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I'd like to know how costs are calculated in Align. Are costs created at the team member (individual resource) level and aggregated up to provide project and portfolio costs? Or are team (scrum team) costs averaged and simply sliced up by number of projects (or whatever work increments) the team works on?
Also- does Align have the capability to factor in external financial data such as travel expenses and marry them back to the program or portfolio level?
Financials in Jira Align all focus around the concept of Cost Per Point within a team. It's a complicated area, but at a basic level what we do is take the total amount of time available in a sprint for a team (we call it the burn hours), which is identified by assigning team members to each sprint at a specific allocation (e.g. 100%). Based on the burn hours available and historical velocity (we take the last 5 sprints as an average), we can calculate a cost per point (e.g. Team A is $156/point). We then apply this to planned and actual points on stories, then roll up the projections to Epics and Themes. There are more nuances to this that we are working to document as I write this so keep an eye out for a community article on the topic soon.
In regards to external financial data, you can use the External CapEx and External Opex fields on the Epic to help designate some of the external financial data. Note that the ongoing tracking of funds spent on these external items are not necessarily tracked in Jira Align (you can use the Spend to Date field to summarize how much has been spent so far as an overall number).
Hope this helps!