Figure: The 3 levels of Resource Capacity Planning.
Before Resource Capacity Planning is set up in the FCC, it is important to consider the purpose for which it will be deployed. The planning horizon is very decisive in this.
3 months to as much as 3 years ahead
If you want insight into capability far ahead (years), then do it from the Portfolio and by skill/teams (not individuals). You look at capacity based on global planning of portfolio items and rough estimation of hours.
This approach helps e.g. in preparing annual plans and making analyses about possibility of picking up certain changes in the coming years. In doing so, this prevents starting too many projects in advance without (roughly) sufficient capacity. Because starting projects has to do with prioritization, the discussion on this should also be conducted from the Portfolio. Long-term insight into skill/team availability is essential in this regard.
3 months to 1.5 years ahead
Involve the Project Dynamics and you get a more accurate (capacity) planning from the projects. This allows, on the one hand, to feed the ‘Capacity Planning’ from the Portfolio between 3 months and 1.5 years in more detail and timeliness and, on the other hand, to give input to ‘Resource Scheduling’ for specific deployment of individuals in the short term (0 to 3 months).
0 to 3 months ahead
If you want accurate insight into the deployment of individuals on both change tasks and line work, leave, training, etc., then get to work with resource pools. Best practice is that this works well for the short term: 0 to 3 months ahead. Typical here is a request and allocation process: request by the project manager from the Project and allocation by the line manager from the Resource Pool. Combine this with timekeeping, it creates a learning organization: how many hours planned for whom and what was actually written and what can we learn from this to plan even better in the future.
Figure: Overview of where, in what period and by whom what level of Resource Capacity Planning is applied
Each level of Resouce Capacity Planning has its own (best practice) process. On the basis of these processes, we indicate how the FCC can be set up in the process. FCC is a very flexible software environment for change management. Implemeting this can therefore be done in many ways. Our advice is to first implement the setup using this best practice. As a result, you learn what is possible and what suits the organization. Because of the flexibility of the software, you are able to make your own variations to the layout through advancing insight.
Figure: Overview of process steps by Resource Capacity Planning level
Focus only on the things that generate added value for your organization. For example, we see that in organizations that have well established “Capacity Planning” (in the Portfolio) and planning by skill/team in Projects (“Resource Planning”) experience less need to establish “Resource Scheduling” (accurate planning by individuals in Resource pools).
Below as a guide is a roadmap for setting up Resource Capacity Planning.