Capacity management – Achieve all business goals through efficient resource planning
A successful resource planning can be much more than a mere overview of the workload of your employees. In the following we would like to show you, how you can not only fulfill your customer orders on time with the extended capacity management of projectfacts 6.5, but also successfully implement the strategic goals of your company.
The challenge of capacity management
In most companies there are more tasks than necessary resources. In practice, it must therefore be decided regularly what work can and should be done. Usually the things that are then sacrificed are internal projects such as improvements or further developments. In the short term, their loss is often manageable, but in the long term, it can become a matter of fate because competitors are passing you by in terms of technology, quality and service.
This problem cannot be solved with a simple project management, in which priority, planned effort and executing staff are used. This type of planning is often very inflexible. If an already existing schedule has to be adjusted, this often has an effect far beyond the actual project. The increased resource requirements must be compensated for elsewhere. You quickly become a driven person who puts your own strategic company goals on the back burner and only reacts. This is how customer projects run, but your own company stagnates. Employees also suffer from increased pressure, feel rushed and overstrained.
What should successful capacity planning look like?
Here is a little thought experiment: In private life, it is common practice to divide household income into small budget pots for various individual purposes, such as rent, food, insurance, pensions, clothing and pocket money. Each of these items is compared with a budget that can be used exclusively for its financing. This ensures that in the end all needs can be covered.
This idea can be transferred to capacity planning in the company. Before the actual project management begins, the available working time of all employees is considered first. The sum of this represents the maximum available capacity. Subsequently, the company resources are divided into smaller capacity slices and prioritized in accordance with higher-level company goals. Now only the resource requirements of the individual goals have to be determined.
Now planning can be carried out based on available resources and capacity requirements. An allocation on a monthly basis is best suited.
For everyday work, the steps described above could be carried out in the context of a meeting of department heads. Here, capacities are planned according to demand. Afterwards, the employee is informed of the capacities he or she is supposed to work on in the coming month. It is also advisable to compare the planned and actual hours worked in previous months. This makes it possible to make future plans more precise and thus even release unused resources. Through the joint planning, the employee knows which priorities are due for him in the next month and the supervisor knows which resources he can count on. Monthly planning has the advantage that it provides sufficient flexibility to allow employees to manage the daily distribution of their tasks independently as long as all tasks are completed at the end of the month. In this way, you can achieve all your goals and always have sufficient capacity to develop your company strategically.
How does projectfacts help?
With projectfacts you can map your company goals in the form of capacities and allocate them to the respectively defined resource requirements. You can link the capacities with projects, no matter if external orders, with budgets and schedules or your internal strategic projects. You can then assign the employee resources to the capacities for their implementation. At the same time, you can see the resulting workload of your colleagues. In our example we stick to the monthly planning.
In order to be able to plan the entire resources of your company in a targeted way, projectfacts shows all employees with the assigned capacities and the resulting workload. Furthermore, the project assignment shows which project still has which future demand and how the current allocation looks like in the future. Additionally, it is shown how far the project comes with the current capacity allocation, i.e. which work packages would be processed until when with the current scheduling.
projectfacts provides you with all necessary views and reports for an efficient capacity planning on a monthly basis:
- Projects can forecast their own progress in the future with the assigned resources.
- Employees can see what they have to do and how many resources they still have for which activity
- Department managers get an overview of which resources are planned and which are still free
- The management receives a forecast of the revenues that can be expected with the current resource allocation.
Advantages for your employees
For the employee, the use of capacities means no additional effort. The scheduling in projects and time recording remain the same. In addition, the employee now has an overview of whether he or she is achieving his or her set goals and at the same time has the option of planning his or her month to the day. The new capacity planning also helps to recognize early on if goals cannot be reached and thus to take the necessary steps in time.
For further information, please contact your consultant.