Capacity planning facilitates the events leading up to big room planning. Create what-if scenarios and plans inside CA Agile Central without changing artifacts and execution data for teams and projects. Capacity planning provides the ability to model backlogs, teams, capacity, and portfolio items to team allocation for a given release, or a start and end release. It enables product and engineering management to bring the right work into the room for release planning, where management can focus on dependencies and risk conversations instead of what will be accomplished.
Plans are not user-specific. Any changes you make to an unpublished plan can be viewed by other planners, only published plans can be viewed by all users. Any associations or allocations of features to teams made in unpublished plans do not change any other values in CA Agile Central.
Capacity planning includes:
- Designate planners
- Create and modify plans
- Select work for the backlog
- Select teams and allocate work
- Share portfolio items
- View the summary
- Publish a plan
Who should use capacity planning
Planners such as executives, program managers, product managers, development managers, product owners, release train engineers, and team leads can all benefit from capacity planning.
Access capacity planning
All Unlimited Edition customers have access to capacity planning. Capacity planning relies on the active use of CA Agile Central Portfolio Manager and the adoption of modern capacity planning principles.
Subscription or workspace administrators must designate individual users as planners. Only planners may create, modify, publish, and view draft plans. All users can view published plans.
A planner may publish or edit any other planner's plans. Carefully consider which users in your organization to designate as planners to avoid accidental overwrites.
To designate planners:
- Click the Setup icon .
- On the Users tab, locate the user you wish to designate as a planner.
- Click the gear icon next to the user's name and select Edit.
- On the Edit User screen, select the Planner checkbox in the Planner section.
- Click Save & Close.
Create and modify plans
On the Capacity Planning page, users assigned the planner role can create plans. A plan represents a set of portfolio items and a set of teams for a specified timeframe (release). Plans are at the project you are scoped to in CA Agile Central. Consider starting your scope at the level that contains the portfolio items related to your program or release train.
To create a plan:
- From the Portfolio menu, select Capacity Planning.
- On the Capacity Planning page, enter a name in the New Plan field and click Add.
- Click the ID number of the plan to add details.
- On the plan's detail page, select a start and end release.
The release drop-down list contains all the releases in the scoped project. Selecting a release adds it to the plan.
Modify and copy plans
You can modify an unpublished plan at any time. To modify a published plan, click the Edit button in the upper-right corner and make any necessary changes. Editing a published plan reverts it back to unpublished, or draft, status.
To delete a plan, click the gear icon next to a plan's name on the Capacity Planning summary page and select Delete.
To copy a plan, click the gear icon next to a plan's name on the Capacity Planning summary page and select Copy. A copied plan includes all associated releases, teams, portfolio items, and allocations from the original plan. Copied plans default to draft (unpublished) status.
Select work for the backlog
Use the backlog to select work for your teams.
- Select a portfolio item type to use to populate your plan's backlog.
- Click Edit List to populate your backlog.
- Select the portfolio items you want to use, then click Add to Plan.
You can sort the columns on the portfolio item picker.
A portfolio item's preliminary estimate value is used to calculate percent capacity. If there is a value for refined estimate, that value is used instead.
A portfolio item highlighted in gray indicates it is already assigned to a team in the plan.
Click the expand arrows on the backlog panel to see a more detailed view, including the portfolio item's parent, dependencies, leaf story rollups, and preliminary and refined estimate values. Click the arrows again to view the collapsed backlog. You can re-rank portfolio items in both the expanded and collapsed views.
The capacity cutline displays at the top of the backlog. Use the cutline to help you to prioritize backlogs, determine teams, and see capacity for the release. Drag the cutline down your prioritized backlog to get a visual representation of work that can be realistically completed in a release.
In the expanded backlog view, the capacity cutline displays capacity calculations based upon the summation the Preliminary Estimate column and the Refined Estimates column versus the teams' aggregated capacities. If no capacity is defined, the capacity calculations aggregate data in the Preliminary Estimate column and the Refined Estimates column and do not display capacity calculations.
Select teams and allocate work
Planners can select the individual teams within their hierarchy to include in the plan.
- Click the Select Teams button to view a list of all the teams in the workspace.
- Select your teams, then click Save.
The teams you selected now display with expandable rows in the Team Allocations panel.
Specify team allocations
The default capacity of any team is 100. Click directly in the Capacity field to change its value. Capacity is stored only in an individual plan. Based on a team's capacity, you can drag-and-drop a feature from the backlog to a team's allocation row. A feature may only be assigned to one team.
You can set a team's capacity to zero to indicate that team should not be assigned features for that timebox. A zero capacity displays as --% for the percent capacity.
When you add a feature to a team, its estimate is added to the progress bar. The progress bar uses the team's capacity with a color-coded indicator. The color corresponds to the portfolio item's assigned color. If a team is over capacity, the entire bar turns red.
Expand a team's row to view details for the assigned features, such as dependencies, leaf story rollups, and preliminary and refined estimate values.
To remove a feature from a team, click the icon. You can reassign a removed feature to another team from the backlog.
Share portfolio items
If a portfolio item is too large for one team to finish in a release, you can share it between two or more teams. This is useful if a portion of a portfolio item requires a specific expertise that one team has over another. Also, sharing a portfolio item between teams ensures a large feature can be completed within a release.
To share a portfolio item, click the gear icon and select Allocate.
Add group estimates to allocations
After you have determined which teams can commit to parts of a portfolio item, update the group estimate fields for each team. The initial value that is pre-populated in this field is based on the preliminary or refined estimate. You can change this value based on the work each team can commit to for the feature.
The values assigned in the group estimate fields for a portfolio item are considered more accurate than the preliminary or refined estimate values. The values do not need to be equal between teams, nor does the sum of the values need to be equal to the original estimate (preliminary or refined). The group estimate value overrides any previous value when calculating team load.
The group estimate value for each team determines the team load value in the Group Allocations section. This value is only available in capacity planning. It does not change the actual estimate on the work item elsewhere in the application.
All groups assigned to a portfolio item display in the allocations summary table.
View the plan summary
Click the Summary button to view or print a detailed list of features allocated in the plan.
Publish a plan
When your plan is ready to be viewed by all users, you can publish it. When you click the Publish button, you can choose to publish without updating fields in CA Agile Central such as Release and Planned Start and End Dates of all the portfolio items allocated in the plan. The Release field is only updated when the start and end dates match in the plan.
If you choose to update fields when publishing, the assigned portfolio items are viewable on the portfolio timeline with their updated values for release, start, and end dates.