If you're responsible for ensuring the success of agile projects, then you need to be aware of agile capacity planning. This process helps teams estimate how much work they can realistically accomplish within a sprint. By taking into account various factors such as team size, skillset, and experience, capacity planning ensures that projects stay on track and goals are met.
Creating an agile capacity plan to meet the needs of your business can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to be!
To manage resources effectively, you need to be able to focus and be flexible so that you can take on new projects as well as work on existing ones. Part of agile capacity planning is understanding velocity - how much work a team can complete in a set amount of time. However, there are other factors that should be taken into account when planning such as availability, sprint duration, experience level of the team, and even things like holidays or motivation levels. If all these factors are considered when making plans, teams will have a better chance of meeting deadlines and customer expectations.
When planning an agile capacity, there are various common mistakes that should be avoided. A big one is overcommitting on tasks - this can overburden your team and distract from what matters most. It’s important to realistically assess the availability of your team and focus on a limited number of goals. Rather than focusing solely on individual productivity, pay attention to the ‘team focus factor’ by ensuring that everyone has manageable goals and adequate time off to avoid burnout.
The team focus factor is the percentage of hours a team can effectively work during a sprint, out of the total number of hours they are available. For example, if you have a 5 person team working 40 hour weeks, their total capacity would be 200 hours (5 * 40). But based on the team's efficiency and attention span, their focus factor might only be 60-80%. So for a 60% focus factor, that means the team can really only effectively work on tasks for 120 hours per week.
If you're hoping to increase productivity, agile capacity planning is useful, as long as you concentrate on the appropriate tools and techniques. A popular method is utilizing elastic resources--these are types of resources that can change its focus and stay flexible in order to make up for "lost hours" because of team focus factor. By involving elastic resources in agile capacity planning, the team will be able rapidly direct their efforts towards crucial work driving up velocity since they now have help with other tasks.
At NerdCloud, we know that on average, 20-40% of all tasks assigned to a team during a sprint are ones that could easily be completed with our help. Our flexible model is designed specifically for these kinds of tasks and our transparent process keeps the team informed every step of the way - from estimation to MR/PR.