Vital to any project management office (PMO) is good resource capacity management. There are best practices and concepts to follow, but how do you know your office is getting it right?

We’re going to look at what good resource capacity management looks like in a PMO. This should help you to design KPIs and understand your successes. We’ll cover:

  • The importance of good resource capacity management
  • Four concepts that need to be built into your capacity management
  • The metrics you need to monitor to know your capacity management is successful

Enabling you PMO to celebrate its success once they’ve been identified.

Why do I need good resource capacity management in my PMO?

For most businesses, the biggest resource they have is people. This means that resource capacity management is mainly about having enough people to do the work needed in the business. It’s not just about hiring enough people; it’s bringing the right people through the door and training the talent you already have.

Being able to balance having enough skill and talent available for your projects will ensure that projects get completed on time and budget. There are different strategies that you can use to fulfil your resource capacity management that we recently covered.

Each will be useful for different businesses. What you need to know is if your chosen strategy is working for your PMO.

What makes a good resource capacity management process?

However your resource capacity manager chooses to plan, they need to make sure their processes will be successful. Ensure the following concepts are embedded through your processes and software choices:

  • Visibility – your office needs to be able to see the bigger picture of supply and demand for people across existing and future projects. Your office needs to know its resources.
  • Prioritisation – requests need to be segmented so you can assign a priority score. This will ensure that you can meet the most urgent requests quickly.
  • Optimisation – key to driving success is knowing what it looks like – understand potential productivity and have the PMO aim towards the desired levels.
  • Integration – capacity management doesn’t happen in a silo, there are dependencies throughout the business. Know what issues can for capacity change and be prepared.

How do I know my PMO resource capacity management is successful?

Your PMO needs to define what successful resource capacity management looks like. Good resource capacity management can be achieved in a number of ways, but the outcomes will always look similar.

Some of these measures can be assessed through numerical values, others you may need to conduct surveys or infer your results indirectly.

  • A well utilised team will be working on projects that fit their skills. Tracking the skills of your project team and ensuring they’re working on the right projects. This should be reflected in a successful project delivery.
  • A satisfied team is more productive. Good capacity management will see you invest in their training and not have them working over-capacity so they don’t reach burnout stage. Productivity levels and regular employee surveys will provide this information.
  • Successfully delivered projects is an indicator that the resources were well planned and placed throughout. Your standard metrics of budget and timeframes will be a good sign that you’ve implemented a successful resource capacity management process.
  • Uninterrupted project delivery is as important as the project being delivered on time. Sometimes a team can pull all-nighters and take on heavy overtime to get a project in on time because of previously unplanned downtime. Having the project run on schedule is a good sign resources have been allocated successfully.
  • Sufficient talent in place means that recruitment and onboarding is done on time, but also that there aren’t people sat doing nothing; this is bad for productivity. Productivity levels and the project labour costs will be a useful measure of this.

The take home

Every area of a business needs to know what good performance looks like. In general this means aligning with the strategic goals of the business and contributing to a healthy profit margin.

Managing resources in a PMO is a challenge. Understanding what good resource capacity management in a PMO looks like will allow you to set KPIs and understand when a strategy or plan needs to be tweaked.