As an IT practitioner, you would be all too familiar with the pressure to keep up with digital technology whilst monitoring the adaptability and intelligence of existing IT systems.
Technology only gets as good as the brains behind them which can be negatively impacted when existing resources are overworked trying to meet deadlines on increased project demands.
The hiring process does not stop at finding resources with the right skills at the right time. It should further ensure that these resources can be moved around against their ability and availability. It is important that project demands are met with not just an adequately skilled workforce but one that is optimally utilised.
Capacity management is a topic that has been doing the rounds lately and thus merits a detailed conversation in the form of this article.
What Is Capacity Management?
Planning capacity ahead helps measure skills and experience against availability to fill in roles within projects. Capacity management is the strategy devised to account for those resources that are needed within different projects.
It is a measure which is particularly beneficial to the IT environment which cannot afford to lower product quality or compromise on deliverables. As such, the best resources, in terms of both knowledge transfer and professional investment need to be procured at the start of the project.
Capacity planning falls under capacity management. It determines an organisation’s ability to meet the rigours of current and anticipated work by investing in their greatest asset: the resource pool. It influences restructuring decisions and prevents valuable resources from being relegated to the bench. It also ensures existing resources are working on the right priorities.
5 Best practices to better capacity management
According to a study released by Appleseed Partners(2016), low maturity companies do not factor in the human element on a continuous basis. As a result, project quality slumps when there is an unexpected inflow of projects with limited or unskilled labour to take charge.
72% of high maturity organisations take resource capacity into account before commissioning projects. This translates directly to a higher likelihood of timely project delivery. It is possible to acquire maturity and join the ranks of well-managed businesses using five basic steps –
1. Gain resource visibility
This step lets you make sure that the right resources are assigned to the right projects. In addition,it gives you a comprehensive view of resource availability statuses. This helps businesses make the most of the different skills and commitment levels that their employees have.
2. What-if scenarios
Work taken on has to be met by qualified resources suited to the nature of work. The most desirable outcome can be produced by tweaking variables to run different scenarios .This action is a contingency plan to help you directly view changes and analyse the impact of varying timelines,preventing project risks early on.
3. Derive insights from past reports
History predicts the likelihood of success based on the work and actions taken to achieve a certain result. Reports that are accurate and reflect updates across the enterprise enable knowledge transfers to happen in real-time using tangible figures against achieved outcomes.
4. Prioritise tasks with continuous planning
This step prevents a blinkered view and reinforces objectivity by checking resource commitments in advance. Based on individual commitment levels, resources can be assigned beforehand using the aforementioned visibility.
5. Generate accurate capacity versus demand ratios
Numbers denote immediate and future availability which prevents resources from being over or underwhelmed. Taking resource availability for granted results in overestimation, which eventually leads to the inability to cope with sudden rescheduling changes that can occur anytime after the project takes off. Capacity management prevents this particular risk by confirming the percentage of time for which resources are available before scheduling work.
The need for intuitive tools
Spreadsheets have long since lost their novelty where software for capacity management is concerned.For one, they do not update themselves automatically. This spirals out of control rapidly when data from different departments have to be consolidated and fed into a master database. An endless chain of communication wastes several hours purely on creating, updating and obtaining information. Moreover, it casts doubts on the reliability of the final information. A powerful, result-centric capacity management tool, on the other hand, provides IT teams a holistic view into resource utilisation levels, helping them retain both a diversified workforce and loyal customer base for the long haul.
Has this topic led you to reconsider your business strategy? Download our EBook today to get started on bridging the gap with capacity management!
The Holy Grail Of Resource Management: Demand Forecasting And Capacity Planning