Resource capacity planning identifies the amount of work that the resources could do at an organization. It is a way of filling the gap between the resource capacity and demand for future projects. It balances the available resources to meet the customer or the project resource requirements. The resources addressed in resource capacity planning could be human resources or other material resources. It identifies the Capacity of each resource to take on work, the type of work that could be assigned to each resource based on its unique skillset, and the schedule of their tasks. The companies can use resource capacity planning to make detailed plans regarding the current and future resource utilization.
The resources are the main asset of any organization, and the entire development process depends on the efficient utilization of those resources. Resource capacity planning refers to identifying the Capacity of all the available resources for doing work. When done in the early stages of the project development lifecycle, it helps the project managers to map more accurate timelines and estimate the costs more efficiently.
Resource capacity planning is crucial because it relates to major project management areas such as resource, time, team, and work management. It includes scheduling the number of hours team members will spend to get work done in time.
Resource Capacity Planning Strategies
There are different resource capacity planning strategies. You can use the one that suits you the most:
Suitable for smaller organizations, this strategy focuses on meeting actual resource demand rather than the projected estimates.
This strategy focuses on having enough resources to meet the increased demand. It is beneficial when there is a chance of increased demand.
This strategy is the combination of leadership strategy and lag strategy. While implementing this strategy, the project manager must focus on actual demand, foreseen demand, and market trends to adjust the Capacity.
Benefits of Resource Capacity Planning
There are so many benefits associated with effective resource capacity planning, some of which are as follows:
- Reduced Costs: When you know how many resources are available and that they are enough to fulfill a project’s demand, you do not need to buy any extra resources, and this way, it saves you a lot of money.
- No Stock Outs: It helps you identify the number of resources and the better way of utilizing them so that they do not go scarce.
- Eliminate the excess Capacity: When you have a resource capacity plan, you know exactly how many resources you need to meet a project’s demand, so you do not have to include the excess resources in the production process and save those for future use.
Creating a Resource Capacity Plan
Resource capacity planning is a crucial part of project management. Here are the steps included in resource capacity planning:
1. Establishing the Important Processes With the Right Staff
In this step, you need to identify the processes you will adapt to complete a project and the human resources you need to accomplish the project’s goals. The people involved in this step are:
- Managers with strategic targets
- Team leaders and heads of departments who will be providing the resource information
- Project managers
- PMOs control all the projects and the process of resource capacity planning.
The strategic planning of resources usually depends upon the following factors:
- Number of ongoing and upcoming projects
- Number of resources
- Timelines of projects
2. Ensuring the Complete and Up-To-Date Project Data
Store the necessary information of all the projects in a database and identify their minimum resource requirements. Now, divide the resources while considering the amount of time each resource could give to a particular project. Also, identify the unnecessary or unimportant projects in this step to avoid the overutilization of the resources.
3. Identify the Available Resources
This step requires you to identify the available resources to be used for a particular project, regardless of any documentation.
4. Plan How To Handle Too Much Capacity
Utilize the available resources to their full potential and know where the Capacity is falling short. Reassign the resources to consolidate the Capacity.