You are a project manager and must negotiate to get the best resource for your team. Because the right resources can make or break a project. Capacity planning tools for resource capacity help to ensure that your company and projects are always aware of the latest resources requirements and challenges.
This article will teach you about the capacity planning tools you can use to plan and manage your team’s capabilities. Also, you’ll learn:
What is capacity planning?
Teams and organizations need the right resources to complete projects. These resources could be people, budgets, or tools.
This is what capacity planning is about. Capacity planning can be described as:
Capacity planning refers to the process of determining and meeting an organization’s resources capacity needs.
Accessing the right resources at the right moment will ensure that you get your project on time and with high quality. Having no access to the right resources can cause delays or even complete derailment of your project.
Why is capacity planning important?
Planning for capacity utilization Optimizes business operations is. It also helps them. Understand the budget requirements for acquiring, allocating, and managing resources.
In order to deliver quality work, project teams need the right resources.
The following is an extract from theGlobal Work Culture ReportOver 79 percent of employees will experience burnout in 2020. Your employees are at risk of burnout. These employees include:
- 2.6 times as likely to leave their present employer
- 220 percent less engaged
- 210 percent less likely to promote your business
Now that you understand why capacity planning is important, let’s look at its types.
What are the types of capacity planning?
There are 3 types of capacity modeling techniques depending on:
- planning level,
- capacity goals,
- and, strategies used.
Based on the capacity planning level
- Capacity planning at the organization level: This process allows the organization to determine if they have enough skilled workers. This helps to decide whether a hiring process is necessary.
- Resource allocation at the project level: A manager at the project level identifies available resources and requests that they are allocated to a project. Learn more about resource allocation here.
- Workload management at an individual level: You must monitor each member of your team individually to prevent burnout. This will ensure that team members are not overwhelmed or underworked.
Based on the capacity goal
- Short-term capacity: Based on seasonality or customer demand, teams might increase or decrease the number of employees. Capacity plans for the short term can be for one day, a week, a month, or even a quarter.
- Medium-term capacity: This is typically used for projects lasting from one to three years.
- Capacity for the long-term: The time frame for planning depends on the industry. Experts often look at trends in the industry to forecast the demand for capacity. The forecasts are used to plan capacity.
Based on capacity fulfillment strategy
- Lead capacity strategy: This means that you increase your capacity to meet demand. This strategy can often lead to underutilized capacity.
- Lag capacity strategy: The lag capacity strategy, on the other hand, will only increase capacity when there is actual demand. This strategy can lead to overworked teams and delayed projects.
- Match capacity strategy: In anticipation of demand, this means increasing the capacity by small increments.
What are the factors affecting team capacity planning?
Demand and availability are the basic factors that affect capacity planning. Three other factors are important when it comes to team project planning.
- Project schedule: The project schedule dictates what resources are required when they are required, and in what number.
- Human resource factors: Capacity planning directly impacts compensation, training, and retention within an organization.
- External factors: Capacity planning can also be affected by government policies, union laws, budget cycles, and other factors.
What are the steps involved in resource capacity planning?
We now know what capacity planning is. Let’s take a look at the method involved.
- Measure current capacity: You will first need to determine the current capacity. This will allow you to optimize your resources for your project.
- Determine demand: To estimate the demand for new resources capacity, you should first look at the project schedule and available resources. External factors may also be considered when estimating the demand.
- Identify consolidation opportunities: Find out if there are any resources that can be rearranged to meet the demand. You can find underutilized members of your team who are able to meet the demand.
- Make a capacity plan: Next, make a plan that outlines the actions you must take to meet the current and future demand.
- Finally, Take action.
Planning capacity is an ongoing process. You need to constantly assess your capacity and plan for future demand. This should not be difficult if you have the right tools.
5 of the best resource capacity planning tools
We’ve already learned a lot about capacity planning. We also learned about the process of capacity planning and the different types.
Let’s now look at some tools that can help make this process easier. Five tools will be discussed, ranging from the simple to the complex. While some tools are free, others can run into the thousands for enterprise tools.
1. Toggl Plan — Simple Project, Task & People Management
Toggl Plan is a simple tool for project planning and execution. It can also be used to manage workload and team capacity.
The team timeline view helps to manage team resources. This team timeline view displays:
- A big picture overview you can see who is working on which projects. This will allow you to see which team members are too spread out.
- Task estimates help you find under- or overworked members of your team.
- Tem memberVacation and holiday plans so you can plan around incompatibility.
You can also zoom in on a week or quarter or a whole year. This allows for goal-based capacity planning, whether it is short, medium, or long term.
Toggle Plan’s project timeline makes creating a project plan easy. The plan timeline schedule assigns tasks to team members. These tasks are automatically synchronized with the team timeline.
Toggl Plan, a project management tool, is simple and includes task management, project planning, and people management.
There is a free plan available for individuals with unlimited project plans. Paid plans for teams start at $9 per user per month. You get a 14-day trial.
2. Spreadsheets (MS Excel, Google Sheets, or OpenOffice Calc)
Spreadsheets can be used to plan capacity. A spreadsheet is a great tool for capacity planning. You can either create your own layout, or you can choose from one of the many templates available on the internet.
It can be difficult to keep spreadsheets current and error-free. The updating process is further complicated by sharing spreadsheets.
It can also be difficult to coordinate resources across teams, as each project has its own spreadsheet.
- Spreadsheets are used by most teams.
- There are many templates online. You don’t need to start from scratch.
- It can be difficult to keep your sheets current and track changes.
- It is nearly impossible to work in teams.
Spreadsheet software is part of your office suite. It doesn’t cost extra. The price of spreadsheet software will depend on which office suite you choose. For a small team, it can cost as little as $100 per year.
Also read: 15 Websites To Test Online Your Codes
3. Teamup — Shared online calendar for teams
Teamup is a shared calendar for teams.
You can schedule work by placing people, events, or places on color-coded sub-calendars.
If you have a large team or are involved in multiple projects, Teamup can quickly become cluttered. There is no zoom feature that allows you to see a person’s capabilities. These are capacity management tools that help your team plan.
- Use this calendar view to plan team meetings and other events.
- Sub-calenders for color-coded plans make it easier to manage visually.
- There is no way to gain a short-term or long-term view of your work capacity.
- The majority of office suites include a calendar app. You may not need to purchase a separate calendar for your team.
The free plan only allows you to use 8 sub-calendars. paid plans start at $8 per Month
4. 2Plan — Open source project planning software
2Plan is an open-source project planning software. It lacks the user interface and experience of other open-source tools that can help your team quickly get on board.
Toggl Plan is similar to 2Plan.
It has basic time tracking capabilities, which is a plus. It is not a hosted solution. You will need to download, install and maintain the software yourself.
- Open-source and free
- Available in a desktop version that can be used by one user
- Poor user experience. This will mean you’ll spend less time training your team.
- The tool will need to be installed and maintained by you.
2Plan is an open-source, resource capacity planning tools free.
5. Saviom — Enterprise resource planning tool
Saviom can be used as a capacity planning tool for large companies with formal efficiency improvement programs.
It has all the necessary features to optimize resource usage. Small and medium teams might find the price and user experience intimidating.
- Comprehensive resource management tool.
- Ideal for enterprise users.
- Small and medium tools can find the user interface intimidating.
- For onboarding, you will need to complete formal education in resource management.
Saviom is an enterprise tool so pricing information is not available to the public.
Capacity planning software helps your team deliver projects by finding the right resources at the right time.
We examined what capacity planning is and how it’s done. We also looked at strategies and types of managing resource capacity. We also looked at the factors that influence it.
This process can be simplified by using capacity planning tools.