Today, time management has become a critical success factor. To ensure you reach your objectives, you must concentrate on capacity management which takes into account aspects related to time, resources and projects.
In industries where companies bill time and materials, profitability depends on managing the capacity of your resources efficiently. Improving capacity planning means optimizing billable utilization, for example by identifying and reducing time spent on non-revenue-generating activities.
Several methodologies and tools offer solutions to manage capacity. Among them, the capacity plan (originally created to facilitate planning in the manufacturing sector), has now been adopted by service companies.
What is A Capacity Plan?
To put it simply: a capacity plan is a summary of the utilisation rate of your resources over time. It allows you to determine what resources are available, improve the quality of your planning by levelling out the workload of your resources, and anticipate your recruitment or training needs.
The capacity plan is primarily an efficient planning method that helps you better manage your resources for a particular project. For your capacity plan to deliver its full benefits, 3 aspects must be taken into account:
- Total duration of the project, with the start date and end date;
- Resources assigned to the project, as well as their skills and availability (vacation days);
- Project priority
With this information, the objective of this capacity plan will be, to allow your managers to schedule projects according to their priority (for example, prioritize the most profitable projects) while ensuring that they're delivered on time and within budget.
Later on, you will be able to compare this plan and the real time spent on projects. That way, you improve your time estimates for future projects that share the same characteristics.⁂