Capacity planning is a critical aspect of running an efficient business. Effective capacity planning can especially make a huge difference when scaling.
Companies can create balanced work schedules that meet increasing demand. This can be achieved without exhausting resources by adequately managing operations.
This guide will provide you with a breakdown of what capacity planning is, its benefits, and how to execute it for your business, with the help of Salesforce.
What is Capacity Planning?
Capacity planning involves matching resource capacity with a project’s demand. It’s the process of figuring out whether you have the right people, processes, technology, budget, and other resources necessary to complete a project successfully. Should you realize that you don’t have enough capacity, you’ll then be able to fill the gaps ahead of time.
Project managers also use capacity planning to identify potential bottlenecks in the project, mitigate risks, and determine if and when to scale their team to get work done.
What are the Steps in Capacity Planning?
Creating and following a capacity planning process allows project managers to make sure the organization is prepared for the future and can scale as its needs grow. Here are the four significant steps to implementing a good capacity planning process:
1. Determine how much capacity you need
The first step of capacity planning is determining how much capacity you need to meet project demand. Consider all the amount of work to be done to complete the project. The more work there is, the more capacity is required.
2. Analyze your current capacity
Once you’re aware of the capacity needed, the next step is to determine how much of this capacity is available. When analyzing capacity, monitor how resources perform by comparing predicted versus actual outputs. Track how resources spend their time to see who spends it efficiently. In this step, you want to analyze how your current capacity stacks up to demand.
3. Measure resource utilization
Now that you’ve identified your current resources measure how your organization utilizes them. Measuring resource utilization allows you to have a baseline for future trends to predict and analyze. You also get to understand the quantity of excess capacity available for each project.
4. Plan for future projects
Lastly, use data from previous steps to plan for the future. Creating a capacity plan for future projects will enable you to identify potential capacity bottlenecks to prevent overwhelming the project team. Through forecasting, managers can anticipate resource requirements and risks and have enough time to resolve issues before they arise.
What are the Benefits of Capacity Planning?
Businesses who adopt a capacity planning process to increase efficiency and meet demand may get to enjoy these benefits:
1. Accurate time projection
Capacity planning allows you to accurately estimate how long projects will take. When you have enough capacity to handle all your tasks, you can figure out exactly how long each task will take.
2. Accurate budgeting
With capacity planning, project managers better oversee where they need to spend their money to get the project done. Capacity planning ensures that resources are not wasting billable hours on unnecessary tasks.
3. Manage resources
With effective capacity planning, project managers can allocate resources where they’re most needed. Planning allows you to hone in on what resources you have available and help you determine how to use them efficiently.
4. Prevent burnout and boredom
Managing capacity efficiently ensures you have enough human resources to complete your projects without overworking them. Strategic planning also ensures that resources are not underworked. Underworked resources feel unchallenged and could quickly get bored and leave prematurely.
5. Ensure availability for future projects
Winning more clients is every business’s goal. But before you take on the next project, you need to be sure that you have the team to deliver the work. Capacity planning shows you what resources you have to take on new projects. You’re well aware of whether you have enough resources at your disposal or need to bring in extra resources to help deliver.
6. Accumulate the necessary skillsets
Understanding your team’s skillset can help you ensure that you always have enough highly skilled resources to tackle complex or high-stakes work. It can also help you ensure you have enough (cheaper) junior resources to complete basic tasks. When allocating a resource to a task, you can quickly see if they meet the brief.
Using Salesforce App Mission Control to Manage and Plan your Capacity
If you’re using Salesforce, you need an extra resource planning tool such as Mission Control for the most effective capacity planning process. Through various capacity planning features, Mission Control allows you to anticipate future project needs so you can assemble the right resources at the right time and meet client expectations.
The role utilization feature allows you to see how each resource is performing. You can compare actual vs. estimated hourly workload. This means that you can track how many hours the resource is required to work per week compared to the total hours logged for that week. This is important because you get to see if your resources are doing what they’re paid to do.
The assignment wizard is a unique feature that allows you to easily add contributors when creating your actions to manage the resourcing amongst the team. The feature gives you insight into the availability and skillsets of your resources. This insight allows you to decide which roles to assign to various resources depending on their skillset.
Use the resource scheduler to identify which resources have availability and ones bottlenecked due to over-allocation. Identifying this allows you to balance workloads among all resources.
When project managers can see resource availability, project workloads, and budgets, they can make smarter decisions more quickly. Managers can confidently take on new projects and deliver them efficiently without decreasing quality or increasing team burnout.
If you’re looking to manage your projects more effectively, Mission Control’s Salesforce Native Project Management Software has a variety of features that will help you organise, run and automate many of your project tasks. Chat with our experts today.