Resource capacity planning health check

The ultimate guide to resource capacity planning_chapter_3

Take the resource planning health check in part 3 of our ultimate guide to resource capacity planning.

Do your projects run late and over budget more often than not? Do you struggle to figure out if you have enough resource, the right resources or if you can start up new projects? Stressful isn’t it? Effective resource capacity planning is vital to resource based organizations but is rarely done well. Run through our health check questions below and see how you stack up.

Future resource needs
Tracking future resource needs is critical when planning for up-coming projects.

Questions:

  1. Do you know how many people you will need over the next 3, 6 and 12 months?
  2. Do you know what skills these people will need based on your expected projects?
  3. Are you able to understand if you have the right number of people with the correct skills?
  4. Do you have a record of what projects are in the pipeline and their current approval status?

Project prioritization
Resource capacity planning should tie in with portfolio prioritization. Resources should be working on the most valuable projects to your organization.

Questions:

  1. Do you know which are your most valuable projects?
  2. When you decide what projects you are going to work on do you consider if you have sufficient resources?
  3. Do you plan resources onto higher value projects before other projects?

Non-project time / business as usual work

Capacity planning should consider everything your resources spend their time doing not just the time they spend on projects.

Questions:

  1. Do you account for the time your resource spend on BAU work?
  2. Do you account for the time your resource spend on activities like meetings, administration etc.

Absence, sickness and vacation

Holiday, sickness and vacation time can put a big dent in your resource supply. It is essential that you include this in your capacity planning.

Questions:

  1. Do you consider time off and vacation time when capacity planning your resources?
  2. Do you consider absence and sickness when capacity planning your resources?
  3. You cannot know up-front what time people will have off. However you can forecast a trend for the year based on past experience. Do you do this?

Informed decisions 

Do you have reporting capabilities that help you quickly get under the hood of your capacity planning data? Or are you spending days mashing spreadsheets together to produce reports.

Questions:

  1. Can you look at your resource capacity plans in different dimensions including days, time and money?
  2. Are you able to model how things like resource hires, cancelling projects, deferring projects or starting up new projects will have on your resources and timelines?
  3. Can you easily and quickly view the information you need to make informed resource decisions?
  4. Are you able to easily compare different resource capacity plans to weigh up different resource options?
  5. Are you able to decide with any certainty if you have available resource for new projects being requested?

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