Improve Planning Accuracy with LinearB

The industry average for planning accuracy is below 50%. That means that engineering heads and team leads are wrong more than they’re right.
This is because the standard issue tracking and Git tools are just not good enough – it’s difficult to extract insight, there’s a lot of manual work, and issues are not well organized.

Understanding and improving Planning Accuracy

So why is Planning Accuracy a metric that matters so much? Because it is the best barometer of whether engineering will deliver on their promises.
LinearB correlates project management, Git, and release data to help you visualize, surface, and address the things that can affect delivering on your promises. Things like:
Unplanned work
Carryover work
Release velocity
It’s simple: Better Planning Accuracy = Improved delivery = More business value.
Here’s how LinearB can help improve your organization’s Planning Accuracy.
LinearB Project Delivery Tracker
LinearB Project Delivery Tracker

Take stock of your projects

So why is Planning Accuracy a metric that matters so much? Because it is the best barometer of whether engineering will deliver on their promises.
LinearB correlates project management, Git, and release data to help you visualize, surface, and address the things that can affect delivering on your promises. Things like:
Unplanned work
Carryover work
Release velocity
It’s simple: Better Planning Accuracy = Improved delivery = More business value.
Here’s how LinearB can help improve your organization’s Planning Accuracy.

Clean up your data

Improving your planning accuracy is pretty tough when 30% of your work isn’t tracked. Even worse, you’re making important business and strategic decisions from this incomplete data.

The current “solution” for the data integrity problem? Another initiative around data entry hygiene that will most likely get ignored and comes at the expense of focused coding time.

Team leads can use the shadow work detector in Pulse to identify unlinked work while developers can avoid signing in to project management tools and ensure data hygiene with WorkerB and One Click Ticket.
Unlinked Branches in Pulse and One Click Ticket in WorkerB

Identify patterns and bottlenecks

Once the Data Integrity issue has been solved, use your leading indicators of Planning Accuracy to investigate what’s driving it down.

Hint - It’s got a lot to do with:
Cycle Time
Pull Request (PR) Process
Code Quality
Addressing any one of (or ideally all) these areas will create an improvement chain reaction that results in better Planning Accuracy. And a great place to start is the size of PRs.

Large PRs affect everything from code churn to review depth and ultimately feature (and value) delivery and Planning Accuracy.

This is the insight you’re not talking about in retros and planning meetings and you need to need to be. Branches and issues that have large PRs (and associated Pickup, Review, and Deployment times) are what impact Planning Accuracy most. Surface these metrics in sprint planning and make better decisions based on this information.

Ready to deliver on promises?

Stabilize your metrics

Using the insights gained from investigating bottlenecks and understanding where you stand, you and your team can come up with working agreements for what you want to achieve and how you’re going to do it.

Let’s take the example of large pull requests:
Set a goal with your team to keep PRs under X code changes
or pickup time under a certain time threshold
Set your WorkerB policies to smooth PR handoffs and alert
the team about goals
Look into your metrics and see whether your team is hitting
the mark and if action needs to be taken.
Hitting your set goals is one of the best indicators that you’ve accurately forecasted your team’s sprint and that you’ll be able to deliver what you said you will.
LinearB team goals dashboard

Automate good habits

Finding problems and setting goals isn’t enough. Better Planning Accuracy and value delivery requires changing how teams work.

Come to an agreement with your team and set up WorkerB - a Slack and MS Teams bot - to alert your team about goals, PRs, job failures, unlinked work, and more.

This is how to improve Planning Accuracy.

Once you set the alerting thresholds and configuration, WorkerB’s team and individual alerts help developers:
Stay informed - PR status, team goals, hanging reviews, CI job failures​
Collaborate more effectively - Request reviews, send approvals, add context
Take action quickly - Create tickets, alter PR size, pickup PRs
When the team works better, they become more predictable. And when predicatability increases so does Planning Accuracy.

Stop guessing & start knowing

Now that all work is being tracked, best practices are second nature for the team, and you have line of sight into the health of your projects, sprints, and team’s efficiency, you can begin planning with confidence.

You’ll be able to proactively communicate blockers and risks in daily standups to ensure you’re hitting your goals.

Sprint retros will be more productive as you’ll no longer need to spend time coming up with explanations for why only half the planned work was done.

Executive check-ins will be an opportunity to show off your organization’s value to the business.

And when someone asks whether feature X will be ready on time, you’ll have something to offer besides a shrug.

The benefits of improving
 planning accuracy with LinearB

For developers
Self-advocacy with more visibility into all work during a sprint
Better alignment to the priorities of the team and the organization
Fewer fire drills & tasks that are tedious or just no fun
For managers
Accurately scoping sprints and delivering what you say you will
Avoiding overloading your team and burning them out
Being able to better make strategic decisions - like working on tech debt
For leaders
CEOs can trust status reports and roadmap updates
Delivering on promises to the business
Ability to confidently showcase what engineering is doing

Ready to plan with confidence?

get started
Customers

Stories and Studies

See why engineering teams love using LinearB to improve
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Solution

Improve Code Quality

Curious about how your team can start writing better code using LinearB?​
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