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We’re Atlassian program managers and we'd like to talk one of the trickier deliverables in the program management space: capacity planning.
As we all know, capacity planning plays a crucial role in successfully delivering projects on time and planning for future work so we would love to hear your insights and experiences on this topic.
To clarify, when we say capacity planning, we’re defining it as the process of determining the production capacity and resourcing needed to meet goals and milestones.
As of now, Alex and I have tackled capacity planning by:
Tiffany - Start by auditing all the work that’s currently in flight and what’s known to be coming down the pipeline for the next quarter. From there, determine the project’s t-shirt size and estimate how long we anticipate each project to take to completion and sign off. Next, plan and prioritize our work and determine the delta between the demand and the resources available. Finally, revaluate and pivot to determine how to best close the gap.
Gotcha’s include: unforeseen priority shifts that impact the roadmap, changes in resource allocation (extended leave, teammate departure, etc)
Alex - In the teams I work with we face different types of capacity challenges across our Department. As a result I employ different methods and tools to fit the need. Are you a service lead team who has to deal with issues as and when they arise? Then in that case I suggest utilizing Kanban boards and WIP (work in progress) limits. Are you a team that works in a cross-team large scale delivery environment then maybe T-shirt sizes which are then converted to Story Points is a better option.
Whatever option you choose the biggest gotcha for me is the data that comes from it. Insights out are only as good as the data that is put in. That is why I also utilize Automation to promote good data hygiene and also Atlassian Analytics to constantly monitor our Capacity Landscape.
Now we want to hear from you!
How do you approach capacity planning in your role as a program manager?
What factors do you consider when estimating resource requirements?
Do you have any tips or best practices for effective capacity management?
What tooling do you use?
We’d love to hear about any challenges you've encountered, success stories, or lessons learned along the way.