Agile Capacity Planning : How to Do and What are its Advantages

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Jun 16, 2021

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15 mins


What Is Capacity Planning In Agile Methodology?

Capacity means the amount of work that an individual can perform in a given period. You can also classify it as the number of resources (human, capital, etc.) an organization requires. On the other hand, planning is the method of estimating the resources needed for a specific project.

Agile Capacity Planning is a method of balancing team members' available hours against the project's requirements. In this case, Capacity in Agile refers to the amount of work that can be accomplished within a specified timeframe.

It's a balancing act, and it has many elements, including the team's strength, the budget for specific hours, and what the customer, stakeholder, and client demands. Capacity and project planning are intimately connected. Planning is the process of allocating team members' hours to complete tasks on time. Know the importance of project planning before we proceed further. 

Capacity planning


When Must Capacity Planning Be Done?

It takes a lot of effort to manage your agency's development and the satisfaction of your team.

A proper balancing of supply and demand is crucial to the success of an agency's workflow. While adding more projects to the pipeline is a good thing, a lack of resources to complete them will result in overburdened team members and delivery delays.

The truth is that finding a balance between profit margins and team resources requires a combination of factors. That's where capacity planning is involved. Capacity-based planning provides an accurate image of how much work the team can do without stressing out or reducing efficiency.

If you work in the information technology (IT) sector, you understand how critical timeliness and consistency are to your success. Here, even one team member ignoring a single deadline negatively impacts the entire project. This highlights the crucial importance of a Project Manager having complete control over their team's deliverables. And this can only be accomplished by the use of efficient Agile Capacity Planning.

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How to Perform Capacity Planning:

1. Estimate potential capacity requirements

A department's potential can be measured in terms of output or inputs. Capacity forecasting enables the difference between actual and expected capacity to be determined, allowing for necessary adjustments.

Capacity requirements for the short term can be estimated by estimating product demand at various stages. Forecasting long-term capacity requirements are more difficult due to demand and technological uncertainties.

2. Evaluate the existing capacity and infrastructural facilities; identify differences

Before you can start capacity planning, you must first determine precisely what you are planning.

A clear overview of the tasks your department must complete, both now and in the future, is critical. Consider the projects that are presently in the pipeline and the events that are upcoming in the next 3-6 months. Then, begin estimating the duration of each task by dividing each project down into individual tasks and evaluating their time.

3. Identify feasible alternatives to requirements

While current capacity is insufficient to meet projected demand capacity, expansion would be needed to address the shortage. This way, additional shifts or overtime would be required to boost capacity. In a similar vein, the growth will increase and assist in meeting forecasted demand. Still, it will require additional investment and carries the risk of falling short of future demand expectations.

4. Prepare financial reports

Multiple capacity development or reduction solutions are calculated from financial, technological, and other perspectives. To obtain an accurate report, workers' and locals' reactions should be recognized during the assessment. Cost-benefit analysis, queuing theory, decision trees, and other methods are the most common evaluation methods.

5. Analyze vital qualitative issues

When actual capacity exceeds planned capacity, excess capacity must be minimized. Developing new products, selling existing facilities, laying off workers, or taking additional jobs from other businesses are ways to stay ahead of this.

6. Make a long-term decision on the best alternative

The best option is now closed after conducting a cost-benefit study of various capacity expansion or reduction options. Since capacity preparation is related to both the team's capacity and skillsets, the timetable must account for additional factors such as the project's type, budget, projects, and required hours.

7. Implement and Keep track of the selected alternative

To collect this data, you'll need capacity planning software. You will struggle to master the tasks involved if you do not have the appropriate software tools for systematic resource planning.

Integrate the requirements and available resources. Identify both underload and overload and aim to balance these. However, keep in mind that the information in the database is based on subjective estimates.

Advantages of Capacity Planning In Agile Methodology:

  • It Ensures Accessibility

Capacity planning describes the process necessary to complete your projects. You need individuals who can manage the tasks or determine whether you need additional hands to assist you in taking over the projects. Capacity planning enables you to assess all of these factors to avoid misleading your clients.

  • Keep Track Of Your Skill

Capacity planning is essential for evaluating the team's skill inventory. A skill inventory is a data collection on who is competent in performing a particular task and their skills. This is particularly critical in a technological environment, such as a programming or software business. Additionally, you can quickly update the skill resources when a worker gains new abilities or expertise.

  • It Assists in Easily Identifying Any Skill Gap

Capacity planning has the benefit of allowing you to identify any possible problems early on. You are not required to begin the project until you have determined that you will need assistance. When you prepare strategically, you can identify who works and what they can contribute to the cause.


Scaling agile practices successfully to the enterprise level now demands a certain level of expertise, ability, and experience with SAFe Certification. It is essential that Capacity-Based Planning is not viewed as an assurance of the team's commitment. Commitment can be seen here as the determination of a team to do its best. The dedication should be taken seriously and utilized on a regular schedule. Businesses gain trust in their ability to deliver products on time this way.

SAFe Training is one of those approaches that have been proven to integrate lean effectively and system planning with Agile Development practices.


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