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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|
Complex, multi-team projects do not come with a crystal ball to help you avoid capacity conflicts. But the capacity report for teams comes close. The report aggregates all the estimates you have entered on records and visualizes your teams' workloads, according to the scenario you select.
Like the capacity report for individuals, you can use the capacity report for teams to get a sense of how your plan might play out in reality, and resolve capacity conflicts well before they threaten your teams' velocity.
Note: If you have not yet configured capacity planning for teams in your Aha! account, we recommend starting with that step.
Click any of the following links to skip ahead:
- Enable the capacity report
- The capacity view
- The timeline view
- Resolve capacity conflicts
- Resolve unscheduled work
- Share your capacity report
Enable the capacity report
To use the capacity report, first you need to enable capacity planning in your Aha! account, which can happen one of two ways.
- Capacity planning for individuals is enabled at the workspace level. Workspace owners can navigate to Settings ⚙️ > Workspace > Capacity planning and check the Enable checkbox.
- Capacity planning for teams is enabled at the account level. Administrators with customization privileges should navigate to Settings ⚙️ > Account > Capacity planning and check the Enable capacity for teams checkbox.
Enabling either type of capacity planning will enable the capacity report across your account. Users with any Aha! user permission level can open the report by navigating to Roadmaps > Capacity.
Note: If you do not see the capacity report in a workspace, you may need to customize your menu navigation.
The capacity view
Let's start by orienting you with the report itself. The report will start on the capacity view — the view that shows you your teams' hourly capacity by team and by month. Since we are focusing on capacity planning for teams, not individuals, in this article, click the Teams toggle in the upper left if it is not already selected.
The capacity report for teams looks at the time-based advanced estimates you have entered on records throughout your account and visualizes your teams' capacity to complete work on time.
Remember, advanced estimates are just that — estimates of the hours you think the work will require. This is where your active scenario configuration becomes useful. The capacity report for teams visualizes your teams' workloads based on the active scenario configuration you have selected so you can see how one version of your plan might play out in real life.
At the top left of the report, choose the record type you want to examine using the Record type dropdown — features, epics, or initiatives.
Note: This article refers to releases and features. Depending on your workspace type, you may see "schedules" and “activities" in your workspace.
Use the filters at the top of the report to focus it to the exact Scenario, Team, Workspace, and, depending on the Record type you select, the Release settings or Initiative timeframes you want. You can switch between scenarios to view different implementations of your plan.
When you save a report, the filters save as well — and this is important in the case of scenario configurations. If you share a saved capacity report with another Aha! user, the report will show information for the Scenario you have selected, regardless of their active scenario configuration. This way, you can collaborate on the same data.
Note: Depending on your workspace type, you may also refer to the Release settings filter as the Schedule settings filter.
You can also click the Calendar button to adjust the report's date range, or add filters to your report. If you want to add a quick basic filter, hover over the filters bar and click the Add filters + icon. If you want to add advanced filters, click the Edit filters icon.
On the left side of the capacity report you will see a list of the teams available in the workspace(s) you have selected. Any record that has an advanced estimate for a given team will appear in that team's row in the capacity report, either by month in the report itself or in the Unscheduled work section below the team's name.
On the right side of the capacity report, you will see each team's capacity per month. Any record with an advanced estimate for a team that has a Start and End date in the advanced estimate's Duration will contribute to that team's total monthly capacity. The capacity report calls these Scheduled records.
Down at the bottom of the list of teams, you will see the Unassigned section. This section shows any records with advanced estimates that have Durations but no actual estimates.
- Remember, an advanced estimate's Duration may be different than the record's Start date and Due date, if the Duration field is set to Enter manually.
- If the Duration field is set to Enter manually, adjusting a record's date on the timeline view adjusts it only for the active scenario configuration.
- If the Duration field is set to Copy from record, you must adjust the record's Start and Due dates. You cannot edit estimate Duration dates on the capacity report.
Hover over any cell in the report to see the capacity for that team in that month, in hours. Click any month to see the Timeline view, and click on any team's Unscheduled work to see the Unscheduled work view. We'll discuss both views in the next sections.
Finally, you will see a few different colors in the capacity view.
- Grey shows that a month or part of a month is Available — that the team has untapped capacity that month.
- Blue shows that a month or part of a month has Planned work in it — that is, records with advanced estimates for that team whose Start dates fall in that month.
- Red shows that a team is over capacity in a given month. They either have more work than they can be expected to complete in the month or they have records with advanced estimates whose Duration or Estimates conflict with each other.
The timeline view
While the capacity view shows you a month-by-month overview of all your teams' capacity, the timeline view shows you a detailed view of one team's capacity. Click on the month you want to work on to open the timeline view for that team's scheduled records in that month.
In the timeline view, you can see a top-level summary of the month — the total Capacity for a team, the total Planned work, and any Available capacity, all in hours.
Below the summary, you will see a list of records with advanced estimates that involve a given team, along with scheduling information about them — the Team(s) scheduled to work on the record, the estimated Duration dates for the work, and capacity Estimates. Click on the Record name to open the record's detail drawer and edit it, or click on any of the scheduling fields to edit those.
- Unlike the capacity report for individuals, adjusting an estimate's Duration will not adjust a team's Estimate. This is because multiple teams could be scheduled to work on the same item. Remember, in capacity planning for teams you do not assign work; you estimate the capacity cost to complete the work.
- If you enter an Estimate that is shorter than the time between a record's Start date and Due date, the capacity report will assume that work on that record will begin on the Start date — as long as no other higher-ranked records have the same Start date — and end when the Estimate is complete.
- If you enter an Estimate that is longer than the time between a record's Start date and Due date, the capacity report will still tell you how many extra hours' work the record needs.
- If multiple teams are part of one record's estimate, the capacity report will show an icon for your currently selected team, then a number, e.g. "DT + 1." That number respects filters you have added to your capacity report: it is the number of additional teams included in the capacity estimate that can be shown on the report. Click into the Team field in the timeline view if you want to see all teams associated with the estimate.
The timeline view shows you every day in your selected month and how your scheduled capacity estimates will play out throughout the month. You can hover over each day in the month to see how much work is planned for a given record on that day.
The timeline view also includes colors that are similar to those you saw in the capacity view:
- Light blue shows when a record is scheduled but when no work is planned. Weekends, for example, will be this color.
- Blue shows when work is planned on a record.
- A red border around a scheduled record shows that it is in conflict — either with another record or because there is not enough time to complete the work planned in the scheduled time.
Note: The capacity report for teams assumes that each team will have one record (feature, epics, or initiative, depending on the Record type view you select) in progress at any given time (i.e. that your teams work on records serially, not in parallel).
Resolve capacity conflicts
Now that you are familiar the capacity report, it's time to get to work. The capacity report shows you at a glance where teams are over capacity, and gives you the tools to resolve conflicts right on the report. If you see red on a month, or you notice that the total capacity percentage for a month is over 100%, it's a sign that there is a capacity conflict.
Here are two common capacity conflicts, and how to resolve them.
A team has too much work assigned to them
In this scenario, when you click on the timeline view for a team in a given month, you will see a record whose Estimate is longer than its Duration (the time between the estimate's Start date and End date).
To resolve this conflict:
- Expand the scheduled time available by adjusting the estimate's Duration.
- Reduce the Estimate for the record. Depending on the complexity of the work involved, this may require a discussion with your team, or require you to split the work into multiple records.
A team has scheduled work conflicts
In this scenario, when you click on the timeline view for a team in a given month, you see records that overlap with each other, and one of the records is outlined in red.
Normally, overlapping records are not a problem. If the estimate Durations are long enough, there will be enough time for the team(s) to complete all overlapping records. But when at least one of the records is outlined in red, it indicates that the team will not be able to complete the work before the end of the estimate Duration.
Remember, the capacity report assumes that a team will work on one record at a time — so scheduling a team to work the whole day on two records will trigger an over capacity warning. The report also assumes that a team will work on records in order of rank — so if two records have the same Start date, the one higher on the list will be started first.
Note: To see a record's rank, navigate to Features > Board for features or epics, and to Strategy > Initiatives for initiatives.
- Features and epics are ranked within a release (the higher the order, the higher the rank) and between releases (the earlier the release date, the higher the rank). Releases on the features board are organized left-to-right by release date.
- Initiatives are ranked by their order on the initiatives board. The higher the order, the higher the rank.
To resolve this conflict:
- Assign some of the work to another team.
- Reduce a team's capacity estimate for a record, or for several records if there is a lot of overlap. For this to be a feasible option, you may have to discuss the estimate reduction(s) with your team, or split the work into multiple records with their own Durations.
- Make sure that each record has enough unallocated hours in its estimate Duration to complete its planned work estimate before its End date.
To use the second option, look at the colored progress bars for each record. In the screenshot above, you can see that the first feature's duration End date overlaps with the second's Start date, but since the estimate durations are long enough for the team to complete both features in sequence, there is no capacity conflict.
However, the third and fourth features both plan to start work on the same Start date. This is a conflict. Since the capacity report assumes that the team will work on one record at a time and start with the higher-ranked record first, the capacity conflict is with the fourth feature in the list.
Our options are to:
- Shift the duration Start date for the fourth feature to a day where the team has no other planned work and extend the End date so that there is enough time to complete the work Estimate. In this example, Thursday the 25th would work, though technically two features are scheduled for work on that same day — so if the higher ranked feature is not completed during its planned hours, this could become another conflict.
Note: Changing the estimate's duration changes the duration dates for all teams that are part of the advanced estimate.
- Shift the estimate Start date for the fourth feature to a day where the team has no other planned work. Also change the End dates for the other features so that no other feature is scheduled for work on that day.
- Change the work Estimates for any of these features so that periods of planned work do not overlap.
- Change the rank of the features to prioritize which feature should be worked on first. In a scenario where one feature's duration End date overlaps with a higher ranked feature's Start date, changing the features' rank would resolve the conflict.
Note: Changing a record's rank can only be done from the Features > Board (epics and features) or from the Strategy > Initiatives (initiatives) pages.
Resolve unscheduled work
In addition to the capacity view and the timeline view, the capacity report has one further view: the unscheduled work view. You can access this view by clicking the Unscheduled work link beneath any team's row.
Records show in this view if they lack both a duration Start date and an End date.
- Click a Record name to open the detail drawer for a record.
- Use the Duration section to enter a Start date and End date for a record.
- Use the Team section to see if more than one team is part of the capacity estimate for the record. Click on a Team to open a detail drawer of the full capacity estimate.
Note: When the capacity report shows you that more than one team is part of the capacity estimate for the record, it respects any filters you have set in the report. If you want to see a complete list of the teams associated with the capacity estimate, click the Team field to open the capacity planning detail drawer.
- Use the Estimate section to adjust your estimate for your current team.
Once you have scheduled a record, it will appear in both the capacity view and the timeline view of the report, and contribute to that team's capacity calculations.
Share your capacity report
Once your capacity report is ready, click Save to name it, save it, and adjust viewing permissions. Saving a report will save the scenario you selected in the Scenario filter, so everyone who views your report will see the same data.
You can share your capacity report with your stakeholders by selecting one of the export options under the Share menu on the top right of the page.
- To fold your report into a presentation, select Add to presentation. In your presentation, you can select the report's update frequency.
- To invite people outside of your Aha! account to view your report, select Share as webpage.
- For a static version of your report, export it to PNG image or PDF document.