Capacity Planning Models

• Facilities

• Technology

FIGURE 9-9. Capacity planning.

The next step points up one critical difference between average companies and excellent companies. An excellent company will identify capacity constraints from the summation of the schedules and plans. Project managers will meet with project sponsors to determine the objective of the plan, which is different than the objective of the project. Is the objective of the plan to achieve the project's objective with the least cost, least time, or least risk? Typically, only one of these applies, whereas immature organizations believe that all three can be achieved on every project. This, of course, is unrealistic.

The final box in Figure 9-9 is now the determination of the capacity limitations. Previously, we considered only human resource capacity constraints. Now we realize that the critical path of a project can be constrained not only by available manpower but also by time, facilities, cash flow, and even technology. It is possible to have multiple critical paths on a project other than those identified by classical capacity planning. Each of these critical paths provides a different dimension to the capacity planning models, and each of these constraints can lead us to a different capacity limitation. As an example, manpower might limit us to taking on only four additional projects. Based upon available facilities, however, we might only be able to undertake two more projects, and based upon available technology, we might be able to undertake only one new project.


In the twenty-first century, companies will replace job descriptions with competency models. Job descriptions for project management tend to emphasize the deliverables and expectations from the project manager, whereas competency models emphasize the specific skills needed to achieve the deliverables.


FIGURE 9-10. Competency model for Eli Lilly.


FIGURE 9-10. Competency model for Eli Lilly.

Figure 9-10 shows the competency model for Eli Lilly. Project managers are expected to have competencies in three broad areas:*

• Scientific/technical skills

• Leadership skills

• Process skills

For each of the three broad areas, there are subdivisions or grade levels. A primary advantage of a competency model is that it allows the training department to develop customized project management training programs to satisfy the skill requirements. Without competency models, most training programs are generic rather than customized. Also, competency models make it easier for organizations to develop a complete training curriculum, rather than a single course.

Competency models focus on specialized skills in order to assist project managers in making more efficient utilization of their time. Figure 9-11, although theoretical, shows how, with specialized competency training, project managers might be able to increase their time effectiveness by reducing time robbers and rework. Unfortunately, time robbers and rework cannot always be eliminated, but they can be reduced.

As stated above, competency models make it easier for companies to develop project management curricula, rather than simply single courses. This is shown in Figure 9-12. As companies mature in project management and develop a company-wide core competency model, an internal, custom-designed curriculum will be developed. Companies, especially large ones, will find it necessary to maintain a course architecture specialist on their staff.

*A detailed description of the Eli Lilly competency model and the Ericsson competency model can be found in H. Kerzner, Advanced Project Management. New York: Wiley, 1999, pp. 266-283.

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Productive 5 Hours Per 4 Day 3

Time Robbers Rework

Effective Use of Time

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