Thursday, September 29, 2011

Capacity Planning vs Capability Planning : How Agile changes Project Management

Traditional PM world starts with capacity planning exercise. Key questions revolve around "How much or How Many". The view point from industrial age is that build capacity and it should take care of building and executing deliveries only limited by capacity constraints. Capabilities are expected to be built inside and hence are not mainstream planning tool.

However, our own experiences and stats about project failures gives the message that there are inherent flaws in this model.

Why not, then, acquire, plan, protect and prioritize capability planning continuously to run the shop. This flip in thinking has dramatic consequences.

  1. The key question that gets answered is "What is needed" vs "how many are required." The requirements are filled just in time, so that relevancy of skills to job is highly improved.
  2. The Capabilities to execute the available capacity gets the attention thereby enabling larger throughput and increasing efficiencies.
  3. Managing Capabilities establishes mature HR processes and seasoned managers who are task and vision oriented than handling capacities which is an administrative overhead. 
  4. Encouraging thinking about building capabilties positions you for a competitive advantage. Building capacity is not a guarantee of success as capacity can lay under used, mis-used, or un utilized and what "Goal", TPS, DELL ways of working have taught us.
  5. Focus on capabilities keeps you ahead of the pack in quality and leading industry on your terms. You are now able to be nimble, agile and helpful to add Just in Time capabilities than being constrained to use the available resources from an old capacity pool.
  6. Capable resources create an innovative environment while just planning for capacity and filling in positions promote laziness and status quo.

SCRUM teams add capabilities while Sprints pull up the required capabilities to deliver a Sprint.

Seemingly risks are higher to focus on capabilities than planning for capacities and filling in capabilities,  but it is counter intuition that works in this case. 

Try it and let me know the challenges you had with Agile recruitments and how you improved your worksphere.

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