Estimating the effort required to complete a piece of work is an important consideration for any product manager. A successful delivery will usually depend on the contributions of many teams working together.
Careful estimation can help inform planning changes and increase confidence to stakeholders that the delivery date is achievable. Effort estimates across teams can easily be captured in Aha! using a custom scorecard, and visualized in a pivot table or chart.
How it works
Custom scorecards are a flexible feature across Aha! to track different metrics together as a whole. We can use custom scorecards to track the effort of each team as the individual metrics, and then the Aha! score is the overall effort. The steps to accomplish this are as follows:
- Create a resource scorecard
- Add the custom scorecard to the right areas of Aha!
- Capture effort estimates
- Report effort estimates
1. Create a resource scorecard
In this example, a linear scale of 1 to 100 is used with a suffix of "Hours". A simple addition formula for the Aha! score will calculate the total effort needed across all of the teams to deliver that functionality.
Save your custom scorecard with a descriptive title such as "Resource estimation scorecard" for easy identification and to differentiate it from any other scorecards that are in use.
2. Add the custom scorecard to the right areas of Aha!
The resource estimation scorecard can now be applied to various objects within Aha!
Consider adding the scorecard to initiatives for high level strategic estimation or at the release level to highlight bottlenecks in your tactical delivery ahead of time. In this example, we will add the scorecard to the features.
Go to Settings > Account > Custom Fields and add a new custom field at the feature level.
Choose a custom field of type scorecard field and select the scorecard that you just created in the previous step. Giving the field a meaningful name like "Resource Estimate" will help others to identify its purpose. Don't forget to add your new custom field to the appropriate custom field layout
3. Capture effort estimates
Opening the feature details will now show the new resource estimate score that you have created. Now the scorecard fields can be used during your planning process to record estimates against each of your features. You can quickly add, or update, scorecard values by typing them in directly or dragging the slider to update the custom scorecard.
4. Report effort estimates
Now your team-level feature estimates can be used in reporting. A pivot table is ideal to show total effort estimates for all features in a release broken down by team.
In this example, column totals show the combined team effort required for each feature. Row totals show the combined effort to deliver all the features in the release by each team.
To create this report, start by selecting Reports > Pivot from the navigation menu. Click on the blue New report button and select Create a custom pivot table. Select a primary table of "feature" and choose feature name from the central feature column. Click the add column button to confirm.
Press the green Add column button and select the fields from your Resource estimate metrics scorecard from the center column and then press "add column" button.
Lastly, arrange the data as per the example below, set "Within cells" to "Sum values" and set the calculate across rows and down columns control to summarize by "Total".
Select Customize View on the right hand side (gear icon) and select the checkbox to Show cell headers. This exposes the individual metrics from your resource scorecard as individual header columns in your pivot report.
5. Report effort estimates across multiple releases (if required)
The same principles above can be used to show aggregate team estimates across multiple releases. The column totals show the effort required for each release for all teams while the row totals show the effort required by each team for all of the selected releases. You can add color to your pivot table for greater clarity and reporting impact.
These powerful reports can be invaluable in estimating and reporting the effort required from all teams to deliver your roadmap. Your collaborative team can be better informed of potential bottlenecks before they impact roadmap delivery.