Resource planning is one of the most important aspects of project management. Project managers use professional software for allocation and leveling of all types of project resources. However, the project resource capacity planning template is also very common and equally helpful in capacity planning and allocation.
In project management, there are tons of resources to manage. Key resources of a project include human resources, machines, equipment, and tools.
The project manager has to check the total available resources. Also, there is a list of project resources requirements. Thus, the project manager compares the available capacity with the requirement to analyze surplus/deficit.
Moreover, sometimes resources unbalanced allocation also causes the shortage of resources at one place while those are wasted/under-utilized at another place.
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Importance of Resource Capacity Planning
Every project consists of several tasks and sub-tasks. Timely and proper completion of these tasks results in the achievement of project goals.
However, these tasks require several resources for completion.
Similarly, there are different types and nature of resources requirements.
Some resources are necessary for the completion of the task and the absence of such resources will halt the completion of tasks. While some resources just impact the quality and timely completion of tasks.
The project core resources are human resources, machines, locations, equipment, and materials. Every resource has its role and importance in the task. Resource planning is a systematic schedule base technique.
It is not enough to just arrange resources in the required quantity. The resource planning template helps the project managers to arrange the required quantity of resources at the right time and sequence.
Let just understand it by example. Every new project starts with the definition or planning stage. The basic resources required for these phases are humans, a facility for meetings, office equipment, office furniture, and office stationery.
Thus, the project team can’t start a project without the availability of any of these resources in the required quantity and sequence.
As different tasks of the project are running in parallel. So, resource distribution is very critical to ensure zero delay in the completion of tasks due to the unavailability of resources.
Thus, project managers map out the requirement of all the resources for each activity of the project. However, proper balancing and allocation of resources are considered very important.
Finally, a fully balanced and leveled resources requirement plan chart is useful to define the resource capacity plan.
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Resources Balancing and Leveling
There are two major types of scenarios for balancing resources. One is for the optimization of resources and minimizing the project cost. While the other one is the limited availability of resources.
In the optimization scenario, the project resources are optimized to fully utilize and any under-utilization is identified and fixed.
Project management involves multiple resources and tasks running in parallel. Also, there are many shared resources among different activities or projects.
So, often it happens that a resource is under-utilized/surplus in one task becomes short in the other one. Thus, a technique of balancing the resources is useful to distribute the available resources among activities without any under-utilization.
This technique helps to get maximum output from the available resources and any deficit in requirement and availability is a highlight as the true need. Thus, the project team arranges more resources to fill in the deficit area.
An unbalanced resource will cause the project to arrange more resources and it will directly impact the project cost, performance, and completion.
Understanding with Example
Such as if the project manager allocates one machine to two different projects at the same time. While there are only 2 hours of work of machine at project A. Thus, the machine can be transferred to project B. However, this may be the case that those 2 hours’ work is misunderstood as a complete day activity. So, project B either has to wait for a day or will require another machine.
Thus, it indicates that the most important thing in proper balancing and allocation of resources is the requirement. So, each task should have a detailed requirement for each resource like quantity, start time, end time, and duration.
Similarly, resource capacity planning and balancing techniques are different for limited resources. Such as one project manager is required in two simultaneous activities.
In this case, the resource planner adjusts the start and end dates of tasks to eliminate the limitation of conflict in demand and supply of a resource.
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Resource Requirement Planning
The most important step of resource capacity planning is to calculate the resources required for each task or activity. Such as how many workers are required to perform activity A from the start date to end date and calculated duration.
Thus, project managers calculated the requirement of each resource for every single task and keep in view any overlapping tasks. For this reason, a resource requirement planning template excel is very useful.
It helps to enlist all the project tasks and major resources. Then, allow the project managers to map out the requirement of resources against the task for the defined number of days with start and end dates.
Resource requirement planning templates are available as a project overview and resource overview format. A template can represent that activity A will start on 15-July and ends on 15-August require 20 Workers, 3 Machines, and $90,000.
Similarly, activity B is starting from 10-August and will end on 30-August requires 10 Workers, 2 Machines, and $10,000.
Now, the project manager has an overview of what and how many resources are required for the particular activity from the start date to end date and it is overlapping for how many days with other activities.
Thus, the project manager has to adjust the availability and requirement for both activities accordingly.
Types of Resources in a Project
While it is not enough to make a resource requirement plan successful. As there is further detail about each resource bracket.
Like lets’ just talk about 20 workers inactivity A and 10 workers in activity B. Project manager has to look see details of the designation, role/responsibility, and quantity of each class.
it means how many of those 20 workers are managers, officers, and executives. It can be in this way like how many are engineers, marketing managers, accountants, and finance officers?
Similarly, the same details are required for machines, tools, location, and material resources for each activity.
This will help the project manager to understand either the overlapping days of activity A and B require the same human resource, machine, and material or it is different.
Moreover, where activity A and B don’t overlap is activity A resources are the same as B require in those days or have to arrange others.
Lets’ get an overview of the characteristics of each type of resource for their separate resource capacity and requirement planning templates.
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Human Resource Planning Template
The human resource is the most common, conflicting, and hard to manage the resource of any project.
It has many uncertainties even after the best allocation. Thus, there are tons of things to keep in balance for the perfect allocation of human resources.
A very basic human resource planning template for any project requires details to define the nature of the resource. What characteristics of human resources are important to represent vary from project to project.
So, a simple human resource template should capture the name, designation, quality, experience, qualification, department, role, responsibilities, age, gender, and rate of the resource.
These characteristics are then linked with tasks and projects to provide resource engagement dates and duration.
Our human resource planning template helps to record all these characteristics of a human resource about any task or project.
Thus, it helps the project managers to see if Alex (Web Developer) is required in an activity A from 15-Aug to 20-Aug, then there should not be any other activity these days that require Alex’s role.
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Equipment/Material Resource Planning Template
It is very similar to human resource planning. Further, it helps the project team to make sure particular equipment is required in only one activity at a time.
So, if there is a requirement in two, then have to either arrange another similar machine or have to delay the other activity, whatever is the best option for the project performance and goals.
The equipment/material resource planning template use equipment/material name, description, usage, source, quantity, and cost parameters for the requirement analysis.
The overall major types of project resources include project team (human resource), facilities, equipment, software, and utilities.
A separate resource capacity planning and requirement template are available for all these resources for proper efficient planning and allocation.
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How to make a Resource Capacity Planning Template?
Project capacity planning is a multi-step approach to calculate and analyze the requirement and availability of the resource.
The following simple guide is very useful to make a resource capacity planning template for any type of project and resource.
- Define project tasks, sub-tasks, tasks inter-relation, start date, end date, and duration.
- Enlist the types of resources required for each task of the project.
- Calculate the quantity of each resource required for each task.
- Enlist the available capacity of each resource.
- Define the start date, end date, and duration of resource engagement in the task.
- Analyze the overlapping of the same resource in two or more tasks at the same time.
- Balance the resource by adjusting the start date and end date of the task or adjust the quantity of the resource.
- Prepare a resource net change for a resource requirement plan.
- Finally, update the resource capacity based on net change in requirement plan of resources.
How to Use a Pro Resource Capacity Planner Template?
There are several resource capacity planning templates are available online. However, basic and free templates are somehow limited in integration with each other.
Thus, the project manager still requires little effort to integrate the data from individual sheets to the dashboard.
However, templates free download provides a complete resource capacity planning solution with maximum integration as free.
The concept of resource capacity planning template resolves around 4 – 5 spreadsheets integration. 3 of them are input sheets require the data from the user to automatically calculate the output in the rest of the two sheets.
Parameters, resources, and requirement spreadsheets are the input sheets while the dashboard and calendar are the output sheets. Lets’ explore the details of each sheet to make it understandable that how to use a pro resource capacity planning template.
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Configuration Spreadsheet Template
Settings or configuration spreadsheet contains the basic information about the projects to use in a calculation like workings hours per day and types of resources.
So, the following parameters are important to define in the settings spreadsheet.
- Planning Period: It defines the planned start date and projected end date of the project to specify the timeframe available.
- Weekends: It defines how many days are the working days in a week and which days will be considered as a weekend. A weekend/holiday means a day that will have zero human capacity available. Thus, there should be zero requirements on weekends in the resource plan.
- Holidays: All the public holidays when human resources will not be available should be enlisted in the holiday section. The holiday impact on requirements is similar to weekends.
- Resources: There are several types of resources involved in a project. This section enlists the types of resources that are required for project tasks such as human resources, machines, tools, materials, software, and locations.
- Projects: This option is useful for resource planning of multiple projects using a resource capacity planning template.
- Skillset: Skillset helps to group similar resources based on their capabilities. Such as humans as project managers and marketing managers. Similarly, machines are also grouped based on their functionality.
Resources Spreadsheet Template
Resource capacity planning template excel requires complete details of each resource to define the capacities. The capacity is the availability of the resource for allocation.
Thus, the capacity or resource sheet defines the availability, vacation plan, maintenance plan, overtime costs, and allocation of resources to skill and project.
Moreover, it requires a different set of details to fully define the availability of a resource at a particular time for allocation.
Like a human resource demands to discuss the name, designation, experience, department, working hours, start date, end date, project, cost per hour, vacations, and overtime.
Requirement Spreadsheet Template
The free resource planning template is set for configuration and capacity. Now the final step is to calculate the requirement of capacities for individual tasks and projects.
Thus, there are just two aspects to focus on at this stage. The first is to define the demand as the number of hours or days and the second is to specify the resource, skill, or project.
So, the requirement in the description will sound like a web design project requires Alex a web developer for 10 days from 1-Nov to 10-Nov. It defines the name, skill, project, duration, and timeframe.
Dashboard Spreadsheet Template
A dashboard is an output sheet that displays the required calculation in a summarized way.
However, a project manager may choose to display the most relevant data only and skip the useless data out of the dashboard.
Usually, the number of projects, skills groups, and capacities are available on display. Also, the summary of the planning period, total under-utilized resource, total over-utilized resources, and utilization rate.
Finally, the breakdown of total deficit and surplus of capacities for projects and skills is also important to display along with a graphical representation of resources vs. requirement.
Calendar Spreadsheet Template
The dashboard summary sheet provides the overall surplus/deficit of resources for a project. While there is more insight available in the calendar view.
It is useful to identify the surplus/deficit of specific resources for a particular skill/project on daily basis.
Moreover, the same strategy is useful to find out surplus/deficit of capacity on a weekly, monthly, and yearly basis. Thus, a calendar resource plan is an essential part of the resource capacity planner template.
Moreover, it comes with different functions and details. A filter is available on top to choose the configuration as per the desired calendar output.
The configurations available for the dimension (resource, project, or skill group), measure (resource or requirement), unit (cost or hours), and timeframe (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually).
Finally, whatever configuration you choose, the calendar shows the requirement and capacity in terms of a list of dimensions, total cost, and hours.
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Benefits of Resource Capacity Planner
There are various applications and advantages of resource capacity planners. Especially, construction-related projects that involve several resources, and especially human resources much depend on resource plans.
Further, it has several advantages in terms of streamlining all the capacities with maximum utilization rate.
Also, it saves a lot of effort in making sheets from scratch or saves money for getting the license of costly resource management tools.
Moreover, the summary sheet gives a lot of information in just a birds-eye view. Finally, the software MS Excel itself is very easy to use, edit, and accessible to everyone.
Free Download Resource Capacity Planning Templates
Templates Free Download provides free templates for resource capacity planning. These templates cover different resources and multiple projects.
Thus, our free resource planning template excel spreadsheets are very useful to calculate the capacity, compare with the demand and calculate the utilization rate of your project resources.
Finally, these will help you to ensure timely completion of project along with saving a lot of cost.
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