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Why Capacity Planning is Important for your Team

Bad capacity planning is like throwing a party for one hundred guests and setting up 150 place settings with only 75 chairs, the food arrived a day early and the live band will play the following day. What a mess!

With every project, from party planning to IT initiatives, there will always be a need for particular resources at certain times.When planning capacity for your business you need to be able to analyze the current market and predict future demand. With this information you then need to build out the capacity requirements and compare those against existing and planned capacity. Then, finally, bringing all this together to align supply, demand, and your business goals.


This is no easy task, but with the right tools, data, and time every project manager can experience the benefits of resource and time management. When capacity planning is done correctly you will be able to:


  • Maximize Utilization: Get more done with the same amount of people. When you know all your resources availability you can schedule work accordingly and increase your chances of successful, on time, delivery to your clients.
  • Get Real-time Data: Know when your key resources are booked and for which projects or if they are out of the office. This will keep you knowledgeable of the specifics of your resources utilization at all times.
  • Better Planning: Know the demand for your resources and be able to plan new projects and initiatives accordingly.
  • Protect Your Team: Avoid working team members to the bone and reducing the quality of their outputs. On the reverse, prevent too much downtime.
  • Organize Your Time: An individual will get more work done when they already know what needs to be done. Having work already assigned to your team leaves no room for questions on what needs to be done and by when.


On the other hand, bad capacity planning can result in:

  • Late delivery of projects which leads to unhappy clients.
  • Increasing project costs due to lack of resources.
  • Loss of business because resource availability is unknown  
  • Wasted time spent resolving resource conflicts

If you have not been capacity planning then there is no better time than now to begin. To get started you will need to devote quite a bit of time outlining your processes, determining market demand, indexing your resources, determining how to track availability, and more, BUT you will be setting yourself up for success. Even tho a good capacity plan requires you to be able to predict the future better than the everyday weather reporter and organize a multitude of demands, resources and their availability, have no fear you can do it!


Photo by Alex Presa on Unsplash