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The Importance of Project Capacity Planning

Project Capacity Planning Tool
Are your project capacity needs going
up and up and up?
I've been involved recently with an organisation that is struggling to balance out all of its commitments and project requirements so that the projects can be delivered on time whilst maintaining the existing levels of service it has already agreed to.

The reason for writing this post is that businesses who have a strong physical element (for example construction or manufacturing) in their business usually have some kind of capacity planning tool, to help them them put their resource in the right department at the right time, but often this approach does not extend itself to the office environment. This is even more important when you work in a business where project management isn't the sole purpose of that business. For example if you have to incorporate two projects to your already crammed schedule then the question that needs to be answered is 'when is the best time for us to deliver these projects at the same time as everything else we currently do?'

Unfortunately, failure to deliver is a common approach I see all too often.

Capacity planning for the administrative side of projects as well as the technical / delivery side of projects is no different to determining what shift pattern you need in a factory, it is all about aggregating the demands placed upon your staff going ahead into the future. Weekly buckets are usually the right kind of size to help with planning and a simple spreadsheet can often do the trick if you don't have software that can help you to do this.

Being aware of what is ahead of us from a project management perspective can help us to reschedule projects / rebalance our teams so that we are better prepared for the upcoming workloads. It also doesn't have to be too complicated or time consuming to make a real difference to the on time delivery of your projects.

Do you know the upcoming capacity requirements of your project / administrative team?

Giles Johnston

P.S. If you are looking for some ideas on how to improve the productivity of your office then check out our short improvement guide 'Office Productivity' at Amazon.