6 Key Questions to Answer during the Resource Capacity Planning Process

Ian Needs

In a recent webinar we explored the many nuances of resource management. Focusing on how organisations can better prepare for and deliver effective resource capacity planning.

No matter what level of resource management maturity your organisation is currently at, you will surely face many issues when building an effective resource capacity planning cycle, for example:

  • Shifting priorities. The goal of your PMO and PPM strategy is to serve the needs of the organisation, not the other way around. The ability to adapt quickly to shitting priorities is a key indicator that separates PMOs that have high value from those that are considered to be business obstacles.
  • Personnel turnover can hurt you, particularly when you are dealing in areas of specialized expertise.
  • Changing budgets are fairly common and need to be dealt with. Your ability to deliver on-time will gain you support when budgets are allocated.
  • There is nothing that can hurt your ability to deliver as a lack of executive support. One of our webinars in this series talked about what you need to do to quantify the business value of your PMO and its lessons are equally important when you are managing resources.
  • Our final gotcha is this issue of non-integrated systems. This is also true when different projects are implemented with their own processes and methodologies.

For these reasons it is important that you answer several questions as early as you can in the resource capacity planning cycle:

  1. What are the strategic goals of the business? Make sure you have buy in from the executive level.
  2. What are the biggest priorities: Short term? Long term? Are there signs that these priorities will be shifting in the near future?
  3. What are your available resources? And do you have a centralised repository of resources?
  4. Which projects lack critical skill sets?
  5. Is the project roadmap sustainable? It is best to figure this out early so that you have the necessary resources to allocate when necessary.
  6. How do you measure objectives versus results? The ability to measure and report on results is another area that separates really good PMOs from those that don’t get the recognition they deserve.

The more questions you can answer, and the earlier you can answer them in the capacity planning cycle - the faster your resource management maturity will progress and the greater value your projects will deliver to the business.