Effective resource capacity management strategies enable large enterprises to complete even complex projects on time and in line with budget constraints. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done: In fact, around half of work projects budgeted at one million-plus fail, and roughly 80% of project managers report uncertainty regarding how their assigned projects advance their employer’s business goals.

Did you know that 51% of large enterprise workers don’t use any work management software? Despite the global shift towards information work and an always increasing implementation of digital tools and solutions, a staggering percentage of the labor force still relies on outmoded work practices and inefficient business strategies. The rest of this article will detail effective resource capacity planning methods incorporating the latest techniques and technologies.

What is Resource Capacity Planning?

Resource capacity planning is a tool and process used to determine the resources needed by an organization to meet future workflow demands stemming from the need to increase capacity or move to a new system, workflow, or business process. It requires project managers teamed with organizational resource managers to determine the current resources required to support the existing workload compared to the future resource needs – the pipeline of potential work. Ultimately, the goal is to identify how many resources are required to meet the capacity needs of the organization, now and moving forward, in order to set and achieve realistic business expectations.

Resource Capacity Planning Best Practices Leveraging Microsoft Projects Online

Microsoft Project Portfolio Management is a digital project management suite empowering businesses to easily and comprehensively plan, forecast, and monitor the progress of current and future projects. The solution streamlines complex project management tasks like scheduling team assignments and project roadmaps and features built-in data tools for tracking and reporting key benchmarks like work progress and resource capacity utilization.

  1. Establish Project Requirements: It’s impossible to prepare an adequate project management strategy without first determining the scope of the project and the time and resources necessary to complete it.Which aspects of the project are most essential? How much time do you need to achieve them? What resources are needed to successfully deliver on the project?
  2. Evaluate Your Available Resources: As hinted at in the previous point, the number of projects your company can handle and how quickly you can complete them depends largely on resource availability.Avoid overcommitting: Focusing on growth is obviously the most exciting (and impactful) business operation but placing too much demand on your team is a recipe for disaster. The best method for determining your team’s capacity is to zero-in on work being delivered, what availability teams and individuals have across both project and non-projects activities, and coming up with solid visualizations based upon REAL data as to what work your teams can realistically support.
  3. Align Capacity with Project Needs: You may find that your resource capacity exceeds the project’s demands, which frees you to take on additional projects or support related activities, complete the project sooner, or reassign team members.Utilize your resources strategically: Don’t be afraid to shift timelines or switch project priorities if you have the capacity and the new schedule better fits your business goals.
  4. Collect and Analyze Relevant Data: Project management software grants easy and visual access to essential data points like employee workload, team utilization rates, and availability over time. It certainly isn’t impossible to manage your projects without this information, but why would you intentionally handicap yourself?

Resource capacity planning and forecasting is an ongoing process, and you will likely need to adjust to new circumstances, inaccurate estimates, changing business priorities etc. It’s naturally much easier to navigate obstacles to project completion if you’ve already taken the time to create a thorough capacity planning framework. Are you ready to revolutionize your PMO’s resource management strategies? Contact Projility today.