Capacity planning, also sometimes known as "workload management", is a key element in the toolbox of any manager who wants to get the most out of their team without overworking them — because you know that's not a sustainable solution, right?
The purpose of this article is to highlight the importance of capacity management, how it affects companies (especially in the professional service industry) and how it impacts employee motivation.
Capacity Planning: A beginner's guide
If you were already thinking about capacity planning, you're one step closer to improving the workload of your resources — an essential component to the success of your projects.
But if you're a beginner, not to worry, we have everything you need to successfully manage the workload of your team members.
Here's what you're going to need:
- Information on your resources (how many people make up your team, what are their roles, and what is their availability)
- Information on the demand such as (how many projects and other activities are ongoing and how many are being planned)
Workload management is about balancing supply (resources) and demand (projects and activities that require resources) which is why it's important to have as much information as possible to be able to adjust one to the other.
Now that you have this information, you must establish how you are going to meet the needs and requirements of your projects and resources. Therefore, you should be asking yourselves questions such as:
- What are the exact roles required for the different types of projects?
- How many resources are required for each project?
- How much time should a resource spend working on this project?
- Are my resources overworked?
- Are my resources able to take on a new project?
- Are there enough resources to deliver this project on time?
It's by having this type of essential information that you'll be able to efficiently manage your team's workload.
In general, we can easily determine or calculate workload by looking at our resources. It's the information regarding projects (demand) that is often lacking. Unexpected requests are often received to urgently allocate resources to projects but they rarely come with precise estimates.
According to Akash Gupta, project success is defined by being able to link the right resources to the right projects. But the question is, how can project managers ensure they get it right every single time?
"This is where the true power of capacity planning reports unfold. As the linchpin to any Business Intelligence (BI) framework, it quantifies your project’s billability while getting you accurate effort estimates for the future. This way, projects set to come your way have the right knowledge upgrades and experience. As a result, you no longer remain in the dark about the activities occupying your team’s bandwidth."
Check out these 5 essential capacity planning reports centering around resource excellence, that’ll help you optimise workload management.
Efficient workload planning relies greatly on information that is accurate and constantly up-to-date.
This has been beyond our control, until now. Where digital transformation has made it possible to collect and work with data in real-time. Companies especially in the professional service industry must take advantage of the latest technologies if they want to efficiently and effectively manage their workload and strive in today's competitive environment.
So, how do you know if you have all the information you need to manage your company's workload?
Here's an in-depth article on how you can efficiently manage your workload with Beeye.⁂