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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|
Capacity planning for teams, available for Enterprise+ customers, is where your strategic roadmap meets reality.
Accurate resource planning is crucial to achieving your roadmap. Complex projects often require careful allocation of people, time, and money to ensure a smooth implementation. If you need to go beyond estimating work for individuals and create team-based estimates, use capacity planning for teams.
By setting advanced team-based estimates in Aha!, you can better plan what is actually possible. Capacity planning for teams helps you understand the use of a specific team's time as well as how resources can be efficiently managed across multiple teams. You could be planning for multiple initiatives across massive international teams, or you might be looking, feature by feature, for the most efficient way to allocate a team of specialists.
In this article, we will work through how to enable and configure capacity planning for teams in your Aha! account. It is worth thinking intentionally about how you want to plan capacity at this level, so that as you add advanced estimates to initiatives, epics, and features, you highlight actionable insights.
Click any of the following links to skip ahead:
- User permissions and enhanced security
- Create a scenario
- Create work schedules for your team
- Add teams
- Add details to your team
Before we talk about how to configure capacity planning for teams in your account, let's start with a high-level overview. Broadly, there are three steps — pick a planning scenario, define your teams, and estimate your work. From there, you can visualize your teams' workload and resolve any anticipated conflicts, well before they happen in real life.
- Scenarios: First, consider how your organization plans capacity, then create multiple versions of your plan using different timelines and estimation methods. You can configure as many scenarios as you need, and switch between them to examine each team's capacity from several angles.
- Teams: Teams in Aha! are groups of people who actually do the work. You can create Work schedules to define when teams are available and add people to each team. Teams can be made up of Aha! users or virtual users.
- Estimates: You can add team-based estimates to initiatives, epics, and features using your active scenario. Adding multiple teams automatically takes into account each team's capacity based on the parameters of your scenario.
When you are ready to put all the steps together, visualize the work you have planned — and your teams' ability to complete it on schedule — using the capacity report. From there, you can identify capacity conflicts and reassign or reschedule work as necessary.
User permissions and enhanced security
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.
You must be an administrator to enable and configure capacity planning for teams in your account. Workspace owners can then enable capacity planning for teams and configure its settings for their workspaces.
Once configured, administrators, workspace owners, and contributors can set advanced estimates. Every user permission level can view capacity planning information.
|Enable and configure:
|Enable and configure:
|Set advanced estimates||View capacity report|
with customization privileges
If the users in your account who should be able to configure or contribute to capacity planning for teams come from more than one user permission level, administrators with customization privileges may choose to create a custom role for this action. 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.
Create a scenario
Capacity planning tries to answer questions like these:
- How many people do we need on each team to complete our roadmap by the end of the year?
- How many hours of work have we committed to in the next quarter?
- How much money each month do we need to spend to reach our strategic goals next fiscal year?
Each of these questions is a planning scenario — an estimate, and a date range. In Aha!, scenarios function in much the same way.
Capacity planning for teams starts with a planning scenario. You can create a custom scenario configuration, or use the default. The default scenario configuration takes one estimate per team, in hours, to analyze how a work item will affect each team's capacity.
You might analyze your teams' capacity using several different scenarios simultaneously. That's fine — Aha! capacity planning supports multiple scenario configurations, and you can add advanced estimates for each scenario on the same record. To simplify the process, you will select an active scenario, but you can change it at any time, and every user can select their own active scenario.
When you navigate to Settings ⚙️> Account > Capacity planning, you will start with the Scenarios tab. Click Add scenario configuration to create one.
After Naming your scenario, and selecting a date range, you will need to choose units and layout for your advanced estimates.
Your options for Estimate units are:
- People: The estimates you enter are based on how many people you think it will take each team to complete the work.
- Hours: The estimates you enter are based on how long you think it will take each team to complete the work. You will be entering estimates for teams, and those teams have work schedules.
- Cost: The estimates you enter are based on how much it will cost for each team to complete the work.
Your options for Estimate layouts are:
- Team: The advanced estimate on a record will show you a simple two-column spreadsheet, with one column for teams, and one column for your estimates (in people, hours, or cost). Use this layout if you just want to estimate the total cost of a work project.
- Team by time: The advanced estimate on a record will show you an estimate worksheet broken out by team and by the Estimate interval (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or yearly). Use this layout if you want to forecast effort by time.
Click Add scenario configuration to create your scenario. Repeat this process if you would like several scenarios available to you as you plan your teams' capacity.
Note: You cannot edit a scenario's configuration once you have created it. The Edit button will only allow you to change a scenario's Name.
Create work schedules for your team
Work schedules define when teams work and how long they work each day. That information is at the heart of capacity planning — with it, you can calculate a team's capacity, cost, and velocity. This ultimately enables you to visualize, reschedule, and reassign work.
Once you create teams (we'll go over this in the next section) you will assign a work schedule to each team. A team's work schedule drives their velocity and availability.
To create a work schedule, click the Work schedules tab, then click Add work schedule. Name your work schedule, then select the Working days in a regular week, and the number of Hours per day people on this work schedule are expected to work. You can optionally add Non-working days, which can be single holidays or a range of dates.
Click Save work schedule to create your work schedule.
Once you have a list of work schedules in your account, you can choose one to Make default, which means that newly created teams or people will default to that work schedule. You can click on a work schedule to edit it, or Copy, Delete, or search for work schedules.
Finally, the Used by column beside a work schedule's name will show you a count of all teams and people that use it. Click either link to open a list of teams and people using the work schedule; click any team or person to view their profile and adjust their work schedule.
Next, define your teams. Remember, teams are the groups of people who will do the work you are planning. You can populate teams with users in your Aha! account, virtual users to represent real people, or keep your teams high level with just a number of team members. You can create teams at the account- or workspace-level.
It is important to note that teams are useful for advanced capacity planning only — you cannot assign work to a team. The teams you create and the detailed capacity estimates you add for them, will help you visualize their workloads and resolve any capacity conflicts.
Click Add team to create a team. Each team needs a Name and a Work schedule before you can create it, but you can add optional Start and End dates for your team as well. Click Save team to create your team.
Use Start and End dates if you have a team for a limited amount of time — teams with set contracts, for example. The capacity report will take these dates into account and flag estimates outside of your team's Start or End dates as capacity conflicts. To resolve those conflicts, you would need to assign the work to another team, or schedule the work for a time when your team has capacity.
From the list of created teams, click on any team name to edit or add information to it (in the next step, we will add people, capacity, and hourly costs to a team). You can also click on the work schedule that a team is using to adjust it, or see a list of all teams and team members using that work schedule.
Finally, you can 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 work schedules and ensure that both are configured correctly.
Note: You can create teams at the account-, parent line-, or workspace-level. At the workspace-level, workspace owners may choose to inherit available teams created at the account- or parent line-level.
Add details to your team
After creating your teams, you will need to add a few details. Specifically:
- Populate your team picture of how many people are involved.
Note: Whether you populate your team with actual People or with a high-level count of the number of team members, a team must have a number of people for the capacity report to visualize its capacity.
- Add capacity to your team for a sense of how many hours you can expect them to work each week.
- Add an average hourly cost to your team for accurate financial estimates.
Let's take each of these options in turn. Click on one of your teams to open its detail drawer, and we'll get started.
Populate your team
There are three ways to add people to your team.
First, add a total number of people. Next to Total people, click Enter manually, then enter a number. This is a useful option if you do not want to track individual teammates — you might be working with a team so large that tracking teammates isn't feasible, or the team itself might be a bit of an estimate. For example, you might know that you will have roughly 50 developers' time to allocate in the next quarter, and do not need more detailed information than that to start visualizing their capacity.
Second, you can add existing Aha! users to teams. Click the + icon next to People, select Existing Aha! user, and select one or more users from the Users dropdown, which is a list of all active users in your Aha! account. Users can be part of multiple teams, and you can assign them individual work schedules and weekly capacity to them. This is a useful option if you want to more accurate capacity estimates, or are working with teams small enough to manage at the team member level.
Third, you can add virtual users to teams. Virtual users represent real people who are not part of your Aha! account, but who impact your team's capacity. All you need is a first and last name to create one (you can include an email address as well), and then a virtual user has all the same benefits of an existing Aha! user: assign them individual work schedules and adjust their weekly capacity, and enjoy an increased level of capacity estimate accuracy.
Note: You can create virtual users at the account-, parent line-, or workspace-level. Workspaces will also inherit virtual users created at the account- or parent line-level.
Click any person on a team to adjust their capacity, work schedule, or add them to additional teams.
Note: Once created, you cannot edit a user's name or email address.
Add capacity to your team
A team's capacity is the number of hours total it can work in a given week. You have three choices for a team's capacity.
First, you can leave the Capacity field blank. In this case, Aha! will assume that your team works eight hours a day for the number of working days in the team's work schedule.
Second, you can add a capacity value manually. Next to the Capacity field, select Enter manually, and enter the average hours the team as a whole works per week.
Third, you can add People to the team. Whether you enter a manual value in the Total people field or add People one at a time, the Capacity field will multiply the number of people on the team by eight hours a day for the number of working days in the team's work schedule, taking into account any different schedules your People have.
Add an hourly cost to your team
The last detail you may want to add to a team is its hourly cost. Put a number in the Hourly cost field that represents the average amount a member costs in one hour. If you leave this field blank Aha! will not be able to represent an advanced estimate in terms of financial cost.