While Long-Term capacity planning is defining high-level resources on strategic level, Mid-Term and Short-Term resource management is assigning resources and resolves issues at a functional level, more specific: named resources. However, in case resource issues cannot be resolved at these levels, leading to structural resources issues, the feedback loop goes back to the strategic level to reduce or adjust the strategic plan as needed (= reduce demand or increase supply).

Threon's best practice approach

In order to execute a decent capacity planning exercise, Threon has developed a best practice approach which consists of 4 steps:

1. Define the masterplan

  • Generate a project list serving as a scope for your project portfolio; it is the required list of projects that is needed to define if there are enough and the right strategic workforces
  • Define the required resources (at generic/profile level) that are critical for future project portfolio execution

2. Define the project types

  • Create the project types: as a capacity planning is a high level estimation exercise, a set of project frameworks or types need to be defined in order to categorize the project list into these types. Every type has its own number of phases and phase durations.
  • Estimate the generic resources needed: once the project types are clear, the specific resource demand per project phase needs to be defined (for every project type).

3. Prepare estimations

  • Link projects to project types: the project portfolio list will be 'connected' with project types. Every project will be matched with the most appropriate project type. This allows us to spread strategic workforce demand over time in a high level way.
  • Define resource availability: capacity of every resource that is part of the strategic workforce pool will be calculated

4. Analyze outcome

  • Evaluate results: time phased strategic workforce demand will be compared with the current availability of resources for project work. A portfolio roadmap will be developed. It creates transparency in the future resource demand, highlights strategic resources and identifies critical bottlenecks
  • Make decisions: based on the outcome strategic decisions such as postponing projects, updating the portfolio roadmap, hiring/outsourcing new people, ... are made

Conclusion

Defining project types is key within the capacity management approach. It combines a certain level of flexibility with the strategic estimation framework. Data is key in this story and Excel can serve as a first helpful provider. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to combine all those sources into one single source of truth. Therefore, Threon developed its own capacity management tool T-Capacity, which collects, calculates and visualizes the information in a structural way.

Do you have a question on capacity planning or resource management in general? Do not hesitate to get in touch!

Thomas Bothuyne
Product Owner Resource Management & Capacity Planning

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