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Capacity Planning for Product Teams: Solved

Capacity planning is painful for PMs, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how our new multi-dimensional capacity planning tool gives you powerful insights into available resources across *all* relevant teams and allows you to adapt to product changes quickly and effortlessly.

Roni Ben-Aharon, CPO, Craft.io

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4 mins read

So you’ve completed prioritization, and now it’s time to channel your quarterly plan or release into a list of items you and your team are reasonably comfortable committing to. Here comes capacity planning, full of complex dependencies across teams, large spreadsheets floating around the org, excessive coordination meetings, and many hours (if not days and weeks) of frustrating planning work, all with the one aim: to say what you’re are actually going to do.

We’ve spoken to MANY product teams and heard your pain and decided to take on the heroic task of making this process smoother and simpler for you. And we’re pretty psyched about the result! Our new Capacity Planning tool is now live on Craft.io, built to drive greater transparency across organizations and make your life as a PM a hell of a lot easier. 

Let’s look at a classic scenario. You’re a product manager with an upcoming release, and now it’s crunch time. You need to decide which dev tasks (epics/stories) are to be included (and which aren’t) based on the effort and resources required to produce them. If you do this correctly, you’ll anticipate and plan accordingly for resource bottlenecks, and avoid unexpected surprises (not the good types) once development commences. Done incorrectly, however, and you’ll likely overcommit to resources, prioritize tasks incorrectly, communicate to stakeholders inaccurate resource estimates and create misleading roadmaps. In fact, 62% of organizations with poor capacity planning admit they lack proper visibility to foresee resource constraints. And with 56% of organizations suffering from the inability to access real-time reports on resources, it’s clear why this is a real problem for many product teams.

Enter: Craft.io. With our latest capacity planning feature, we’ve solved many of the pain points experienced by product managers when trying to assess and allocate capacity across teams. 

Now, using Craft.io, you’re able to:

  • Complete capacity planning inside your core product management tool, eliminating the need for switching back and forth between inadequate apps
  • Easily push your plan into the hands of dev once the plan is locked, using our powerful integrations with leading dev task management tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, and more
  • Adapt with ease to changes (never happens, right?) by communicating to stakeholders the trade-offs between current and future plans
  • Increase roadmap accuracy by linking features to real-time capacity planning, ensuring all product work is consistently synced
  • Provide a space for seamless input and collaboration between you and your extended team, making sure all anticipated bottlenecks are planned for
  • Instantly understand when your capacity is met, and also get insight into areas where excess capacity is available, allowing you to add more items and maximize development.
Easy breezy capacity planning in Craft.io: entirely customizable to display the custom fields most relevant to your product team

Multi-dimensional capacity planning

Hands down, the biggest breakthrough feature in our capacity planning tool is the ability to drill down into specific parts of your business and get a deeper understanding of resource availability. We call this multi-dimensional capacity planning. Simply put, it gives you the ability to outline capacity parameters across various dimensions of your team (e.g., front-end development teams, back-end development teams, or your various squads). This, in turn, results in your capacity planning views being informed by not just by an ‘overall’ estimation of how many resources to allocate to a feature (e.g., 25 man-days/weeks/story points), but a clearer picture of precisely how those numbers are to be divided up internally. 

Multi-dimensional capacity planning allows you to get a more meaningful understanding of available resources by drilling down and spotlighting precisely how much time and effort is required on a team/squad level.

This is a game-changer. No longer will PMs rely on a broad, only partially helpful estimation of capacity allocation based on how long it takes to complete a feature on a macro-level. When it comes to capacity planning, PMs need specificity and insight into all the gears required to bring a feature to life– and this is what Craft.io provides. 

With Craft.io’s multi-dimensional capacity planning tool, you’re able to make better product decisions in the context of all available resources and be nimble enough to adapt even when things change unexpectedly. This makes for happier, more efficient product managers who can now master capacity planning, generate well-defined plans and roadmaps, and increase visibility across the organization using one powerful tool.

Ready to master capacity planning? Sign up to Craft.io’s free 14-day trial and discover how a tool created exclusively for PMs can balance your strategy, objectives, and delivery.