Capacity Planning

Why is Capacity planning required?

Capacity planning is the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. In the context of capacity planning, design capacity is the maximum amount of work that an organization is capable of completing in a given period.

Steps for doing capacity planning

    • Scrum master to send a mailer (at least a week ahead) w.r.t. leave plans for the upcoming iteration. Team members are supposed to give the details of their planned leaves well in advance.

    • If in case of team members are working on a shared basis i.e are associated with multiple projects, daily hours distribution is to be done and the same needs to be configured in the JIRA tool.

Configuring capacity planning in JIRA explained here.

Step 1 – Calculate Sprint Duration.

Calculate the Sprint Duration in Days, Identify the Sprint Start Day and End Day. To explain this I have taken a 2 Week Sprint which starts on Wednesday and ends on Tuesday. And we are doing our Capacity Planning for Sprint 2.

The picture in the right represents a 2-week Sprint – Calendar, of 10 days. Spread in three Physical Calendar Week. Throughout the rest of the article, I will explain with this color legends, where

Yellow = Previous Sprint

Green = Current Sprint (for the Sprint we are doing the Capacity Planning)

Blue = Future Sprint.

Step 2 - Team Members Availability

Assuming We have 7 Members team 4 Developer and 3 Testers, Not Counting the SM and PO here, as we don’t need to count their capacity in Capacity Planning.

Step 3 – Identify Allocation %

Now Identify the Shared resource if any, If there is No shared resource, we will count everyone is 100% allocated to this Scrum Team. For example, let's assume we have QA, and Dev lead allocation is 50% for this team for example.

Step 4 – Calculated The Standard Hours per day

If we assume everyone has 8 hours per day on full allocation, The Lead resource will have 4 Hours per day allocated for this team. For this sprint.

For 10 Days Sprint the total Max capacity is 480 Hours for the entire Team and having 48 hours per day, Everyone has 80 hours for 10 days and the Dev and QA Lead Resource with 50% allocation has 40 Hours, for this sprint Duration.

How it looks in our sprint calendar

Step 5 – Consider the subsequent factors

    1. Team Holiday i.e Mark the date that is off for the entire team. National Holidays etc.

    2. Calculate the Individual working off. i.e calculate Based on – if any resource has planned off / out of office.

    3. Override default working day hours.

If Required – Take an exception for individual team members, to change default hours from 8 Hours to something else, especially if someone has a plan half-day or the plan hours have other than the default 8 Hours (100% Allocation).

Assuming – 14th of Jan is a Team Holiday

In this case: we can see from this picture, that the total and Individual capacity is reduced accordingly.

Assuming – Sr. Dev has planned for one day leave, Developer 1 for half-day, and QA 2has 2.5 Planned day off for three different days. By applying that we can see from this picture, that the total and Individual capacity is reduced accordingly.

Step 6 – Consider Other Work that eats up Times for everyone.

Consider the time it will take for other meetings and Agile Ceremonies. The below picture represents the l time a Team spends each ceremony and other meetings.

Since leads will be involved in pre- grooming meetings, his time also needs to be considered.

Now ceremony time needs to be reduced from the available time capacity.

Step 7 – Consider Focus Factor Plan

It is done accordingly, so your team can focus, on any unplanned time loss keeping in mind the daily time off, Adhoc unplanned meetings, other official activity, training, Discussion with SME, etc. Remember for a planned activity you can still calculate beforehand. We keep the focus factor for anything that can not be planned. That value can vary from 75% to 95%.

Assuming the focus factor is 80%.

Calculation of Focus factor depends upon the Average velocity (consider story points delivered for the last 4 sprints), team size, and productive days.

E.g The average story points delivered is 56, There are 7 team members who are productive for 10 days then the calculation for the Focus factor would be.

FF= Average Story points delivered / (Resource * Productive days )

FF = 56/ (7*10 ) which comes as 0.8 i.e. 80%

So the final capacity of the team is 255.75 hours.

To increase the focus factor we need to increase the team velocity. Below steps can be taken to improve the velocity and ultimately the focus factor.

  1. Focus on Increasing Quality. Higher quality work can reduce the need to revise or fix work later, increasing productivity.

  2. Streamline Testing.

  3. Promote Focus and Consistency.

  4. Embrace Cross-Training.