What is a Capacity Planning
The number of productive hours available for a sprint is called sprint capacity. The capacity is calculated before starting a sprint to identify how many stories team can accomplish for the upcoming sprint. This process is called capacity planning. This helps the team to make a commitment (How many story-points team would complete).
How to do Capacity Planning
Please download the template for capacity planning available at
Follow below steps
- Provide sprint start and end date. State daily total hours available each day for one person.
- Mention all the team member names (Column B11 onwards)
- Set high-level default percentages and click “Set Default Allocation” Button.
- The defaults will be set. These can be updated for individuals as per your team allocation.
- Click “Plan Button”
- This would open capacity sheet with available hours for each individual for all days (Start to end of the sprint)
- You can make changes to individuals availability on specific days. Consider holidays, time off and other factors which affect hours for given days.
- Fill in details of past sprints if you have data. If not, you would start having that from next sprint onwards once you start using this planner.
- Based on past sprint data you get hours per story points in the Capacity sheet that would help us to derive how many story points we can really commit for upcoming sprint for which we are doing capacity planning.
Please note you can use the template I provided or any other template you or your company already have. My goal is just to make the process easy and make you understand the benefit.
- Considering time-offs, vacations and availability percentage help us to identify available hours which eventually help us to pick the right amount of work for a given sprint.
- Many sprint team does this manually which has two disadvantages
- The chances of making mistake are high.
- When you are considering velocity for next sprint, you simply pick an amount of work which is equal to past sprint velocity or an average of past few sprint data. Both of which are not correct. For instance, your team has completed 45, 30 and 32 story-points in three respective sprints which the available hours were 450, 310 and 340 respectively. Now in current sprint, you have available hours are 470. Considering average or last sprint velocity is not right in this case.
- Increases chances of sprint success.
- The holistic view of data what you get for past sprints using capacity planning does help in taking decisions and continuous improvement.
In order to see the real benefit of this template, you are expected to use the template for at least 3-4 sprints. Further as you more, you see more benefits.
There are 100s of teams I know using the template I shared. This is most basic template while if you think you want to add more to it, just provide the details in terms of what do you want and I will incorporate into my template.