From Request to Delivery - The Demand and Capacity Process
The diagram below illustrates a typical demand and capacity workflow, from request through delivery.
- First, a project idea or request is generated, either from a strategy session, a business need, or a regulatory requirement. Often a process step ensure some sort of business intake filter to validate the request for completeness and business validity.
- A portfolio manager (sometimes this is a product owner, process owner, business unit leader, or PMO representative) reviews the request in the context of the appropriate portfolio. The project or program is created, aligned with the appropriate strategy, scored for value/risk, and prioritized/ranked against other projects in the portfolio. The needed skills are determined and the timing of available capacity for those skills is assessed. High level effort forecasts are entered, usually at a skill or role level.
With the above information, the project or program is given an appropriate start date, depending on priority and available capacity. Sometimes tradeoffs are required in order to apply valuable limited resources to the most important work. Scenario simulations may be performed in order to see the impact to the portfolio from different priority scenarios.The chosen scenario can be applied to reset the portfolio's priorities. Once the project is prioritized and given a start date, a project manager is assigned.
- The project manager plans the project at a high level, making sure the effort forecast includes the right skills at the right time. Resource assignment requests are then sent to the resource managers to assign named resources to the needed skills.
- The resource manager fills the resource requests with named resources by searching for candidates among their pool and revising the effort forecast for the project.
- The project manager fleshes out the project schedule and manages the project execution, reporting status as required. This step also includes optionally assigning named resources at a task level (within the existing effort forecast windows). The project manager can use the resource histogram to identify where the task level assignments are not reflected in the effort forecast. A single "mass request" can then be submitted so the appropriate resource manager(s) can update the effort forecast accordingly. Sometimes, discussions must take place when resource conflicts occur.
It's important to note that the project manager typically owns the project schedule, but the resource manager generally owns the effort forecast. This is recommended because only the resource manager has a complete picture of the resource's full workload, including projects, base services, and other current and pending activities.