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Topic Title: Capacity Planning Matrix - across 5 Project Managers
Topic Summary: Figuring out the best Matrix for 5 Functional Areas and the Aggregate data from all Matrices
Created On: 10/20/2017 04:09 PM
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10/23/2017 03:23 PM
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Nikki Brauer


I am trying to put together a Capacity Planning Matrix for the projects that are managed by 5 Project Managers - combined there are roughly 80 engineers who work on any given project across the 5 distinct Functional Areas (Sys Admin, Analysis, Deployment, QA and Enhancements). Each Functional area has its own specific skills set, and engineers, to complete the tasks set forth, but there is some crossover of engineers who will split their time working between the Functional Areas on diverse projects.

I am trying to figure out the best Capacity Planning Matrix for each Functional Area - as a standalone - and then a way to Aggregate the data from all Matrices so that I can see from a 10,000 foot view where we may fall short on staff and where we have a surplus... project wide as well as Functional Area wide...

Does anyone have advice.. suggestions... is there a software out there that can help me create/manage this?

Thanks in advance :) Nikki
10/25/2017 04:48 PM
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Bharat Mimani

Hi Nikki,
It seems you are trying to quantify Capacity & Utilization in the IT sector. Well, I am from the Automotive Industry, and I shall try to help you with my experience.
Firstly, you need to have a metric of quantifying resource. In your case, it is most-likely the number of engineers; in other words, mandays.
Most likely, your capacity should be decided with the number of mandays that you have. Say, Team 1 has 80 mandays in a month, while Team 2 has 160 mandays. Technically, team 2 should be have 2x capacity of Team 1. However, this is with the underlying assumption that all mandays are of equal skill, talent and expertise. So, you need to assign weights to each skill too. For example, the skillset of a Travel Desk executive may not be as important for the project, as of a Java Developer. So, define weights of each function in a project. Further, the team members may or may not be skilled enough for the project. Depending on the corporate governance structure that you have in place, rate & grade each team member. A high-performing member on a low-weight function is obviously a loss.
Lastly, Project Managers should be rated. A perfect team may be unable to deliver results due to a poor project manager.
With a Project manager, skillset weight and team member rating, you would be able to quantify the available resources available. However, this still does not define capacity. I believe, in IT, capacity would fluctuate depending on the project. In our field of work too, capacity is hard to define. Often, when we receive a project (or RFQ), we determine the resources that shall be incurred, based on experience. The project manager usually does the estimation. So, in a certain year, a particular team may be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously; whereas, at other times the same team may be able to cater to only 1 project, which is much more complex or simply demands a higher quantum of mandays.
I am not aware of a software that can take all the above inputs and calculate capacity for you. Please let me know if you get to know one.
As far as shared resources are concerned, two or more Proj Mgrs should come to a common understanding with the split of the resources. For example, in my previous organization, the Business Excellence resource used to work between 3 SBUs. Each one of the SBU, absorbed a third of the cost. The work, too, was split accordingly. Mon & Thu with SBU1; Tue & Fri with SBU2 and Wed & Sat with SBU3.
I hope I have been able to give you some inputs. If you are not from IT though, I am sorry to have wasted all the efforts.
Wish you luck.
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