As we move into the modern SaaS world of hyper-growth, speed will become our new currency. Speed will be at the forefront of your team’s mind when confirming implementation and service start dates, and integral to ensuring any project runs on time is ensuring your team has the capacity to do so, even more importantly capacity of resources with the required skills for the project.
At our webinar, Fixing the Capacity Crunch, Kimberly Simms CCO at Planful highlighted the importance of understanding capacity,
“Removing capacity blockers from your Professional Services team, will make that team a success.”
So, we know from our previous blog why capacity is important, but why can it be so hard to manage?
First of all, does your organization have a clear definition of what capacity means? This can be a tricky question to answer, and contributes to the struggle of managing capacity. Within our whitepaper focusing on the capacity crunch, Precursive asked over 200 B2B SaaS companies worldwide how their companies defined capacity. These were the top two answers:
(i) Capacity is the employee or organization's ability to perform, yield or withstand within a
workplace environment, particularly in regards to output.
(ii) Capacity is our organization's overall ability to deliver work.
It’s more important than ever to have a clear definition of capacity within your organization as we move into a High-Velocity Services Delivery environment, where resources will be allocated across multiple projects concurrently.
2. GAINING A CLEAR VIEW OF YOUR CAPACITY
Managing the capacity of your teams, especially if they are global, can be a difficult task if more than one capacity management methodology is used within your organization. To be able to correctly manage capacity, your company must have confidence in its resource data. Confidence comes from real-time data, not data that relies on manual input and is susceptible to human error.
Within our Fixing the Capacity Crunch Webinar, Phil Davitt Global Director of PMO at Condeco, emphasized the importance of having a strong overview of your capacity,
"When your company is small your team can be completely utilized as they are experts in everything. When your company grows not all team members will have all skills needed, but you also cannot have bench time. You need the right tools to be able to plan this capacity in advance. If your forecasting is not accurate, you need a tool to be able to see where extra skills are needed or when there are gaps in projects.”
Measuring your capacity in spreadsheets is common, especially in scaling companies and this makes measuring your capacity harder than it needs to be. This does have to be the case, investing in a capacity management tool will give your company access to real-time accurate data.
Below, Precursive Plan shows the capacity of our team over the next month. As an example, we can see that Adam Stevenson is fully allocated until 16th December, but has capacity moving into January 2022.
Resource requests can be automatically created based on opportunity creation and resource allocated and confirmed by the resource manager, taking away the manual effort of updating resourcing requests.
3. MONITORING YOUR CAPACITY IN REAL TIME
As mentioned above, not only is it key to have a clear understanding of your capacity but this view must be as up to date as possible. We have all been in the position where the capacity plan is updated on Friday morning and a capacity report needs to be sent on Tuesday to senior stakeholders with the caveat, this is up-to-date only as of Friday. We can move away from this workflow and create a repeatable process at the same time, readying ourselves for High-Velocity Services Delivery.
Below, also in Precursive Plan, the UI is instead showing the availability of resources. Our resource Adam Stevenson is showing as having zero free hours until 16th December. However, Alex Smith has 3.1 hours free each day until 16th December. This view allows allocating resources to new projects to be transparent and efficient.
Managing your capacity can be easy with Precursive:
Capacity management does not need to be a daunting task with these three tips:
Define how your company talks about capacity and what this means to your overall goals. To better understand how organizations similar to yours define capacity planning in the new era of High-Velocity Services Delivery read our Whitepaper on Fixing the Capacity Crunch here.
Invest in a capacity planning tool and move away from spreadsheets to gain a clear view of the availability of your teams. Working across multiple tools or within spreadsheets leaves room for human error and confusion.
Moving away from spreadsheets will not only give your team an overview of capacity but automating and creating repeatable processes will increase data confidence and allow all business stakeholders a real-time view of the capacity of your teams.