Managing resources is a critical part of the product management process and includes deciding which dev tasks will be included in upcoming Releases or Sprints and which ones make it in.
To bypass the tedious process of plugging these estimations into spreadsheets, Craft.io has capacity planning inbuilt into its planning section, allowing you to make smarter product decisions in the context of all available resources, even when things change unexpectedly.
Rather than restricting you to a number reporting on overall capacity, Craft.io allows you to drill down into specific parts of your business to get a deeper understanding of capacity availability.
Multi-dimensional capacity planning
This concept means you can outline capacity parameters across various dimensions of your team, e.g., front-end development teams, back-end development teams, and multiple squads.
The capacity planning view is set up like a regular table view in Craft.io, with built-in features designed to give you an instant top-level view of available resources.
Capacity Planning view
To access the new capacity planning view, simply click on Capacity Planning in the Plan section of the main navigation panel.
Once inside the view, from the top menu bar, select from the dropdown to manage capacity either by Sprint or by Release:
You can then use the top menu to define the hierarchical levels that will be included in the view, how the view will be sorted, and whether you want to apply additional filters to focus the view. For example, all active Sprints.
How to add capacity fields
You can add multiple capacity fields, to manage the entire cycle planning in Craft.io.
To add new capacity fields (e.g., specific teams, squads, etc.) add a new 'Capacity Planning' type field, which will be named according to the team you want to represent.
You can set a max value to the field if you would like to limit users when assigning capacity to a maximum of X person-days/weeks/hours per field.
By default, ‘Connect to capacity planning’ box will be ticked to link the field to Capacity planning.
Net Capacity Calculation
After adding the desired teams to the view, the next step would be to set the capacity.
There are two main ways to set the Capacity-
Click the 'set' button, then enter the capacity per person, the number of people, and the buffer; Craft.io will calculate the Net Capacity for you.
Click the 'set' button and manually edit the value under Net Capacity
Next, update individual items' rows according to the estimated effort from each one of the capacity fields.
As you assign estimated effort to the items within a given Sprint/Release, Craft.io automatically tallies up capacity based on your field parameters.
Capacity Planning Modes
There are various ways to evaluate capacity. Some organizations would like to see a holistic picture, including all items that are due for a specific development cycle. With that said, others will prefer to focus the evaluation of the required effort on only some of the items, for example only for a specific Epic or product area.
In order to ensure the summation of effort and capacity reflects the most accurate evaluation, you can navigate between different capacity planning modes to see which one suits your current needs best. By clicking the settings icon in the capacity planning view, you can switch between capacity planning modes.
Include all items in the effort summation
Exclude filtered out items from effort summation
Effort summation will include only items that are currently visible on the table. Use this option when you want to see the sum of items of a specific product or hierarchy level.
Exclude filtered out items from summation & capacity
Effort summation will include only items that are currently visible on the table, and capacity value does not include items not shown on the table. Use this option when you want to match the resources of the visible items with the remaining capacity.
For example, all the items in Team A were estimated and filtered out, I want to see what capacity is left for other Teams' items.
Capacity Excess Visual Indication
The Capacity Planning bar visualizes the total effort in comparison to the net capacity of the release or sprint. If the total effort is bigger than the defined capacity, then the bar is colored in red. In order to distinguish between minor excess and a significant one, the bar will be colored in dark red if the effort exceeds the capacity by more than 20%.
To get a fast and clear indication of how planning changes affect the Release, use the “Out/In” function to simulate these modifications if you exclude an item.
Note: Marking an item as ‘Out’ does not remove it from your Craft.io Release, it simply deducts it from the capacity calculation while you are in the capacity planning view.
After settling on the right plan, click the Apply button on the “Out/In” column to move the excluded items to another Sprint/Release of your choice. You can also move an item to the parking lot, in case it was deprioritized.
As a standard across Craft.io, you can customize the capacity planning view with custom fields to show precisely what you need, to be able to make smarter product decisions. You can focus on specific Epics, Sprints or Releases using the filter functionality, and share your final view with LiveShare links with a click of a button.