10X: Run a Forecast in Plan Demand View

The Plan Demand view of the forecast allows performing the what-if analysis and scenario planning activities based on given capacity and epics or capabilities assigned to the PI. To get here, go to Program > Manage > Forecast.

Forecast is available in two agile views:

  • The Agile by Group view shows the list of epics or capabilities by programs.
  • The Agile by Team view shows the breakdown by specific teams in a program.

Configure the Forecast columns

Select the columns you would like to view on the Plan Demand view. You can display or hide columns for cost, driver, MMF, strategy, scoring, value stream, parent work item, theme, owner, value, and WSJF.

  1. To change what columns are displayed, click Configure Columns in the top-right of the page; a panel with toggles appears.
  2. Use the toggles to set which columns you would like to see.
  3. Click Apply on the panel to save your changes; the view updates to reflect your column choices.

Buffer management

You can allocate a buffer to a team to book and adjust the capacity of that team. To do that, follow the steps in the Set buffers procedure.

On the Program Increment Forecast page, the PI drop-down menu shows the PI that the buffer is assigned to. Changing the PI updates the capacity in the PIs. You can delete the buffer by clicking the red cross icon.

If you add a buffer to a team in the Plan Capacity dialog box, the team’s remaining capacity is adjusted by subtracting the buffer allocation from the remaining capacity. Program capacity changes as well. When you point to the capacity affected by a buffer, you can see a tooltip saying that the buffer is applied to this team's capacity.

Ranking items

Epics, capabilities, and stand-alone features on the page are ordered based on their ranking in the backlog. If you add a new working item to the backlog, it appears at the bottom of the forecast list for the corresponding PI or PIs. Here, you can manually move the working items to rank them in the priority that you need. Also, you can right-click an item to move it to top, bottom, or a certain position. Changing the rank of the item in one PI does not affect the rank of this item in other PIs. You cannot rank capabilities if features are displayed.

You can pull ranking from the backlog into the Forecast in order to reset the priorities and be sure that your Forecast is aligned with the plan. Click Apply Backlog Rank, and then apply a global rank, program rank, or portfolio rank set in the backlog. Once the program rank is applied, the item list is ordered in the same way as in the backlog. Once the portfolio rank is applied, epics are ranked in the same way as in the epic backlog for the PI. Use the backlog rank to ensure that priorities are aligned between the forecast and backlog and you are forecasting on the properly prioritized list.

Agile by Group

If capabilities are turned on for your instance, you can choose to run the forecast against capabilities or epics. To filter the forecast view, select Epics or Capabilities from the View by drop-down menu in the upper-left corner.

  • View by Epics. The report shows only epics assigned and contributing to certain PIs. No child capabilities are shown in the report. 
  • View by Capabilities. The report shows only capabilities assigned and contributing to certain PIs. 

The Show Stand-alone Features option allows you to view features that are not assigned to epics on the forecast. Turn this option on by selecting Apply Filters, then selecting the Show Stand-Alone Features toggle. 

Note: This option will only function with the View by Epics report.

The following columns always appear on the forecast, but you can customize the view and select the necessary columns for you.

  • Method comes from the Planning Mode drop-down menu on the Finance tab of the Epic page and determines which method is used for estimation. If you are in the Agile view and your estimation method is Skill Set, you cannot estimate. If you select Blended, you can estimate both in the Agile and in the Skill Set methods.
  • In-Scope column determines if a working item will be calculated in relation to the capacity. When an epic or a stand-alone feature is out of scope, it is excluded from calculations of the remaining capacity for a team or program. If an epic or a stand-alone feature is out of scope in one PI, it does not change their In-Scope status in the other PI. For features, it determines if a feature will be accounted during the rollup of allocations from feature to epic. When a feature is out of scope, the feature association with the epic should not be removed. The feature is only removed from scope on the forecast page. If a feature is out of scope, it will not be accounted. If a feature is out of scope in one PI, it does not change its In-Scope status in the other PI.
  • Estimated Effort comes from the estimate set on the Epic page. Additionally, you can allocate efforts to a certain team for a PI. To do this, click the number under the Estimated Effort section, set the allocation for the necessary PI, and then click Save.
  • Allocated Effort comes from the value set in the boxes in the Capacity column. Capacity boxes are green if they fall into the remaining capacity and the team can complete the working item. Capacity boxes are white if they do not fit in the team or group capacity. The letter S is shown if Skill Set is selected as a method or Skill Set estimates were applied. To update the Estimated Effort with the Allocated Effort value, click the blue arrow.
  • Percent of capacity displays the amount of overall capacity a work item will consume. The value is calculated based on the following formula: (Allocated Effort/sum of team or group capacities)*100.
  • Capacity column shows the remaining capacity, total capacity, and estimation points (for example, 794/835 TW).

Important: Capacity can be set in team/member weeks or points, depending on the estimation type set for a portfolio (portfolio-specific configuration). If there is more than one portfolio selected, the estimation type on the Forecast page is defined at the enterprise portfolio level and not on the portfolio-specific level. However, estimation on work items performed from their slide-out panel will be set in the estimation system specific for their portfolio. Estimation set in points and member/team weeks exist separately and will not overwrite each other, so you can go back and forth estimating your work in these two estimation systems.

When the remaining capacity is negative, it is highlighted in red. You can manually allocate efforts in the boxes under Capacity. When the estimated efforts exceed the capacity, the numbers in the boxes become red. If there is any estimation done in the Agile by Team view, the boxes become not editable. This estimation will be reflected on the Forecast tab for epics and capabilities. Under each program, there is a number which shows a total demand allocated for a program.

        The Override People per Team option affects the capacity in the following way:

    • Agile by Group view

Program capacity (if estimated in TW/MW) = 
in MW: Agile Teams number * MW in each team * weeks in a PI
in TW: Agile Teams number * weeks in a PI

Program capacity (if estimated in points) = average program velocity for the last two PIs.

    • Agile by Team view

Team capacity (if estimated in TW/MW) = people per team value * number of weeks

Team capacity (if estimated in points) = team velocity * number of sprints

Note: You can add the Parent column only when the capabilities are turned on on the global level. This column shows the parent epic for the capabilities if they are displayed in the report. All the other columns on this page are driven from the Epic page.

Agile by Team

To get to this view, in the upper-left corner, select Agile by Team from the View Type drop-down menu. This view shows the epics  whose programs have teams (at least one Agile team) assigned to them. Here, you can distribute the estimated efforts between teams. If the estimated efforts exceed the capacity for a team, the numbers in the boxes become red. If a work item is out of scope, the estimation boxes become grayed-out and not editable. Additionally, to this view, the Capacity column shows the remaining capacity, total capacity, and estimation points overall for the program and for all teams separately. The gray boxes on top of the team estimation columns show the Total team velocity for the program increment, which is the team average velocity multiplied by number of sprints in the PI, shown as points; this gives insight into the number of points the team could deliver, on average, during the PI. Average team velocity is the number of accepted story points in last five completed sprints in the current PI, excluding the current sprint, which is in progress. The first number represent points remaining (unallocated), and the second number represents total points.

Screen_Shot_2020-02-28_at_3.22.34_PM.png

When allocations are set in the Agile by Team view, they override the allocations in the Agile by Group view and you cannot update the Agile by Group allocation.

See Also

Simulation Forecast 

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