Capacity Planning Template Excel FREE Download

Capacity Planning Template will help in identifying resource requirements for multiple or single projects. The key foundation of the planning template is based on Resource Type as during the initial phases of planning the exact resource names will not be available. 

There are two key sections - Capacity Planner and Resource Requirements.

Capacity Planning Excel Template
Capacity Planning Excel Template

Few thoughts and tips on Capacity Planning 

Capacity planning is an essential task for portfolio management.A portfolio manager needs to to know where exactly his resources are getting used.  

Typical resource requirements are planned much in advance mostly around  6 - 12 month time frame. Knowing the gaps will help the company or team to take remedial measures.

Another advantage of planning capacity ahead of time is getting the real picture of what is planned. 


Many times senior management have certain expectations which can be difficult to handle without adequate resources. In such cases putting all the information in a capacity planning template and then presenting the template to the management will help in setting the expectations. After seeing the numbers the management will also understand why certain system changes or projects cannot be done.

One of the common issues in capacity planning is that the management ignores the need of project management capacity. This can be very dangerous as even with all the resources and manpower any project in the portfolio will need a project manager.

One of the key points which a capacity planner should highlight is the assumptions that have been made when doing the capacity planning. Often the senior management of the company or business set their expectation based on what is presented to them. 

Majority of the time capacity planning is done on assumptions which may not always be correct. So it is vital that everyone knows what the assumptions are and how they could affect the plan at a later stage.

One of the major drivers for capacity planning is to get an understanding of the financial budget required. Human resource is the biggest expense and knowing what resourcing is required in which areas helps the company or business to plan for adequate budget.

Features and Advantages of the Capacity Planning Template Excel 

  • Using the planning capacity XLS tool a portfolio manager or a resource manager will be able to pinpoint where there is shortage of resources and also be able to tell what type of resources.
  • The capacity planner will highlight resource gaps on a weekly basis which makes the job of the resource manager easy.
  • Allows planning for resources across multiple projects. Based on weekly planning so allows planning up to one year. 
  • Provides flexibility of setting up working days for resources every week.
  • Highlights which resource types are in high demand or resource types which are free.
  • Has a built in resource pool which can be used to setup resources.
  • The resource pool can be used set the availability of the resource types on a weekly basis.
  • The Capacity Planning Template can handle up to 10 resource types. (You can add more by changing the sheet structure and updating the formulas).
  • Planned leaves can be captured by setting the availability in the resource pool for the resource type.

Sections in Capacity Planning Template Excel 

There are two key sections - Capacity Planner and Resource Requirements

The Capacity Planner consists of two areas - Planner and Resource Pool. Resource Pool is the area where you configure all your resources and their availability. The availability is based on weekly time so if a person is working full time then they are assumed to be available 5 days per week, if they are working 50% part time then 2.5 and so on. 

The Planner area is the key as it displays the availability and deficit based on the Resource Requirements. The Resource Requirements tab is the area where the planned projects and resource are allocated. The resource requirements can handle multiple projects and resource types.

How to use the Capacity Planner

Follow the below steps to start using the Capacity Planning Excel Template -

Step 1: Gathering Project Information

  • Gather a list of projects which are to be planned for the specified duration.
  • Collect high level estimates for the projects. During the capacity planning phase it is natural to not have the detailed estimates and WBS. 
  • Generally, the projects are also resourced on past estimates or guesstimates.
Capacity Planning Excel Template
Capacity Planning Excel Template
Step 2: Updating the Resource Pool or Resource Loading
  • Update the Resource Pool Section with the resource types in your organisation. 
  • This activity can be called as resource loading because a resource managers goes ahead and allocates all the tasks even if it means overloading the resource.
  • If you have too many resource types I would recommend keeping the resource type to as minimum as possible to avoid maintenance overhead.
  • In the resource pool section update the total availability for  the resource type. For example if you have two project managers who are full time then the total availability will be 10 days, if you have DBA who is part time then it 2.5.

  • Also, update the holidays or vacation times. For example if there one public holiday in week starting 4th Jan then that week everyone should be available for 4 days.
  • If an individual is going on leave then you can update the availability for that resource type. For example if you have two project managers then the usual availability would be 10 days but if one of then is going on leave it would reduce to 5 days a week.
Capacity Planning Excel Template
Capacity Planning Excel Template

Note : No changes are required in the planner section so do not update any data under the planner area.

Step 3: Update the resource requirements
  • For each project start entering the project name, project phase and select the resource type. 
  • Then enter the requirements for that resource in weeks.
  • Review the planner section to see issues with the resource needs. 
  • The capacity planner auto highlights cells to indicate any issues with the allocations or utilization. 

Click Here To Download Capacity Planning Excel Template

If you are looking for Agile Sprint planning then please see Agile Sprint Based Capacity Planning.
Swapnil Wale

Written by

Swapnil Wale is an IT Professional based in Sydney, Australia with over 10 years of experience in technology and project management. He is a passionate blogger and focuses on project management and BRMS articles.

2 comments:

  1. I can't download the file from Dropbox. Do you have an alternate method?

    ReplyDelete
  2. You don't need to. Click download and it asks you to sign in or create an account. Ignore this and look at the bottom of this popup. You will see an option to download.

    ReplyDelete

 

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