Every dayevery week planning: Task Capacity report

Today I would like to focus on the main tool that my team is using for every day control of planning process. I called it Task Capacity report.

If you are familiar with Microsoft Project and Gantе chart you will find much common between this tools and Task Capacity report, which looks like the following:

  • The report spreads tasks the same way as Microsoft Project does:
    • It starts from the Planning date (Finish Date),
    • Checks how much percent of time developer must spend on this task (special field Units in Work Item)
    • If field Units is not filled, it considers the value is equal to 80%.
  • Calculates hours for each day and each active task on developer.

As the result we have clear picture who is overloaded and who does not have enough workload. Why not to use MS Project for such activity? Because we have separate file for each project and it’s impossible to get whole picture in one place. And MS Project Server is rather expensive for start and support; also it will be too much for us. We are not so large team to have need for so complex and universal tool.

That’s why in order to have all developers’ workload in one place I decided to create this report, and I can say it works great. Now, to clarify how report works, I would like to post example of calculations:

  • Developer has two tasks assigned to him (let say today is 18/07/2012):
    • Task 1: 16 hour task with finish date – 21/07/2012 and Unit does not filled (so report consider it 80%).
    • Task 2: 10 hour task with finish date – 19/07/2012 and Units = 50%.
  • All cells that have value more than 8 hours or have values in the past – are marked as red.
  • All hours in the past are summarize in one yesterday cell.
  • If you click on any cell – the specification report will open, in which you would see the list of tasks that have created the day sum.

So there is one thing that is needed to make report works – somebody must fill units for all new tasks. In my team we have the following process:

  • Planning manager on everyday basis checks all tasks assigned to developers that have not filled Units.
  • Based on Scenario information and Business Priority of each task, he fills empty Units.

As there are no more than 5-10 tasks assigned each day in average, this activity takes no more than 2-3 minutes every day. Also great that TFS gives us possibility to do such work in MS Excel, so it’s quite easy. So it is not much for the report that gives me the possibility in one look see the current workload of my team.

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