5 Questions to Improve Your Capacity Planning Process

Posted by Isaac jacobs, on Oct, 2019

Most managers don’t enjoy the capacity planning process. Team leads and project managers (PMs) are typically concerned about each project’s progress and turning in high-quality work, but that doesn’t make the process any easier. In essence, it comes down to workload management. PMs must figure out how much has to be done, how many people it will realistically take to do it and how long it may take. This all translates into dollars and profits. These five questions will help managers be sure they don’t miss important details in the capacity planning process.

Why is the capacity planning process important?

Knowing why it matters in the first place helps you direct your thoughts and considerations. The key is figuring out how many projects your team can handle. Too many and they’re on overload, too few and they are bored.

What metrics will be needed?

You’ll need some numbers to get started, including:

  • Work units: What is the time frame you are considering?
  • Employee available hours: How many hours do your employees have to spend working on a project?
  • Estimated effort: How long will the project take to be completed by your team?

How do I use the agile capacity planning process?

The agile methodology looks at two-week periods for projects. This formula is used to calculate a team’s capacity for small or large work units:

Number of team members times number of workdays times actual work hours each day minus holidays or vacations equals total team capacity.

Is there a way to avoid overestimating?

The best way to avoid overestimating is to think realistically. Initially, you want to count 40 hours a week as work hours, but not every second of that is being spent directly on a single project. There are meetings to attend, emails to answer and phone calls to make. Use roughly 60 to 80 percent of work hours to prevent overestimating.

How many of the team members are working on several projects?

Depending on how they are organized, some team members may be working on numerous projects. If this happens, you’ll need to reduce their productive hours on each project since their time is being split between multiple projects.

Are you ready to learn more about how to manage your team’s productivity with effective capacity planning? Visit the Demand Solutions website to speak with a professional.

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