Set advanced estimates (Enterprise+)

This article is one of a three-part series on capacity planning for teams.

Configure capacity planning for teams

Set advanced estimates

Capacity report for teams

How accurate is your strategic roadmap? How confident are you that you can accomplish your goals? If you have a strong vision and an ambitious plan, success may depend on your teams' capacity to complete the work in time.

Capacity planning for teams, available for Enterprise+ customers, is how you set advanced estimates to work items, visualize your teams' workload, and resolve capacity conflicts.

Note: If you have not yet configured capacity planning for teams in your Aha! account and enabled it for your workspace, we recommend starting with that step.

Click any of the following links to skip ahead:

User permissions

Capacity planning for teams is disabled by default in your Aha! account. To enable it, an administrator with customization privileges needs to navigate to Settings ⚙️ → Account → Capacity planning and check the Enable capacity planning checkbox.

Once an administrator enables and configures capacity planning for teams in your account and workspace owners have enabled it in their workspace, owners can configure it further. Owners and contributors can add advanced estimates to records, and every user permission level can view the capacity report.

Administrators with customization privileges may choose to create a custom role for capacity planning for teams. After creating the custom role and selecting the appropriate choice in Settings ⚙️ → Account → Capacity planning → Enhanced security, only users included in the custom role will have the ability to view or adjust advanced estimates.

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Select an active scenario configuration

A scenario configuration is one possible version of your plan. It is useful to look at your plan from different angles, so you can configure several scenarios — considering the financial cost of your plan in one scenario, for example, and your staffing needs in another. You can even duplicate a scenario configuration and to plan different approaches to the same work item.

When you add advanced estimates to records in your workspace, you add them to a particular scenario configuration. You can add multiple estimates to a record — one for each scenario you have configured — but only one of your scenario configurations can be active.

An active scenario configuration is the scenario you want to actively plan in. Advanced estimates will default to your active scenario configuration, so you will add your estimates to that scenario first, and when it comes time to visualize your teams' workload and resolve capacity conflicts, the capacity report will display data for your active scenario configuration.

Scenario configurations are created at the account-level by administrators with customization privileges, but you can select a scenario configuration to actively plan in from your user settings.

To select an active scenario configuration, click on your profile picture at the top of your screen. In the SCENARIO section click the current active scenario configuration to change it. Select from the list of possible scenario configurations, then click Save to save your choice.

You can change your active scenario configuration any time you want to think about a different planning scenario. Also, your active scenario configuration is unique to you. Other users in your account with access to capacity planning for teams can select their own active scenario configurations, so each of you can build out plans based on the parameters that are top of mind.

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Add advanced estimates

With your active scenario configuration selected, it's time to add advanced estimates.

You can add advanced estimates to the following record types:

  • Initiatives

  • Epics

  • Features / Activities

Each of these record types represents a different level of work, and they are often directly related to each other. Features are the fundamental unit of work, the tactical steps your team will take towards your strategic vision. Epics are larger in scope, and often organize your work into themes. Both of them link to initiatives, the high-level efforts that help you achieve your goals.

Whether you choose to estimate your teams' capacity at the feature, epic, or initiative level, advanced estimates work the same way — and the advanced estimates of child records can roll up to their parent records' estimate.

Open up your record type of choice to get started.

Click Set advanced estimate to add an advanced estimate. This will open up the Capacity planning detail drawer for that record.

Note: If you do not see the Set advanced estimate on a record type, capacity planning for teams might not be enabled for that record type in your current workspace. Workspace owners can navigate to Settings ⚙️ → Workspace → Capacity planning → Capacity planning for teams to enable it.

Support - Set advanced estimates (Enterprise+) - inline image

At the top of the page, you can see a link back to the original record, a reminder of the scenario configuration under which you are adding the advanced estimate, and the Duration of your estimate. This duration can be different than the record's Start and Due dates, or you can choose to copy your estimate duration from the record's duration. The capacity report for teams will use the dates in the Duration field to visualize the scheduled work.

The advanced estimate itself is a simple spreadsheet — and it will look different depending on the parameters of your scenario configuration.

  • A scenario configuration built around team will show a two column spreadsheet with one column for teams and one for your estimate (in people, hours, or cost).

  • A scenario configuration built around teams by time will show a multiple-column spreadsheet with one column for teams and additional columns for each time interval you selected (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly).

The advanced estimate spreadsheet also includes a Total row at the bottom.

There are three ways to add an advanced estimate.

  • If you know how much capacity each team will need to contribute to complete the work, click + Add team and select from one of your available teams. Then click into one of the cells on the right side of the spreadsheet to add estimate(s). As you add more estimates with more teams, the Total row will sum all the estimates, by column.

  • If you know how much capacity the work will take in total, you can also click into the Total at the bottom of any column and add an estimate there.
    Note: If you already have team-based estimates in place and edit the Total, those estimates will show as grey and the sum symbol will disappear, indicating that the Total row is no longer a total of the rows above it.

  • If you are adding advanced estimates to initiatives or epics, you will see a dropdown above the estimate spreadsheet that gives you the option to Enter an estimate manually or to Compute the estimate from child records (epics or features) linked to your current record.

Note: To delete a row in your advanced estimate, right click on it and select Delete row.

One of the benefits of multiple scenario configurations is that if you need to visualize how shifting work commitments might affect your team's capacity, you can add advanced estimates in several scenario configurations, and see how events might play out.

You can enter two types of estimates on a record: basic and advanced. Basic estimates are useful in estimating the scope of a release and analyzing individual capacity. Advanced estimates use the capacity for teams configuration you have set up, and populate the capacity report for teams.

Note:

  • Both basic and advanced estimates for epics and features will affect the release capacity of their parent release.

  • Once you enter an advanced estimate on a record, it will take the place of a basic estimate. You will no longer be able to Log time on that record.

  • Estimates that you map bidirectionally with development tools such as Jira will overwrite an advanced estimate once Aha! imports an estimate from the development tool. But because imported estimates only apply to Aha! records, not teams, your advanced estimates will still appear in the capacity report.

  • If a feature or a epic has advanced estimates from more than one scenario, the release capacity bar will no longer update.

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Convert your advanced estimate to other estimate units

It is entirely natural to enter an advanced estimate in one unit and wonder how it would translate to another. You may have an excellent idea of how many hours you think an initiative will take to complete, for example, but actually need to see how much money, on average, those hours from that team will cost you.

You don't have to run the numbers yourself. Below the spreadsheet where you enter your advanced estimate, you can click three links to Report on People, Hours, or Cost. These will open pre-built pivot tables that convert your estimate into any of those three estimation units.

These pivot tables function just like any other Aha! pivot table. You can add or remove filters, adjust fields, customize and share the report to suit your needs.

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More options for advanced estimates

From the More options menu at the top right of the page, you can move or manage your advanced estimate.

  • Move data to another scenario: If you entered your estimate under the wrong scenario, you do not have to recreate it! Choose this option to move your estimate to another scenario with the same configuration. If you make this mistake frequently, don't forget to check your current active scenario configuration!

  • Copy data to another scenario: If you want to visualize how different scenario configurations affect your teams' estimated capacity, then it helps to use the same data where possible. Copy your advanced estimate to another scenario with the same configuration, then use the capacity report for teams to analyze the results.

  • History: View the history of the advanced estimate, including how and when other users have contributed to it.

  • Delete estimate: Delete the estimate entirely.

  • Add custom field: You can add a custom field to most record layouts from the More options menu, and it is particularly useful when working with advanced estimates. Add a set of tags to help you sort your estimates, or a custom scorecard to quantify priority. You can even add worksheets to analyze estimates right on the page, or link to a custom table.

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Report on your capacity plans

The primary use of advanced estimates is to visualize your teams' workload in the capacity report, either to anticipate and resolve capacity conflicts, or just to experiment with different scenario configurations.

But you can also use your capacity planning data in other Aha! reports and charts. When you report on initiatives, epics, or features, you can also add fields and filters from the Capacity plans and Capacity estimates tables, including any custom fields you added to your advanced estimates.

If you are an administrator with customization privileges, or a workspace owner, you can also access the pre-built View all teams report. Navigate to Settings ⚙️ → Account → Capacity planning → Teams or Settings ⚙️ → Workspace → Capacity planning → Teams and click View all teams to open a pre-built list report on all teams in your account.

From this report, you can add fields and filters from the Teams and Schedules tables. This report was built to help administrators and workspace owners manage their teams and schedules and ensure that both are configured correctly.

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