Capacity Planning with Multiple Projects

Capacity Planning with Multiple ProjectsOkay, let’s say you have a bunch of projects on the go, your portfolio management system is too clunky (or you don’t have one), and you need to do some “what-if” analysis.

You have one pool of Business Analysts, Developers and Testers and up to five projects. How do they all fit together? To get all these projects done, how many resources do you really need? What happens to your other projects if one of your projects is late by a week? What happens if you lose someone?

Enter the durations of your projects, and the number of each type of resource. Use the slider buttons to move your projects back and forth through time. When you do that, the graph at the top will change. If any of the lines in the graph go over the capacity line, you have a problem.

You have a limited ability to change the assumptions that go into this worksheet on the second tab (it is quick and dirty after all).

UPDATE: If you found this page through a web search, this version of my capacity planning workbook is really just proof of concept and very limited in functionality. There’s a vastly superior version of this file over here. My new version contains support for up to 25 projects, 10 resource types, and unique phase makeups for every project in your portfolio. Why not check it out?

I’m a professor of project management at the college where I work. My students continually amaze me with their insights, passion and all-around awesomeness. I figure they deserve access to more answers than I can give them by myself. This site is for them.
  • Rachel83

    Just discovered your blog. This excel sheet is incredibly efficient. Thank you so much for sharing! I do have a question however, how does an excel novice go about adding more projects (more than the 5) and also increasing the duration to more than the 12 weeks without messing up the formulas?  Thank you! 😎

  • Heya, Rachel! I’m so glad you liked this spreadsheet! I’ve found it really useful over the years, but it’s the least downloaded file on here! LOL

    It’s tough to explain how to increase project durations or add projects to the file. I built this thing ages ago (i.e., I mostly forget how I made it, off the top of my head). I’d have to really go into the guts of it to figure out how to give you what you need. But if you sent me an e-mail with an address I could reach you at, and the specifics of how many projects and weeks you’d like on the sheet, I could send you a new file. Free of charge! 🙂

    Might take me a couple days, just to set your expectations hehehehe.

  • Pingback: Updates and Stuff « Papercut Edge()

  • Dheerja

    Hi,

    I was just passing through internet and had an encounter with your “Capacity Planing for Multiple projects” model. This is an incredible model and when i played around i found it very efficient. As i was going through your model, its based on standard waterfall life cycle. What i need to know here is what if the assumptions are different each time for all the 5 projects and how can I customize the assumptions for each project. I would also like to know about adding more projects (more than the 5) and also increasing the duration to more than the 12 weeks without messing up the formulas? .

    Thanks you.

    Regards,
    Dheerja

  • Dheerja

    Hi,

    I was just passing through internet and had an ecounter with your “Capicity Planing for Multiple projects” model. This is an incredible model and when i played around i found it very efficient. As i was going through your model, its based on standard waterfall life cycle. What i need to know here is what if the assumptions are different each time for all the 5 projects and how can I customize the assuptions for each project. I would also like to know about adding more projects (more than the 5) and also increasing the duration to more than the 12 weeks without messing up the formulas? .

    Thanks you.

  • Kristin

    I have just discovered the mother load of Project Management treasure on this site. Thank You

  • Thank you kindly! If you want to take it to the next level, check out “The Annual Project Portfolio Capacity Planner” which is way better. 🙂

Real Time Analytics