5 Steps to optimizing capacity for digital transformation

Digital transformation is no longer an option, rather a must for the majority of businesses. While delivering business needs always meant a constant pressure for IT teams, they have never been placed under such high expectations as in the recent years, writes Carina Hatfield on Itproportal.

Due to their ever-growing responsibilities, teams have a hard time to get their priorities right, which in turn can affects their ability to meet customer experience objectives. According to a study by Appleseed Partners, more than half of the surveyed companies risk delayed delivery due to the lack of capacity.

On the other hand, those implementing capacity planning are 38 per cent better at prioritizing demand and optimizing their resources. More than half of such organizations work with a Project Manager Officer (PMO), whose main duty is to optimize and schedule work based on capacity.

Another five ways in which companies can optimize capacity planning are:

1. Gain greater visibility into pipeline demand

At most companies, the majority of projects undertaken are not part of the regular planning and approval process and thus, resource demand is often unclear. Hence, it’s essential to understand whether the available resources are working on the right projects. It requires an efficient set of tools to help PMOs gain insight into the pipeline and build a specific strategy for each project according to the resources.

2. Understand resource capacity

Way too often, organizations tend to disregard account capacity (people needed to do the work) when committing to new projects. Less than one-third of those companies who don’t use planning tools take capacity into account, while organizations who aim to understand resource capacity planning are more likely to deliver projects on time.

3. Achieve a comprehensive view of both capacity and demand

More than 60 per cent of companies struggle with managing shared resources, while those who use enterprise software have a holistic view into portfolio pipeline visibility as well as the available tools and people. Thus, they are able to make decisions based on accurate data without using manual workarounds, such as spreadsheets.

4. Conduct continuous prioritization and planning

Due to rapid growth, smaller businesses may not have the resources to effectively conduct ongoing project prioritization and planning activities. This often leads to focusing on a single project while losing the overall balance. Yet as a business improves, so does the ability to conduct these activities.

Continual planning helps to generate value from the resources invested in the portfolio.

5. Run and analyze what-if scenarios

The pinnacle of capacity planning is running what-if scenarios on resources in real-time. As organizations mature, response times shorten, accelerating decision-making. Companies are then able to gauge their capacity in hours or days, rather than weeks. In conclusion, effective portfolio management is critical to success, while poor capacity planning can have a negative impact on project costs and timelines.

While a capacity-centered approach may seem intimidating, the risks can outweigh the effort needed to make this adjustment: organizations who lag behind risk increased costs, missing out on business opportunities and a setback in innovation.

On the other hand, with the right team and the right set of tools, companies can become more aware of their resources and keep up with the pace of digital transformation.