Sprint Capacity Stack

I’ve experimented with several ways of visualizing team capacity for a sprint, and here is the latest iteration:

Our 2-week sprint is represented by 9 working days and one day for sprint review, retro, planning, etc.. Since we are delivering a valuable increment of software packaged for immediate release, I drew a present. It’s like Christmas every two weeks!

Next to each day, events, vacations, birthdays, etc are noted. Really, anything could goe here; hang whatever you want on the stack.

The colors are completely subjective and represent my person feeling for how these particular days are treated during the sprint. The first couple days of the sprint seem to be spike heavy for us; we are at times breaking new ground and researching new strategies and technologies. The whole week following falls into a sort of groove where we’ve proved our assumptions either right or wrong, made adjustments, and are heads down working. During the last two days of the sprint, we tend to hasten our pace as it becomes imminently clear how close we are to succeeding or failing on delivery forecasts.

Here’s the fun part. At the Daily Scrum, reach up and “pop” off the current day’s sticky note (it is a stack after all). You see the days remaining and the scarcity of remaining capacity radiates out on the team constantly.

I would suggest keeping the popped stickies and reusing your stack. Additionally, try to get a white board to be the backdrop of your stack as I have got in my example. You’ll find the flexibility of dry-erase annotation makes this a very powerful tool for visualizing your team’s capacity.

Let me know if this helps you!


Jason is a developer, Scrum Master, writer, teacher, coach, husband, father, and community leader out of Tulsa Oklahoma. He's been delivering software since 2007 and absolutely loves the values and principles of agility especially as given form by the Scrum framework.