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Jira capacity planning: an easy way to plan teamwork effectively

ViolettaCustomer success
Timer icon9 min read
Calendar iconApr 01, 2022
Jira capacity planning:
an easy way to plan
teamwork effectively

Each project manager knows that understanding team capacity is truly challenging. Whenever a new piece of work comes in, you’re always faced with the same question: Do we have enough hands to accomplish it?

In this article, we’re going to reveal how you can roll out capacity planning with the means of Jira in order to manage resource workload more effectively as well as speed up the decision-making process.

This article contains:

  1. What’s capacity planning?
  2. How to do capacity planning in Jira?
  3. The advantages of capacity planning
  4. Final thoughts

What’s capacity planning?

Capacity planning is the mechanism allowing you to distribute work across teams and projects so that everything is done on time, while keeping the workload well-optimized so no one is overwhelmed or underloaded.

The capacity planning process can be split into two work streams: capacity and planning. On the capacity stage, you need to understand the maximum amount of work your team can do. Once you have this information, you switch to the planning stage. On the planning stage, you’ll prioritize tasks and schedule them to team members, making sure that work is completed by the intended deadline.

How to do capacity planning in Jira?

If you’re wondering how to do it all with Jira means only — the answer is addons. Planyway for Jira is a tool that brings more visibility into your Jira workflow: roadmap, multiple-project portfolio, calendar, Gantt-like timeline, and of course workload view.

Let’s see how you can start Jira resource capacity planning with Planyway just in 5 steps:

Step 1. Visualize teamwork

Open the timeline view and group it by member. You will see all teammates on the left, and everyone will have a dedicated lane for issues assigned to this person. All Jira issues with dates will show up automatically, and unscheduled issues can be easily dragged from the task lists.

No matter what date range you use for planning, you may adjust the timeline to your workflow with Scales.

Step 2. Manage teams across projects

In case your team is working across projects, just connect all required projects in the main menu and see all issues assigned to your team members together on a single timeline.

Step 3. Balance workload

Make sure that your Jira issues have the Original estimate field. Fill this field with estimated hours for each Jira issue.

Jira Capacity Planning Estimation

Then, switch to the Workload tab. In this view, in addition to the timeline, you will see the workload indicators on the top. They will help you understand if a person is underloaded or overloaded.

Simply by stretching the card to the right or left, you can find the optimal Jira workload for everyone. Hours are recalculated based on the daily maximum capacity and estimation added earlier.

Step 4. Improve future estimates

If you’d like to make better task estimates for your future project, start tracking how much effort your team spends on Jira issues. With Planyway you can keep record of time spent and compare it with your previous estimate to see if they match. This knowledge can be useful when estimating similar work in the future.

Jira Capacity Planning Time Tracking

In order to be notified when your estimate is exceeded, you may add the Estimation and Tracked time fields to be visible on the issue cover. Once the tracked time prevail over estimation, it’ll be highlighted red.

Jira Capacity Planning Fields

Step 5. Build reports

If you need to get the representation of what exactly your teammates were working on, you can visualize this data in Reports and, if needed, export it to the Excel file.

Jira Capacity Reports

The advantages of capacity planning

Resource capacity planning in Jira might not seem easy when you start, especially if you’re used to enthusiastically saying “yes” to each new request. But, if you get into this habit, it can bring you numerous benefits:

Prevent team burnout

When there is a lack of visibility into how much work a team can accomplish, the chances of overburdening are high. Taking steps to get a clear idea of your actual Jira team capacity means that you can prevent this risk.

Set realistic deadlines

Underestimating efforts is a common problem, but having details about team availability can help you manage deadline expectations more accurately and closer to reality.

Detect skill shortage

Capacity planning doesn’t just relate to time, it also relates to skills. It will help you easier spot if projects require skills that your team doesn’t have.

Final thoughts

With new projects coming up, it’s easy to fall into the trap of taking a task on board first and then realize that your team can not make it happen within the set timeframe. With capacity planning, you can work backwards: starting with a clear view of how much your team can accomplish, and then planning all the work from there.

Avoid the guess game about team’s bandwidth, set more realistic deadlines, and prevent team’s burnout with such capacity planning tools for Jira like the Planyway addon.

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