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How Time Tracking Helped our Agile Team Plan Capacity

Capacity planning is challenging and requires a delicate balance between resource availability, budgets, and demand for work. It involves distributing tasks that play to every team member's skill set, mapping out projects and the work required, absorbing absences, and overall efficiency to deliver timely and profitable projects.

As a Product Owner with a long list of features in the backlog, knowing when to make tough trade-off decisions and ensuring my team is not overworked is critical to ensure high work quality. 

Agile time tracking for effective capacity planning

Having the right tools, especially in today's climate of remote work, is essential for effective project management. One such tool that should be in every agile team's arsenal is a custom time tracking and reporting app.

Using a time tracking app, like Report Builder, in conjunction with our Jira software, we could gather data around the team's velocity and take away the guesswork from capacity planning, sprint over sprint, by comparing initial story point estimates to actuals.

Users log time against issues, stories, tickets, and projects in Jira. Report Builder pulls all these timesheets, and we can quickly generate detailed and visual reports based on the timesheets and customize them for selected tasks, projects, employees, clients, etc. This allows us to predict accurately the effort required and track where the effort is being expended. 

Analyzing these time reports also accurately represents the actual time spent on individual projects, tasks, issues, and/or user stories. This helps us identify roadblocks, understand the limits of available resources and work effectively within them.

Hitting the sweet spot between burnout and boredom

Effective capacity planning is the intelligent distribution of work to get the best from your teams. Too much work leads to stress and burnout, affecting the quality of work. While too little work results in disengaged team members and indicates inefficient resource planning affecting overall project profitability.

As a Product Owner, I have to hit the right balance between my team being overworked or bored due to lack of work. Report Builder has helped me manage my team's capacity accurately and completely transformed the way we work. I now have complete visibility into all my projects and can manage capacity for existing and new work quickly and effortlessly.

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