Do you have a business aiming to perform better by being more profitable and productive? Are you facing challenges in achieving these goals due to the highly competitive and volatile market demand across the globe? Is this challenge amplified because the cost of your resources is the most expensive entry in your balance sheet?
If your answer to one or all of these questions is yes, then this article is the perfect guide for you. Through this guide, you will be able to find the best ways of utilizing your scarce resources the most efficiently and getting the best value out of them.
Resource capacity is the number of input resources available to produce relative output over a period of time, thus making resource capacity planning a process that defines the amount of work to be done by your company's resources.
It also includes determining the tasks and projects to be completed by the said resources while also matching the work to be done with available resources to meet your business’s current and future needs.
While once resource capacity planning was carried out through legacy systems like excel spreadsheets or other home-grown applications, it has become crucial to have a system that links together all the work done across your organization while also having organization-wide visibility for resources.
This is where an MRP system like Deskera MRP comes into the picture because it will let you manage, integrate, streamline, and control all the key organizational operations of your business while also giving you visibility across it all.
However, to better understand the need and benefits of ERP implementation for your resource capacity planning, let us discuss the following topics:
- What is Resource Capacity Planning?
- Difference between Capacity Planning and Resource Planning
- The Role of Resource Capacity Planning in Project Management
- Business Benefits of Resource Capacity Planning
- 12 Best Practices of Resource Capacity Planning
- How does Specialization Affect Resource Capacity Planning?
- How does Resource Capacity Planning Affect Utilization?
- 6 Most Important Resource Planning Metrics to Track
- How to Choose the Right Solution for Efficient Resource Capacity Planning?
- Checklist for Resource Capacity Planning for a Specific Period
- How can Deskera Help with Resource Capacity Planning?
- Key Takeaways
- Related Articles
What is Resource Capacity Planning?
Resource capacity planning is the process of defining the amount of work that needs to be done by your organization's resources while also determining the tasks and projects that need to be completed by the resources mentioned above.
The process of resource capacity planning also involves forecasting the gap between future capacity and demand such that you are able to identify the shortfall or excess in resources. This then enables you to take corrective actions in advance, ensuring that you are able to meet your deadlines, satisfy your customers, optimize the utilization of your resources, and have an increased net profit ratio.
Considering that efficient and effective resource capacity planning is only possible when you have complete visibility of your organization's operations and resources, having a system in place that centralizes and integrates information is a must. Some of the information that such a system will have are:
- Human resources
- Current projects
- Future pipeline projects
- Resource demand and allocation
- Non-project activities
And so on.
Difference between Capacity Planning and Resource Planning
While capacity planning is a process that ensures that you have all the required resources to start a project, resource planning is a process that is involved with choosing and assigning specific resources for and during a project or task.
Thus, capacity planning can be taken as the role of the inspector, wherein it is inspected even before the actual scheduling of the work is started as to whether the team members, roles, mastery, and resources needed are undoubtedly available to do the incoming work.
In contrast, resource planning is where the resources are given, and those involved with resource planning just need to find a way to use them optimally.
In resource planning, your resources, as well as your workforce, will have to be coordinated in real-time, such that people are assigned projects while simultaneously also monitoring resource utilization. Thus, resource planning means the management, leadership, and coordination of the resources needed to complete a project.
The Role of Resource Capacity Planning in Project Management
In project management, the resource capacity planning model plays an important role. This is because the resource capacity planning model helps in aligning the sales and delivery by planning and forecasting pipeline opportunities.
In fact, once a pipeline project reaches a certain probability stage, your project manager will estimate the resource requirements and initiate the requisition process. Then the corresponding resource manager will analyze whether there are sufficient resources to start the project or not, and then they will start planning for fulfillment.
What is important to note here is that your resource manager will compare the existing resource capacity against the project demand from multiple perspectives like department, role, team, skills, and more. This will help them identify the excess or shortages of resources ahead of time.
Based on whether it is an excess or shortage, the resource manager will be able to implement appropriate strategies to bridge the gap. For example, if there is a shortage of workers, they will analyze and decide whether your company needs a permanent or a contingent workforce and then do the needful.
A benefit of undertaking all these analyses in advance is that it will allow for the sufficient lead time that will help avoid last-minute hiring or firing costs while also ensuring that the right resources are available at the right time for the right projects. Thereby maximizing the profitability and productivity of your business, improving customer retention and customer loyalty, and improving the health of your financial statements.
An added benefit of effective resource allocation and capacity planning is also the proactive minimization of bench time by using on-the-job training, adjusting timelines, or selling excess capacity.
Therefore, resource capacity planning will help you build an optimized project team, reduce project costs, and future-proof your business and workforce against market volatility and economic uncertainties.
Business Benefits of Resource Capacity Planning
Considering that resource capacity planning helps in analyzing the present situation in terms of the availability of resources against future demands, your business will have wide-ranging benefits from it. These are:
Reduction in Project Resource Costs Across the Enterprise
With efficient resource capacity planning carried out by an efficient team, overall resourcing costs can be reduced drastically through the following ways:
- Eliminating under or over-skilled resources on projects
- Avoiding last-minute hiring or firing cost with proper capacity and resource planning
- Utilizing cost-effective global resources without compromising quality
- Avoiding double booking of resources and minimizing burn rate
- Minimizing hiring or firing cycles by aligning project workload with workforce capacity
- Controlling unplanned attrition
Maximizing Productive Utilization of the Workforce
When you have a capacity planning system in place, it will be able to accurately forecast billable and strategic utilization of your workforce well in advance based on various insights and statistics like working hours, performance, skills, upcoming project requirements, deadlines, etc.
This will help you in mobilizing your employees from non-billable or low-priority work to billable or high-priority projects, thus maximizing the productive utilization of your workforce. In order for your business to be profitable and sustainable, productive utilization of your workforce is a must.
Ensuring Competent Resource Allocation for Successful Project Execution
In order for your projects to finish within the budgeted time and costs, having the right employee with the right skills and costs is vital. This can be accomplished best with resource planning and management systems that will identify and allocate competent resources at the right time to the right project.
The allocation of the same would be based on the skills, experience, qualification, location, team, resource cost rate, and other such criteria as chosen by you. During resource allocation, it is important that you avoid the “first visible first fit” approach and instead go for the “best visible best fit principle.” The positive results of the same will be reflected in your operational metrics, business metrics, and other key performance indicators.
Forecasting and Bridging the Skills Gap
Capacity planning processes will help you identify skill shortages ahead of time so that you can take corrective actions like:
- Adjusting project timelines to align with available capacity
- Retraining and skilling up available employees ahead of time
- Hiring a contingent workforce before the time
- Optimizing bench management
- Bringing forward initiatives to meet strategic goals
- Allowing the movement of resources across departments to maximize utilization
Aligning Sales and Delivery by Forecasting Pipeline Opportunities
Based on the sales pipeline opportunities, capacity-based planning will allow your sales team to estimate and forecast demand for various resources. This will help your delivery team in ensuring that the right resources are available at the right time to finish the project.
12 Best Practices of Resource Capacity Planning
In order for your business to reduce resourcing costs and become responsive to the market while being competitive, it has become increasingly critical for your business to implement resource capacity planning in project management. Considering this, the concept of capacity management has gone beyond the basics of measuring the demand against capacity.
Some of the best practices of resource capacity planning are:
Forecast Capacity vs. Demand and Form a Project Resource Plan in Advance
It is vital for a business to forecast capacity vs. demand from multiple dimensions like:
And so. This will help your business identify short-term and long-term shortages and excess resources ahead of time. Additionally, it will enable people with different roles to view their specific information at the right time, which also helps them with decision-making, thereby, more often than not, improving your cash flow while reducing your expenses.
By using the capacity vs. demand report, your managers will not only be able to proactively implement the right resourcing treatments but also be able to form a full-proof project resource plan ahead of the curve, such that your net income will get maximized, and you will be able to encourage returning customers.
Track Real-Time and Effort
In order to have accurate resource capacity plans, it is important that you have accurate contributing data so that you can have accurate forecasts. This means that you need to have accurate information about the real-time and effort that is taken to complete a task or a project.
For instance, if you assume that it takes two hours to complete a task when in reality, it takes three, then your resource demand assumptions become inaccurate from that point itself, thereby threatening your resource capacity plans and their accuracy.
To get real-time and effort, it is important that you set up a system in place that will assist you with the same. For example, this system will track the time taken by your team members to complete a task.
Calculate True Work Availability
While you have employees whose working hours are eight hours each day for five days a week, it is quite likely that they are not doing “actual work” for that whole time.
This means that to accurately calculate the true work availability of your employees and plan accordingly, you need to account for time spent doing the transactional activities related to work, such as searching for information, checking and responding to emails, or sitting in meetings.
In fact, you can even take action to reduce some of these activities, but in order to do that, first you need to have clarity on how much time they are taking up first.
Prioritize Projects to Allocate Resources
Once you have figured out the true availability of your team members, it is time to execute resource capacity planning. You or your project manager will have to analyze which projects need prioritization.
The prioritization can be done either on the basis of their time sensitiveness or based on their importance to the business from a revenue standpoint, or both. While prioritizing, you will thus have to consider the project's business impact versus the resources it will require.
Then, you will need to develop a mechanism or use a tool to assign resources to projects based on their prioritization.
The advantage of doing this will be that it will safeguard against conflicting responsibilities and ensure that your entire team is on the same page about the priority of projects and the resources devoted to them. It will also ensure that you have the highest possible gross profit and revenue, with strong backing from your stakeholders.
Identify Known or Potential Bottlenecks
One of the best practices that you must follow while undertaking resource capacity planning is identifying all the known and potential bottlenecks like a person, a skillset, a piece of equipment, and so on.
For example, if you have doubled worker capacity to prepare the materials that make the widgets, but you have not increased the number of widget-making machines, then your widget-making machines become a potential bottleneck.
Track and Analyze the Competency Matrix in Real-Time
For your business to be profitable as well as competitive, it is critical to track and keep up-to-date information about the competency and workforce.
This is because this information will allow the right resources with skills, experience, qualifications, and individual preferences to be allocated to the proper work.
Not only will this keep your customers happy with the final output, but it will also ensure that you have a high net profit with healthy financial KPIs.
Additionally, this will also help you plan a new project that may need a niche skill that is difficult to get from the market. If you have an employee with those skills, then you would be able to plan your resources such that the concerned person can be out rotated with a suitable backfill candidate.
Manage Project Pipeline Efficiently
In your business, you should have a system in place that can track your potential projects in the pipeline and forecast the estimated resource demand for the same.
This will help ensure that the resource pool is optimally balanced, skills, and ready to meet your new projects’ demands. In fact, you would also be able to make important decisions like whether you need to re-skill, hire, or do you have contingency resources to do your work.
Once you are able to efficiently plan your resource mix like this, it will further benefit you by ensuring that your accounts receivables are higher than your accounts payable.
Take Industry Dynamics into Account
Considering that each industry has its own unique client demands and requirement for resource skills, capacity planning will be different for each one.
This is because, based on the industry, the project scopes will vary, tasks will take different lengths of time, and resource availability will differ as well.
Thus, to carry out efficient resource capacity planning, it is vital that you take your business’s industry dynamics into account and plan accordingly.
Predict and Improve Overall Resource Utilization
Your business should have a system in place that provides you with short or long-term forecasting of billable, strategic, and overall utilization.
The major advantage of this would be you would be able to take corrective actions to ensure high utilization of your resources while simultaneously protecting the profitability of your business. This will reduce the brunt on your working capital while keeping your cash flow strong.
Foresee Project Vacancies and People on the Bench
Your business should have a system in place that will get you insights as well as foresight into your future resource needs and people who will end up on the bench. This information will help your resource manager to mix and match available people against project vacancies.
The added, as well as the consequent benefit of this, would be that you would not lose out on any opportunities because you were unable to find the right resource at the right time for the right project.
Streamline Resource Requisition to Deliver Projects on Time
Generally, resource requesting and allocations are done through email or phone requests which causes chaos, miscommunication, unoptimized utilization of resources, and sometimes even the failure to complete your projects on time, thereby losing your goodwill.
The best way to prevent all this from happening is by streamlining all your processes using workflow and then ensuring that all your resources are allocated with appropriate approvals and notifications.
A centralized system, like an ERP system, will keep track of all the emails, phone calls, and transactions, streamlining your resources requisition process and helping you deliver your projects on time.
Allow for Potential Mishaps
It is very crucial that while undertaking resource capacity planning, you have left some margin time for potential mishaps that can happen.
This is because if you plan your resource capacity down to the nearest hour, with no gaps for anything beyond that, then anything that can go wrong will go wrong and mess up your whole planning, affecting your deadlines, subsequent projects, and even your perception by your customers.
How does Specialization Affect Resource Capacity Planning?
Resource specialization has started becoming one of the most critical elements of successful resource management. This is because, today, clients expect even more specialized services than ever before.
To cater to this demand, there is a higher need for unique skills from your team members, which, however, may not always be needed and, in fact, might not even be readily available. Specialization hence has added a layer of complexity to resource capacity planning.
To meet this demand, as well as solve this complexity and have an effective resource capacity plan, you will need to use a skills database that keeps track of which of your team members have specialized skills. This data will help you tap into those specialized skills when the need arises.
Additionally, when you are accessing specialized skills during your resource capacity planning, you will also have to consider contract workers, as full-time resources may not have these capabilities. This means that the availability of these specialized skills might be rare, making it important that you take availability into account as well.
The best way to streamline these processes while also having an efficient resource capacity plan is by having a system that will track all these skills and their availability in real-time for you.
How does Resource Capacity Planning Affect Utilization?
Strong utilization rates depend on your ability to move a team member from task to task, and through projects, with as little unnecessary downtime as possible.
This is made possible by successful resource capacity planning as it involves the alignment of resources, their skills, and project demands. Successful resource capacity planning will thus lead to an increase in your company’s utilization rates. In fact, these rates will stay strong over time.
The best way to have a successful resource capacity plan is by continuing to implement their capacity planning strategy such that you can learn from your past projects and create a deeper catalog of the skills of your employees. This will further improve your planning and resource matching.
These incremental improvements, in turn, will have an increasingly positive effect on utilization rates until a point that your business hits a utilization percentage that keeps you profitable while also avoiding employee burnout.
6 Most Important Resource Planning Metrics to Track
Resource planning metrics are very important to carry out efficient resource capacity planning as they track and evaluate the performance of your tasks and projects, thereby accessing their successes. Additionally, it also enables you to see your team’s efforts while also making it possible for you to identify those processes that need to be redirected.
Thus, irrespective of the size or the industry of your business, resource planning metrics are important because they help you know the following:
- Your profits
- How are your resources performing
- Whether your projects are on-time
- If you are within budget or not
- What projects can you take on next quarter
However, how do you choose which resource planning metrics are best for you? Some of the ways to do so are:
- You can use SMART goals to be able to measure more objectively whether your goals can be accomplished or not. SMART is an acronym for specific enough, measurable, achievable, relevant, and realistically time-bound.
- You could also align your metrics so that they can be used with your organization's overall strategy. One of the ways of doing this is by looking at the techniques of project portfolio management.
- You can also start by collaborating with your stakeholders first. Then, with the project communications plan, you would be able to see which stakeholders are more important for you at different stages of the project or the resource planning cycle.
- Additionally, your project manager can set up some KPIs for your teams as required, which, if successful, can be then used throughout the organization.
However, when choosing your metrics, you have to select only those that serve a purpose, as more metrics do not equal better performance.
Additionally, they tend to be dynamic and cannot always account for last-minute changes, and thus, it is important not to be overly reliant on them. But, for the ones that you do choose, it is important to follow and track them in order to get the best results.
The top 6 resource planning metrics that you consider tracking are:
Cost Metrics - Cost Variance
Cost variance is one of the most important metrics of all. This is because costs are not only important to the stakeholders, but rather staying within the budget can make your whole team happy as well.
Cost variance measures the budgeted amount against the actual costs that were spent on a project or a task. These are used in individual projects as well as for resource management. The importance of using it is:
- Accuracy- For a company, money is one of the most important aspects, and cost variance becomes the first indicator of whether your project and plan are working or not. It helps in answering the following questions-
- Are you under budget or over?
- How much more can you comfortably spend on a project before you are in the red? For example, if you have already used one-third of the budget in the first few months of a year-long project, then you are most likely to have a rough time.
- Evaluation and Predicting- Cost variance is useful when you want to evaluate how each of the resources fit into a project and if some of them are more cost-effective than others. In fact, this metric is important during evaluations as well.
This metric gives insight into not only a project’s progress but also in a resource’s worth. Additionally, this metric is useful when making predictions as you will have a more accurate picture of what future costs will look like. You would even be able to account for certain trends throughout the years.
To be able to use cost variance, you only need to compare the planned budget to the actual budget. In order to get more insights from this metric, it is important to include more projects, resources, and variables that are being used.
Utilization Metrics - Resource Capacity Utilization
Utilization is generally shown as a percentage (%) of how much of a resource is used. Resource capacity utilization is the percentage of a resource’s work hours occupied by projects or tasks.
Utilization planning is part of resource management and thus makes maximization of resource efficiency possible. This metric is used in project management as well as in high-level resource planning.
The importance of using this metric is:
- Foundation for Other Metrics- Resource capacity utilization is the most fundamental resource planning metric. This metric helps in maximizing resource efficiency in individual projects as well as in your project portfolio.
In fact, resource utilization can also be used with other utilization-related metrics. To do so, add up the utilization of a specific team to get group utilization. Or add up the utilization of all the resources that are working on a project to compare if the utilization is in check with the priorities in the portfolio or not.
- Track your Planning- Resource utilization is also important on its own because analyzing “used time” will indicate the effectiveness of the planning.
Additionally, it will also indicate how correctly you have estimated the task duration after the assignments are complete. Thus, utilization percentage is a metric you should be keeping track of while scheduling.
The two calculations to find out your resource’s capacity utilization are:
Scheduled or Forecasted Utilization: Scheduled Utilization = Scheduled Time / Resource Capacity
Actual or Reported Utilization: Actual Utilization = Reported Time / Resource Capacity
Thus, while scheduling, you can sort your resources according to the utilization percentage. The advantage of doing this is that you will be able to reallocate resources if someone is overbooked, and for those that lack responsibilities, you will be able to add tasks for them.
Additionally, if you are looking for a resource with a certain skill, you can add that skill as a filter to find out if you have any unoccupied resources with the appropriate skill set.
Remember, it is not healthy to assume that the productivity of your resources is going to be 100% at all times. If you plan with this wrong mindset, then it will only lead to burnout faster, or more stress, or staff shortages, or higher turnover rates, or all of these.
Utilization Metric - Group Utilization and Project Portfolio Utilization
Group and project portfolio is how well groups of projects or your project portfolio are utilized. This metric is measured in percentage and changed depending on your grouping. This metric is used in high-level planning, groups of projects, and project portfolios.
The importance of using this metric is:
- Tool for Comparison- With this metric, you will be able to keep track of group utilization, in addition to individual utilization, thereby making it a powerful tool. With this tool, you will be able to compare the utilization of different groups, letting you discover groups that are working most efficiently.
- Schedule Based on Availability- While scheduling, you can sort your resources according to the utilization percentage. This will enable you to reallocate resources if someone has overbooked them, or in case if they lack responsibilities, add tasks to them. Additionally, if you are looking for a resource with a certain skill, you can add that skill as a filter to find out if you have any unoccupied resources with the appropriate skill set.
- Never Miss a Detail- Even if you keep a close eye on resource group utilization, there is a strong possibility you may miss a problem with a particular project or several concurrent projects. The problem with utilization is that it adds up.
In a multi-project environment, a problem can arise where resources can be optimally utilized for each project but are overutilized when all the ongoing projects are considered. To prevent this from happening, you need to have resource scheduling software that plans it all for all of the resources, with nothing left to be figured out by your team members.
In such systems as referred to above, you can build custom resource groups, including department, location, team, etc. Here, each resource can be in multiple resource groups that can then be analyzed separately by choosing the group in question.
Additionally, the same system will also help you get a comprehensive overview of the resource utilization across the portfolios, with plenty of insights into how the projects are laid out. Lastly, you can also create resource utilization charts using such a system. For this, you select resource utilization as chart values and project titles as chart data.
Resource Metrics - Planned Resources vs. Resources in Use
Planned resources are the estimated number of resources you will use in a given project, task, or strategy. In contrast, resources in use are the actual resources that you are using. This metric is used in project management and high-level resource planning.
The importance of using this metric is:
- Track your Resources- One of the first steps to having better efficiency in your organization is accurately estimating the number of resources needed for your next projects. This can be in the form of you planning resources for a project or in the form of you keeping an eye on the general resource allocation.
Then after you have reached a milestone or the end of the project, you will be able to compare the original and the current state of the resource schedule. This is one of the easiest and most useful metrics to implement in your business.
This is because it will give you insights into your initial estimates, which will help you evaluate the project's health and planning effectiveness. Additionally, you will be able to know where your resources are at any given time. This will simultaneously allow you to keep an eye on what everyone and everything is doing.
- Better Long-Term Planning- With this metric, you will have a better idea of how your resources are actually used, which will help you in having a more strategic long-term plan. Considering that this metric gives a more accurate picture of your actual resource utilization, you will be more equipped to plan for the next projects and reliably predict the future.
Time Metrics - Planned Time vs. Used Time
These metrics use “time” to measure the success or failure of a task, project, or goal. Planned time is the estimated timeframe of your project, task, or strategy. In contrast, used time is the actual timeframe in which your task was completed. These metrics are used in individual projects and resource management.
The importance of using this metric is:
- More Accurate Forecasting- This metric will help you with long-term planning and forecasting. In order to assess how long a project or task will take, it is important to know the number of projects that your team is tackling. Only when you have such important information can you make better estimates.
This metric will help you identify if your team is overburdened, hence helping you ensure that no one has taken on too many projects at once. In fact, with a better understanding of how long projects and tasks actually take, you will be able to stagger your projects more efficiently. This will help you optimize your resources’ productivity, helping you get a better output and satisfied customers.
- Grow Your Company- If you are looking to grow your company, then having insights into what you think can be accomplished versus what you can accomplish is crucial. This metric will give you those much-needed insights and help your company grow.
While the doomsday metric is not exactly a resource planning metric, it is a measurement of when you should call quits on a project. This metric is used in individual projects as well as in resource management.
The importance of using this metric is:
- Cut-off Dead Weight- Several studies have proven that around 30 to 40% of projects do not reach their original goals. Neither are they completed within the original budget or the timeframe. However, all of these projects are not unsuccessful.
This highlights the importance of being able to identify which of the projects should be brought back to life and which ones should be killed. Sometimes, bringing back a project costs more than it's worth because it is no longer aligned with the benefit or has stopped serving a purpose.
In such cases, if a project is still brought back, then you are keeping valuable resources imprisoned through it while draining the budget of funds that could be used on other projects. The doomsday metric will help you identify such projects. The 23 early warning signs that might indicate that a project requires further attention are:
- Business case deterioration
- Different opinions on the project’s purpose and objectives
- Unhappy or disinterested stakeholders and steering committee members
- Continuous criticism by stakeholders
- Changes in stakeholders without any warning
- There is no longer a demand for the product or the deliverables
- Delayed decisions resulting in missed deadlines
- Invisible sponsorship
- High-tension meetings with team and stakeholders
- Lack of organizational process assets
- Finger-pointing and poor acceptance of responsibility
- High turnover of personnel, especially critical workers
- Failing to properly close life cycle phases
- Unrealistic expectations
- Technical failure
- Failure in progress reporting
- Having to work excessive hours and with heavy workloads
- Poor morale
- Unclear milestones and other requirements
- Poor attendance at team meetings
- Everything is a crisis
- A poor change control process
- Surprises, slow identification of problems, and constant rework
- Automate Reports- Using this metric and software like Deskera, you would be able to generate automatic reports that will allow you to research these early warning signs and make decisions accordingly regarding a project or a task.
How to Choose the Right Solution for Efficient Resource Capacity Planning?
In order to improve the performance of your business, capacity and resource planning have become crucial. In order to be able to do this as efficiently and accurately as possible, your business needs a system solution that has these functionalities:
The System should be Scalable, Configurable, and Expandable
The system that you choose should be scalable and configurable as it is able to meet your business’s current needs while being expandable to be able to meet its future requirements. Additionally, the performance of such a system should not degrade with more users using it across the organization.
The System should Forecast Profitability and Productivity
Your system should be equipped such that when using it for resource capacity planning, it should be able to help your business do multi-dimensional forecasting. To be able to do so accurately, it will have to provide real-time business intelligence so that you can improve your business’s performance, profitability, and productivity.
The System Must Solve the Complexities of Matrix Organization
Considering that your business is most likely to have established a matrix organization structure to achieve the best utilization of your resources, it is essential that you have a capacity planning tool that aligns with your matrix organization structure and associated complexities.
The System Must Provide Real-Time BI Analytics
In a real-life business environment, project demand changes every minute. This is why it is vital for resource management and capacity planning techniques to get real-time business intelligence like analytics, reports, and dashboards.
The System Should Integrate with Other Applications
In order to save on extra investments, it is preferable if you choose to implement a resource management system that is able to integrate seamlessly with existing applications. This will help in exporting data like resource profiles, competencies, project detail, etc., from other enterprise-level systems that you would have already invested in. In fact, this functionality will also help in avoiding the loss of data.
Checklist for Resource Capacity Planning for a Specific Period
Forecast and Calculate Workforce Capacity
- Take an inventory of your organization’s part-time, full-time, freelance, or contractor-based resources.
- Include resources who will be leaving or joining during this period.
- Assign the calendar (workweek and holiday list) to your resources if they are working at different locations.
- Track the skills and competencies of the selected resources.
Establish Project Portfolio
- List down all the current and future projects.
- List down all the potential opportunities which are in the pipeline.
- Account for non-project activities like BAU, Support Maintenance, Administrative Work, Training, etc.
- Categorize the projects into Billable, Strategic, and Non-Billable Projects.
- Prioritize your projects for a better capacity planning process.
Forecast Resource Demand
- Get foresight into the resource requirements of the pipeline projects.
- Identify the competent resources and their availability during the same time period.
- Prioritize the demand as per the criticality of each project and its subsequent tasks.
Compare Resource Demand against Capacity
- Analyze resource capacity versus demand.
- Identify the gap between resource capacity and demand.
- Identify skill shortages or excesses, if any.
- Plan on how to bridge the gap of shortfall of resources ahead of time.
Allocate Resources to the Appropriate Projects
- Assign the right resources to the right project. Avoid allocating over-skilled or under-skilled resources.
- Allocate generic resources or placeholders on future projects.
- Create estimates using placeholders for your opportunities.
- Record resources unavailable time, i.e., people going on leave, people being in training, etc.
- Implement the right resource optimization techniques to avoid employee burnout and therefore manage workplace stress.
How can Deskera Help with Resource Capacity Planning?
As a business owner, it is crucial that you stay on top of your processes and resource management.
To achieve this, you need to manage production cycles, resource allocations, and a lot more.
Deskera MRP is the one tool that lets you do all of the above. With Deskera, you can:
- Track raw materials and finished goods inventory
- Manage production plans
- Maintain bill of materials
- Optimize resource allocations
- Generate detailed reports
- Create custom dashboards
and a lot more.
It is also possible to export information and data on Deskera MRP from other systems. Additionally, Deskera MRP will give you analytics and insights that will help you in decision-making.
So go ahead and book a demo for Deskera MRP today!
Resource capacity planning is the process through which it is determined what amount of work will be done by your company, using which resources, and within what time period.
Resource capacity planning will let you meet your present needs in the most efficient manner so that your profits can be maximized and you can keep your customers satisfied and happy.
In fact, resource capacity planning will also let you meet your future needs in the most efficient manner, whether in terms of specialized skills or huge quantities, etc.
With resource capacity planning, you will be able to identify if any of your resources are underutilized or overutilized, an insight that will help you take remedial actions.
Resource capacity planning will also help you identify projects that should be prioritized, projects that should be brought back, and projects that should be cut off. These are some of the most important decisions that you will have to make, and with the correct insights, it will ensure the success of your business.
Thus, the benefits that your business will experience through resource capacity planning are:
- Reduction in Project Resource Costs Across the Enterprise
- Maximizing Productive Utilization of the Workforce
- Ensuring Competent Resource Allocation for Successful Project Execution
- Forecasting and Bridging the Skills Gap
- Aligning Sales and Delivery by Forecasting Pipeline Opportunities
The most reliable and accessible system that you should implement to assist you through resource capacity planning is Deskera MRP.