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Forecasting in Jira Align

Vera du Preez March 31, 2021

Forecasting is, by all definitions, a strategic activity and forecasting in Jira Align is no different.

Jira Align provides the ability to do high level planning and forecasting but has some very firm assumptions.

  • Your foundation in Jira Align is strong
  • You will have run 3-4 PI's and launched some ART's
  • Your teams are are fairly stable in their execution, makeup and velocity

Velocity and capacity in Jira Align are intrinsically linked. Any and all planning, scenario handling and high level forecasting looks back at past activity in Jira Align to determine how much work the teams are executing over the last PI's and what the average capacity was over that time period.

Let's get started.


As a Portfolio owner creating Epics, you have the ability to add your estimates into the epics directly. This estimate can be added directly through the Epic Detail panel under the Forecast Tab. There are some important items to note here. 

Screenshot 2021-03-24 at 12.19.10.png

  • Estimates are in Team Weeks/Member weeks
  • PI Estimate is automatically calculated from the team/member weeks that have been allocated over the last few PI's - Across ALL programs in the PI
  • The Total for 'x' program is automatically calculated as the TW/MW allocated to the 'x' program for THAT PI
  • The allocation you distribute across the teams will be saved for future reference


Once all your Epics have been added and forecasted you'll want to go into your Epic backlog and visualise how that affects the load on you increment. You do this from your Epic backlog view and selecting the Kanban column view. This is calculated on epics loaded vs total PAST program velocity.

Here you will be able to see how much - based on your estimates - the PI is loaded. If it's not very loaded, you might want to add more epics, if it's overloaded, you may want to remove a few. This is a sense check at the strategic planning level.

Screenshot 2021-03-24 at 12.20.21.png


More granular demand planning can be executed in the 'Forecast' view.  Accessing this view through Program → Forecast, you are presented with the option to try different options at either your team or program level. Here you are able to do a bit of scenario handling, reserving team capacity to different epics and seeing the direct impact on a teams' capacity.

Forecasting can be at the Agile by Program level:

  • Program capacity is reserved to an epic/s

OR Agile by Team level where:

  • Team capacity allocated across the epic/s

Calculations on capacity are automatically executed in Jira Align through that teams past capacity. The allocated capacity is subtracted from this number as you make the allocations.

  • Member weeks (MW): Planned FTEs multiplied by a number of weeks in a PI.
  • Team weeks (TW): A number of weeks in a PI.

Screenshot 2021-03-24 at 12.21.54.png

More granular planning forecasting is not the aim with Jira Aligns' forecasting and planning but rather a high level planning, allocation of team capacity to particular epics and high level allocation of epics across the planning cycles based on your teams velocity and capacity.






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