Why managing capacity is important for managing outcomes
In an organizational setting, teams can rarely focus on achieving only their own outcomes. They usually also need to consider other stakeholders' expectations and contributions others might need from them during the cycle.
Without a clear overview of the total team capacity and how much of it can or should be spent on different topics, teams quickly face the risk of being overbooked, not achieving their goals and getting frustrated in the process.
Use Cases for the Capacity Manager
Once activated, the Capacity Manager can be found at the top of the Team Page. It allows teams to review their total capacity for the cycle and allocate it to different outcomes and categories ahead of execution and make adjustments later during the cycle if needed. While this feature is mostly relevant to the individual teams, several other stakeholders in an organization also benefit from an easy and transparent capacity planning:
- Teams and Team Leads
- Realistic capacity allocation to avoid overbooking
- Efficient prioritization and realistic cycle scopes
- Transparent foundation for discussions with others about how capacity should be use
- Easy reallocation of capacity when resources or priorities are changing
- Program Lead
- Easy identification of team bottlenecks and unbalanced splits of strategic vs. non-strategic work
- Efficient outcome delivery without capacity-related blockers during execution
- Less frustration about the OKR framework among teams
- Management and organization
- Transparent overview of how resources are spent in the organization
- Better understanding of the complexity of planned outcomes and how they affect teams
- Realistic drafting and planning of outcomes as a foundation for a successful cycle
How to use the Capacity Manager
ℹ️ Only Team Leads can actively use the Capacity Manager, but the allocation of capacity is also visible to other users.
Reviewing Team Capacity
Before Team Leads can allocate their teams' capacity, they need to be aware of the total available capacity for the upcoming cycle (number of team members * weeks in cycle). To review the capacity ahead of the cycle, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Team Page
- Click Review in the Capcity Manager tab on the right
- Adjust time for Absence per team member
- Click Next
- On the next page, click Confirm
💡 The second page is currently being reworked, which is why you can only click confirm at the moment. Please refer to the next section of this article for reading about allocating capacity.
Editing Team Capacity
- Navigate to the Team Page
- Click Edit in the Capcity Manager tab on the right
- Edit the team members' absence time
- Click Next
- Save the new capacity estimation
Allocating Team Capacity
After confirming the total team capacity, Team Leads can now decide how much time should be spent on outcomes and other work.
- Move the sliders to adjust the allocation for different Goals and categories
- Click Save to update the allocation
💡The capacity graph is being updated in real-time which makes the impact of potential allocation changes immediately visible. This is especially helpful for discussing different potential scenarios of capacity allocation.
💡 It is possible to further differentiate the category "Buffer Time" with further sub-categories to better reflect your team's needs. Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager to request an adjustment.
Re-prioritozing Team Capacity
Oftentimes, the conditions on which the capacity planning was originally based on change during the cycle. The Capacity Manager allows for adjustment at any time if the circumstances require it:
(1) Priorities change: Understand the impact of these changes on other Goals, discuss with the respective stakeholders and reallocate capacity as described in the Allocation section above.
(2) Team Members join or leave: Adjust the total capacity and revisit the allocation based on that. If more capacity is available because a new team member has joined and is able to contribute to the outcomes, decide where it is best used. If a team member leaves during the cycle and planned capacity will no longer be available, discuss the impact on the outcomes within the team and start a discussion with stakeholders if you need to reprioritize contributions.
(3) The team has already used up the planned FTE weeks or already spent more than initially allocated: If the team exceeds an allocation, use the slider to drag it to the FTE weeks you already spent on it. Discuss with the team and potential stakeholders about either proceeding with working on this outcome or adjusting/cutting Initiatives.
The Capacity Manager Report
This report is complimentary to the Capacity Manager and provides into how teams across the organization spend their capacity. You can read about it in detail here.
What to do when there is not enough capacity to work on all outcomes?
Check the following with the team members:
- Where do we need more focus?
- Which variable can we change?
- Are we promising too much collaboration capacity that limits us in achieving our own goals?
- Do we have too much operative work planned that keeps up from assigning more capacity to the strategic goals?
What to do if the team has not enough capacity to accept all requested contributions?
Use the Capacity Manager to visualize the overbooking and discuss with stakeholders which contributions should be prioritized. A good criteria is mapping urgency and importance as well as checking which of the contribution requests would help along goals that contribute to the same higher level OKRs that you have vertically aligned yourself with.
How to give feedback?
To further improve our Capacity Manager and adjust it better to you use cases, we have now added a feedback button so you can easily let us know what works and what could be improved right when managing your capacity. We are looking forward to your input!