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Agile capacity Planning

Swapan Roy
A passionate, curious and life long learner.
・2 min read

The Concept
Capacity planning in bare minimum, is the process of resources being available for the project/product to complete a task.

In Agile,
The capacity planning allows us to determine how many productive hours are available for the upcoming sprint so that team can commit to developing a defined set of work within the sprint

Importance
The capacity planning involved three steps: The amount of work to be completed, current capacity, and planning for the future.
When we bring together Capacity planning and Velocity or work completed in the last sprint, they serve as a powerful project management metric to understand:
Predict when specific product features can be delivered
At what stage in the project, resources with the right skillset can be onboarded and released
Inter and inter-departmental dependencies and risks can be fixed.

How do we use it ?
I use a spreadsheet with the below values to calculate the capacity of a sprint.

Column Comments
Resource Name Name
Total Available Days Total Days in the sprint
Holidays National and regional specific holiday for the resource
Planned leave Planned leave/s by a resource
Total working days Calculated value ; P = Total Available days – Holidays – Planned Leave
Total Work hours P * 8 (8 working hours)
% Project Allocation 1 = Full Allocation, 0.5 = 50 % allocation
Meeting / Training Time spent in the meeting or training; I usually take 20%

Link to download sample spreadsheet

Capacity Planning Screen Print

Note: I usually have sprint velocity or last sprint completion value added to get some meaningful information that can be used.

Final thoughts:
Capacity planning is the key to get the plan for future sprints and needs to be used with other agile metrics like velocity to plan for future sprints.

What process do you follow ?

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