Goal of the planning is to determine the work that is to be performed in the upcoming Sprint. Team composition, the sprint calendar and team capacity greatly influence the team’s capability to turn work items into valuable software and hence must be taken into account.
In this post I’ll show two simple tools I’ve used with my teams to increase transparency with respect to these capabilities. Feel free to use them, or better yet, adapt them to your personal need. Hopefully they can help your team better determine which work to pickup the upcoming sprint.
Some examples of influences on capacity:
- Kelly has two days off, which leads to less capacity.
- Gary misses the entire sprint because of vacation. This leads to less capacity and because he is the only UX designer, the team can not commit to UX stories that are not sufficiently refined because of this missing UXD capability.
- A team workshop is planned for Thursday afternoon, impacting the team’s availability.
Briefly talking this over during planning and noting them in a capacity planning sheet and a team calendar is a quick an easy way to align the team’s view on their capacity. And to share this information inside and outside the team.
Sample team calendar
This can (and should) be as simple as sharing a Google Calendar:
Team capacity sheet
In the following sheet the team tracks their availability, the forecasts they made in the past and the actual burn up they achieved.