  2. Enable capacity planning for individuals in your workspace. You will need to be an owner in your workspace to do this.

  3. If your engineering team uses a different tool to manage their work, sync estimates and log time fields between both systems.

  4. As the engineering team creates detailed estimates in their tool of choice, you will see the same information in Aha! Roadmaps.

  5. Add a custom worksheet to your initiatives and automatically sum up the detailed estimates for any linked features. This makes it easy to compare your high-level estimate with the detailed estimate.

  6. As the engineering team logs time against their detailed estimate, use your worksheet to automatically track the percent complete.

  7. Create a report on custom worksheet fields so you can keep others informed.

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We are here to help

If you need help configuring your account to support one of these use cases, please contact us. A member of our Customer Success team will respond quickly and provide expert guidance.

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