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How Tempo Planner benefits Agile software teams

This is part of a blog series highlighting how Tempo Planner can empower software teams, IT service desk teams, and core business teams using JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk, and JIRA Core, respectively.

In this blog, post we’ll introduce how Tempo Planner can benefit Agile software teams with visual resource management seamlessly in JIRA, enabling teams to better plan for sprints, releases, and long-term roadmaps based on team member roles, availability, and needs.

This product alleviates the hassle of relying on time consuming, non-transparent spreadsheets and easily stay on top of your team's workload while working directly in JIRA.

Gain flexibility, visibility, and focus with JIRA and Tempo Planner

An agile team is generally defined as:

A small group of dedicated individuals, who together have the skills necessary to define, build, and test increments of value in a short timeframe for their software products.

Agile teams are self-organizing and responsible for managing their work. They estimate the size and complexity of their work and commit to the work they can accomplish in an iteration or program incremented timebox.

As a member of an Agile team, you know that plans often change, people get recruited onto other projects that compete with their time, and unexpected events can occur, which alter your team’s plans.

[tweetme]For agile teams, it’s vital to be able to adapt as changes and needs evolve. [/tweetme]

Agile teams can better respond to changing requirements, and, through collaborative planning, they enjoy a more even distribution of project responsibility.

[callout class="tip"]JIRA Software gives teams the ability to:

  • Outline their projects, stories, and issues (tasks)
  • Track their work on releases and deliverables.[/callout]

Tempo Planner adds deeper resource planning capabilities on top of JIRA, enabling teams and members to better prioritize, visualize, and focus plans. Here’s how:

1. Visualize upcoming iterations and quickly adapt as needed

Before an Agile team begins working on an iteration, the team must collaborate and estimate the size and complexity of the work that they plan to complete within a short period of time, for example, 2 or 3 three weeks.

Planning for an iteration can be challenging, particularly, for instance, if information regarding  team member availability, workload, and days off  differs among team members.

[tweetme]Insufficient information can prolong sprint planning process, which can end up being time-consuming and expensive.[/tweetme]

[callout class="user"]For distributed teams or those that are working remotely, synchronizing time and efforts can be further complicated due to things like local holidays and time zones. Agile teams need to be synchronized, and adaptive responses to sudden changes in the planning and development process should be encouraged.[/callout]

In Tempo Planner to plan your resources and capacity you must create teams. You start by assigning JIRA users to a team. A team might consist of, for example, the people in one department of your company, or it might be a scrum team.

Most teams struggle with things such as vacations, holidays, different working days, and different working hours which can all affect the planning process.

Tempo Planner allows you to set vacations, holidays, and flexible working hours according to your team member’s needs. You simply assign users to a workload and holiday schemes to help you accurately calculate the team’s capacity.


Once you’ve planned your team using Tempo’s core Teams functionality, and linked a project or Agile board in JIRA Software, your Agile teams can easily plan and delegate work to teams and team members with Tempo Planner.

Simply drag-and-drop the JIRA issues, stories, and tasks assigned to a particular iteration directly to team members on your team timeline based on their availability and capacity to ensure a balanced workload and delivery.

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://blog.tempo.io/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/planner_timeline_vid.mp4"][/video]

As a project manager or team lead, you can quickly visualize your team resources and the work that your team has planned, and immediately know how much time your team members have available for the current iteration.

With this information, you can visually plan on the timeline to reserve your team members’ remaining time and continue to track the team’s iteration workload in real-time.

[callout class="tip"]This helps project managers and team leads to identify issues that might affect your plans and deadlines before they escalate, including scope and changes to your team, and quickly adapt plans as circumstances require.[/callout]

2. Gain high-level and granular resource planning

Different organizations maintain different planning needs. While some organizations require  high-level roadmap and team planning for multiple teams and projects, others need more granular planning capabilities (and many need both).

Regardless, businesses working in Agile need to remain flexible and able to adapt to sudden changes and new requirements.

[callout class="user"]Tempo Planner is designed to help teams and businesses work smarter, from defining product requirements, architectural epics, and feature sets, to the details of executing and successfully delivering them to customers through dynamic teams and multiple projects.[/callout]

Let’s take a look at how you can plan on a high-level and then visualize your versions.

1. Plan for multiple teams with program planning

Tempo Planner’s program board is essentially a kanban board that enables those managing multiple teams working on projects that fall within a common theme to prioritize features, backlogs, and architectural epics on a higher level before they are delegated to specific teams.

[video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="http://blog.tempo.io/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/program_board_blog1.mp4"][/video]

Each column shows a team and its team members, as well as prioritized workflow of the epics they are working on, and the epic backlog. You can drag-and-drop to assign an epic to a team or re-prioritize them according to your needs.

Epics that are being worked on display the original estimate of the epic in the top-right corner. In the bottom-left corner, time spent all issues within the epic are displayed and the remaining estimate is displayed in the bottom-right corner.


If the time spent on epics within the issue and the remaining estimate combined exceed the original estimate then a status indicators will inform you that the epic is at risk of going over budget or if it has already exceeded the budget.

If your team is working in story points then you can also associate story points to an epic instead of hours.

[callout class="tip"]This view is highly beneficial for managers who need to manage multiple teams on a higher-level and want to make sure that architectural epics are not going over budget.[/callout]

2. Visualize your versions long-term roadmap

Tempo Planner’s program timeline view gives managers a bird’s-eye view of all scheduled versions for multiple ongoing JIRA projects on a detailed roadmap, along with the epics associated with each version and their due date. Program_roadmap_blogYou can also choose to view the timeline by teams, which means that you’ll be able to view all of the teams within the program and the upcoming iterations/sprints that have been scheduled for each team in the program.

The timeframe of versions or iteration can easily be adjusted with a drag-and-drop as things change. Flexibly plan and adapt in conjunction with how your development process evolves.

3. Track the capacity of your teams and programs

Calculating and managing the capacity and availability of  teams and programs is made easier with Tempo Planner’s capacity reporting features.

By doing so you’ve gone a step further and accounted for non-working time in the planning process and measured your team's capacity as accurately as possible. Visually view your team's capacity and make sure that everyone is being efficiently utilized and working towards the same goal.

[callout class="user"]The Team Capacity Report gives you access of planned and available time across all teams and displays team members’ planned time, hourly estimates of available time, and the effective team size. This information can be viewed by:

  • Day, week, month; or
  • Quarter according to the managers needs.[/callout]

The Capacity Report is also available on the Program Level for managers who want to keep track of capacity for multiple teams within a program.Team_Capacity_Report_AMTempo Planner is not just for software teams, it’s also for core business teams, and IT teams. Teams around the world are extending JIRA Software, JIRA Service Desk, and JIRA Core with Tempo Planner to optimize their planning processes.

Stay tuned for our next post about how Tempo Planner can help your core business teams (like marketing, sales, HR, legal) better visualize and execute their plans in JIRA.

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