WHAT IS CAPACITY PLANNING: Meaning, Importance, Strategies, and Tools


Making sure you have the proper quantity of ingredients on hand is the first step in making a cake. Your cake will undoubtedly taste a little off if you’re missing an egg or have a small shortage of sugar. Similar principles apply to large projects: if you lack the resources necessary to finish the project, it will not go as planned. Use the capacity planning process to make sure you have all the necessary components—in this case, team members, skills, and tools—when you need them. We’ll explain resource, agile, and Jira capacity planning in this post, along with their respective tools.

What is Capacity Planning (CP)?

During a capacity planning process, the amount of production capacity needed to satisfy shifting consumer demand is determined. In CP, “design capacity” refers to an organization’s maximum ability to complete work within a specific time frame.

Organizations utilize the CP process to calculate their production capacity to adapt to the shifting demands for their products. In the context of capacity planning, a design capacity is an organization’s maximum capability to finish a specific amount of work in a specific length of time.
CP is the process of balancing available resources to meet project capacity demands or customer demands. The amount of work that can be finished in a specific length of time is referred to as capacity in project management and production.

The CP process is essential in areas of project management expertise like:

  • Resource management
  • Time management
  • Team management
  • Work Management

Planning for strategies, projects, and production capacity all go hand in hand. Scheduling the team members is part of the planning process to ensure that the work is performed on time. The process of capacity management is flexible. Project managers can use a variety of CP approaches because every business is unique and demand is constantly changing.

Capacity Planning Strategies

You can utilize three different types of capacity planning to increase production capacity in a variety of situations.

#1. Lead capacity planning

Increasing production capacity in advance of high demand is referred to as a “lead capacity strategy” or lead strategy.”

#2. Lag strategy planning

The process of boosting production capacity while dealing with real-time demand is known as “lag strategy planning.”

#3. Match strategy planning

Lead capacity planning and lag strategy planning are combined in match strategy planning. It is necessary to gradually increase capacity in modest increments until you attain the required resource utilization during the match strategy design phase.

Capacity Planning Process

Although the CP process can differ from business to business, there are a few fundamental steps that are followed in every process:

#1. Project your expected demand.

Make an educated estimate of the work that needs to be done for new projects if you know they are coming up. You can compare this to the capacity you currently have to get a sense of how much capacity you’ll need to finish the job.

#2. Identify the necessary capacity.

Calculate the capacity you’ll need to finish the task you projected in the previous phase based on your initial estimates. Consider utilizing a standard unit of measurement, such as the hour, or a project estimation tool, such as the size of a t-shirt.

#3. Calculate your existing team’s resource capacity.

Make sure your team can handle the added workload before adding another project to avoid burnout. If a person can work an average of 30 hours per week and is now working on projects, you can calculate how many hours they can work in a week by deducting their current workload from the average.

#4. Measure the capacity gap

Measure the gap between your current resources and the expected demand based on the project’s required capacity.

#5. Align capacity with demand.

Optimize current and available capacity such that they are balanced based on the previous capacity gap. Add new team members shortly to complete the project if your team is currently at capacity and unable to take on additional work. Consider adding a second project if you have the extra capacity to fully utilize your resources.

Capacity Planning Tools

By tracking the capacities of your current employees and predicting what would happen if you employed more workers, capacity planning tools assist firms in developing strategic and realistic business plans. Companies may make better judgments about their goals, output, and, most crucially, their people, by effectively managing their workforce.

The effort of selecting a capacity planning tool from among the thousands of tools on the market today may seem difficult, but it’s crucial to go into the process knowing exactly what you need. Fortunately, we’ve done our research and searched the web for the best capacity planning tools available right now. Look through this selection of well-chosen resources to get started estimating the workload for your team right away.

#1. ClickUp

ClickUp, teams of any size can manage projects, collaborate more effectively, and consolidate all of their work from various apps into one central hub. Also, ClickUp is the best CP software for monitoring workloads, effectively managing resources, and increasing overall efficiency because it has hundreds of customizable options.

#2. DELIMAWorks Manufacturing ERP

DELIMAWorks Manufacturing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), formerly known as IQMS, is a CP tool for big businesses in the packaging, automotive, and other discrete manufacturing sectors.
This solution enables supply chain-wide tracking, monitoring, and tracing of initial data and manufacturing activity.

#3. Mosaic

Mosaic is a resource management and CP solution that does it all. It aids in team unity and guarantees that projects are scheduled correctly. For tasks like time monitoring, budgeting, reporting, generating timesheets, and project scheduling, it offers a variety of real-time tools. You may also use it to prioritize resources and manage resource planning better.

#4. Forecast

To plan, manage, and compare projects against one another, use Forecast, an AI-powered project and resource capacity planning tool. Its highly visible and color-coded user interface makes it simple to assess the status of your project and the advancement achieved by each team member. When it comes to managing your most valuable resource—your people—Forecast excels!

#5. Runn

Runn is a well-liked CP tool that provides the information required for business owners, project managers, and management teams to plan and anticipate complicated projects in real time. This program also includes a built-in timesheet for tracking the progress of your tasks and contrasting your schedule with the hours put in.

Resource Capacity Planning

The process of defining the amount of work that a company’s resources can accomplish and identifying the activities and projects that can be performed by those resources, and matching the work that needs to be done with the resources that are now available to satisfy current and future demands is known as resource capacity planning.

Role of Resource Capacity Planning in Project Management

A model for resource capacity planning is essential to project management. Planning and anticipating pipeline opportunities aid in bringing sales and delivery into alignment. The project manager calculates the resource needs and starts the requisition process once a pipeline project reaches a specific likelihood stage.

The associated resource manager then begins the fulfillment planning process. But first, he or she must determine whether there are enough resources to begin the project. The resource manager assesses the capability of the available resources to meet the demands of the project from a variety of angles, including role, department, team, skills, and more.

It is beneficial to anticipate any shortages or excesses. Managers can therefore use effective resourcing techniques to close this gap, such as by recruiting a permanent or contingent workforce.

What are the Business Benefits of Resource Capacity Planning?

Planning for resource capacity enables firms to forecast projects and future-proof their personnel against prevailing market instability. The following are some benefits of resource capacity planning for your company:

  • Cut costs for project resources throughout the entire organization.
  • Maximize the effective use of each resource.
  • Make sure to allocate qualified resources for a project’s successful completion.
  • Identify and close the skills gap.
  • Align sales and delivery through pipeline opportunity forecasting.

Best Practices of Resource Capacity Planning

Resource capacity planning is becoming more and more important in project management if a company wants to cut resourcing costs and be more responsive to the market. As a result, the idea of capacity management has evolved beyond the fundamentals of comparing demand to capacity.

Here are some essential tactics for effectively implementing capacity planning in your company: –

  • Forecast capacity vs. demand and create an advanced project resource plan.
  • Competency matrix tracking and analysis in real-time
  • Efficiently manage the project pipeline.
  • Improve overall resource consumption by forecasting it.
  • Anticipate project openings and bench personnel.

How Should I Select the Best Resource Capacity Planning Approach?

CP and resources are essential for modern firms to increase performance. It is crucial to hunt for a solution that goes beyond the capabilities of the current spreadsheets. A company needs to make sure that its CP software is reliable and capable of offering the following:

  • It should be possible to scale, customize, and expand the system.
  • It must project profitability and output.
  • Real-time BI analytics must be offered by the system.
  • It needs to find a way to handle a matrix organization’s complexity.
  • It ought to work with other programs.

Planning for resource capacity is an essential component of project resource management. Businesses can use their resources more efficiently by utilizing the features of sophisticated capacity planning tools.

Agile Capacity Planning

Agile capacity planning involves calculating your scrum team’s capacity for a specific sprint before estimating how much of the product backlog you can expect to finish. Sometimes it is referred to as “commitment-based sprint planning” or “capacity-based sprint planning.”

Agile capacity planning’s goal is to keep resources optimally engaged to deliver their best work, so they can produce functionality that delights your customers and users, not just to know how much capacity you have but also how much you can realistically commit to delivering within the timeframe.

Benefits of Agile Capacity Planning

#1. Improved predictability and forecasting

It makes sense for scrum leaders to embrace the data that agile capacity planning gives because the major goal of the Agile approach is the ability to evaluate performance and draw lessons from the past.

#2. Psychological security, employee satisfaction, and retention

It keeps your personnel optimally utilized without being overworked. Another advantage of agile capacity planning is controlling your team’s workload to enhance productivity while limiting the danger of burnout.

#3. Enhanced capacity for pushing back and prioritizing

Agile capacity planning establishes evidence-based expectations of what your team can do. 42% of respondents in Agile Sherpa’s State of Agile Marketing Report cite difficulty managing unplanned work.

Challenges of Agile Capacity Planning

it is common to overpromise and underdeliver without CP. Despite the advantages of CP, the method might bring the following typical challenges:

  • Variable delivery
  • Absence of sprint limits
  • Poorly set priorities
  • Tough to scale

Jira Capacity Planning

Resource capacity planning in Jira is a never-ending task because it differs from company to organization and will always be unique due to the various features taken into consideration for your necessary Jira configuration.

Many agile teams use Jira advanced roadmap capacity planning features during the product development process and for sprint planning, but Jira is also suitable for non-technical teams as it fits the needs of teams of different types and sizes. Jira capacity planning is crucial for project management as it ensures that projects receive the resources they require to achieve their goals.

How Do you do Jira Capacity Planning?

Jira can be used as a project management tool or as a ticketing system for organizing your activities, but there are some important considerations to make before starting the Jira capacity planning process.

  • Create projects and form teams.
  • Ensure that PMs and their teams remain on the same page.
  • Create a distinct visualization.

Weaknesses of Capacity Planning in Jira

You should be aware of the following things before conducting capacity planning in Jira because they can still be enhanced with this project management tool.

  • Inadequate time and resource management
  • Bad visual fidelity
  • Lacks integrated financial features

Benefits of Capacity Planning

Businesses that implement a CP methodology to boost efficiency and satisfy demand may find themselves enjoying any or all of the following advantages:

#1. Limit stock-outs

Customers don’t like to wait, and being “out” of a product or service will only cause them to move on to the next company that can meet their demand. Thankfully, one advantage of CP is that you can reduce stock-outs and even avoid them entirely.

#2. Determine the areas of inefficiency in your company’s processes.

Whatever you’re looking at (be it products, people, equipment, or resources), you’ll know what variables may limit capacity and how to avoid them to ensure you always have what you need. Knowing your minimum and maximum resource capacity is another advantage of CP.

#3. Increase the capacity for delivery

CP is a great way to assess your delivery capacity so that you know you have the workers available to deliver your products as soon as they’re purchased, making you a contender among the market competition. Today’s customers want their products immediately. Quick turnaround times for deliveries can spell success for a business, while slower delivery times can lose business.

#4. Verify accessibility

Before signing a new contract or submitting a new proposal to a potential client, CP enables you to be certain that you have the workforce and resources required to handle your new customers, projects, and more.

What are the four types of capacity planning?

  • Product CP
  • Workforce CP
  • Tool CP

What are the factors of capacity planning?

Evaluate the service demand elements that can affect capacity, such as process: skills, quantity, and quality capabilities, to help satisfy demand.

Which tool is applied for capacity planning?

Using the data provided by Runn, a well-known CP tool, business owners, project managers, and management teams can plan and forecast complex projects in real-time.

What are the 8 determinants of capacity planning?

Facilities, product and service factors, human factors, process factors, operations factors, policy factors, supply chain factors, and external variables are the following factors that determine effective capacity.

What are capacity planning principles?

Specifically, “capacity” refers to the maximum amount of work that can be completed in a given period. CP is the process through which organizations determine how much work they can complete given their total number of employees and upcoming time constraints.


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