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August 12, 2015

Capacity Planning Template Excel Download

Capacity Planning

Resource Capacity Planning Template Excel will help in identifying resource requirements for multiple or single projects. The key foundation of the planning template, which is part of our inventory of project management templates, 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.
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Capacity Planning Excel Template

Few thoughts and tips on Capacity Planning 

Having a Resource Management Plan in excel or any other tool is a must for any organization. Capacity planning is on top of the basic resource management planning. Capacity planning is an essential task for portfolio management. A portfolio manager needs to know where exactly his resources are getting used. 

Typical resource requirements are planned much in advance, mostly around a 6-12 month time frame. Knowing the gaps will help the company or team to take remedial measures and aid in better resource management of the team or company. Another advantage of planning capacity ahead of time is getting the real picture of what is planned.

Many times senior management has certain expectations that can be difficult to handle without adequate resources. Putting all the information in a capacity planning template and then presenting the information to the management will help set 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 of incapacity planning is that the management ignores the need for 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 company's senior management or business set their expectation based on what is presented to them. The data must be presented straightforwardly. Using dashboards can always help in making the presentation easy.

The majority of the time, capacity planning is done on assumptions that may not always be correct. So everyone must know what the assumptions are and how they could affect the plan later.

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 to help the company or business plan for an adequate budget.

Capacity planning should be part of any project manager's tasks, whether it is waterfall or agile project management. Check out our Agile Sprint Based Capacity planner.

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 a shortage of resources and also be able to tell what type of resources.
  • The capacity planner will highlight resource gaps weekly, 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 in setting up working days for resources every week.
  • Highlights which resource types are in high demand or free resource types.
  • Has a built-in resource pool that can be used to set up resources.
  • The resource pool can be used to set the availability of the resource types weekly.
  • 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.
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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, they are assumed to be available 5 days per week, working 50% part-time, then 2.5. 

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 resources 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 Template Excel-

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 detailed estimates and WBS
  • Generally, the projects are also resourced on past estimates or guesstimates.
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Capacity Planning Excel Template

Step 2: Updating the Resource Pool or Resource Loading

  • Update the Resource Pool Section with the resource types in your organization. 
  • This activity can be called resource loading because resource managers go ahead and allocate all the tasks, even if it means overloading the resource.
  • If you have too many resource types, I recommend keeping the resource type to a 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 a DBA who is part-time, then it 2.5.
  • Also, update the holidays or vacation times. For example, if there one public holiday in a week starting 4th Jan, 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 them is going on leave, it will reduce to 5 days a week.
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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. 

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

  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.

  3. Great and very handy tool. Thank you for making is so simple to adopt.

  4. The download link isn't available anymore. Could you please reupload.
    Many thanks.

  5. How can I incorporate Vacations and Holidays into the Capacity 'Resource Pool" section?

  6. You can easily setup number of days per week for a resource. For holidays you can reduce total working days per week for everyone.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.