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Advice needed - Agile in combination with financial timephased reporting and capacity planning RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    We are currently transitioning towards the Scaled Agile Framework and it is giving me some problems in providing some reports.
    Our current setup with waterfall planning provides nice reports on resource demands and timephased costs.

    However when I create a project with the Scrum setup, I can define sprints (with sprint dates), define tasks with expected workload and assign resources with hourly rates. I can manage these tasks across boards and all that works quite ok.

    My problem is that management also wants to have reports on the financial costs (actual and remaining costs) over time for these projects, and the Scrum way of working does not set a start and finish date for the  tasks addigned to Sprints in the future.
    So when I try to create a graph with (remaining) cost over time, almost all  remaining costs show at the start of the project.

    (Now, I am aware that Agile is supposed to have fixed teams, so cost forecasting is usually done by taking the sprint cost and multiplying it. The lack of overall information on Agile and costs/forecasting on the internet suggests that I probably shouldn't try to create these reports as it is not meant to be like that.. But we have large projects with different multidisciplinary teams working on several subcomponents in these projects and management wants to know what costs to expect when for what subcomponent etc etc..)

    So I am looking for advice in this matter.
    I think I could use the Sprint Start and Sprint Finish dates to create these reports within BI tooling (or excel) from the published data via Odata feed, but I am wondering whether somebody else may have run into this as well and might offer a better solution. 

    Also with regard to long term resource planning, the same issue arises.
    Since the tasks have no start date, resource demand/capacity is not updated correctly.

    Or should I just tell management that it can't be done in the tooling and we need to create manual excel files again to achieve this? ;)

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 12:48 PM

Answers

  • Hi Roel,

    Each task in the sprint can have a start and finish date, but you would have to add this for each task. Costs would then be appropriately timephased as well. I wouldn't use the sprint dates as a lot (if not all) of the new agile fields do not make it into the oData feed.  If you do then use dates obviously the resources will also reflect correct demand.  


    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | downloads | P2O

    • Marked as answer by RoelSneiders Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:36 PM
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:30 PM

All replies

  • Hi Roel,

    Each task in the sprint can have a start and finish date, but you would have to add this for each task. Costs would then be appropriately timephased as well. I wouldn't use the sprint dates as a lot (if not all) of the new agile fields do not make it into the oData feed.  If you do then use dates obviously the resources will also reflect correct demand.  


    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | downloads | P2O

    • Marked as answer by RoelSneiders Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:36 PM
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:30 PM
  • Hi Ben,

    Thanks for the response and advice.

    I  was already worried that that might be the only solution and hoping to avoid that ;)

    Regards,

    Roel

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:36 PM
  • Hi Ben,

    I just thought of something.

    Do you think it would work if I used a custom datefield, with a formula that equals [Sprint start] and then use that datefield to create the reports?

    They would show up in the oData feed and they update correctly after changing tasks around and updating the project.

    Best regards,

    Roel

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:49 PM
  • I tried that once too - alas the sprint fields aren't Enterprise Fields and so Enterprise Custom Formulas didn't work, however you could create Enterprise Custom Date fields and then manually copy the Sprint Start and Sprint Finish into those new Enterprise Custom Date fields for each project.   

    Ben Howard [MVP] | web | blog | book | downloads | P2O

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 5:54 PM
  • ah, too bad.

    I indeed just tried it with a local, non Enterprise Field, assuming it would work for Enterprise Fields as well.
    Won't bother with it then as it is almost as labour intensive.

    Thanks again, much appreciated

    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 6:00 PM