8 Capacity Planning Tools Every Project Manager Needs

8 Capacity Planning Tools Every Project Manager Needs

Among many other difficult jobs, project managers must plan to ensure their project team’s capacity and resource availability align with demands.

Effective capacity planning requires navigating the supply-and-demand relationship between how much capacity you have and how much capacity you need to complete a particular project. But determining these values isn’t always easy. This is where capacity management tools help.

This article will review how to use various capacity planning software and resource management tools to help streamline capacity planning and meet your business needs.

How do you do capacity management?

Capacity planning, also called demand forecasting, is the process of determining capacity requirements in the short or long term and if you have enough available resources or current capacity to meet those demands within the specified time frame.

Capacity planners typically perform the following:

  • Conduct a demand forecast. Determine what’s required to meet the upcoming demands of projects or workload.
  • Determine the required capacity. Use information about forecasted demand to estimate the required capacity. For example, this capacity may be the total number of work hours needed for a particular project.
  • Calculate resource capacity. Next, determine the capacity of your current team members over the period you’re planning for.
  • Measure the gap. Determine the size of the gap between demand and resource capacity.
  • Align capacity with demand. If capacity is greater than demand, you may be able to take on additional work, finish the planned work sooner, or downsize the team. If the demand is greater than the capacity, you may need to scale up your team or readjust priorities and timelines.

What are some of the top capacity planning tools?

Good project management software or capacity planning tools can make it much easier to stay on top of things. Resource allocation, consolidation, and the optimization of resource capacity planning are among some of what you can achieve with the right tools.

These tools vary in their functionality, but we’ll walk you through each one so that you can determine what makes sense to add to your project manager toolbox. The right software can help you avoid late projects, bottlenecks, and other problems.

Toggl Plan: Beautifully simple

Toggl Plan prides itself on being project management software for everyone. The software has three main interfaces: one for project management, one for team planning, and one for task management. All interfaces allow you to view the workloads and tasks assigned to each team member so that it’s easy to track and plan for capacity.

The nice thing about this tool is that you can try it for free. Toggl’s pricing tiers start at no charge for up to five users. For more users, you can choose from the Standard plan at $9 per user per month or the Business plan at $15 per user per month, which comes with additional access rights, data export, and priority support.

Teamup Shared Calendar: Organizing simplified

The Teamup Shared Calendar claims to simplify your ability to organize teams, schedule work, manage availability, share events, and more. As the name implies, the focus is on seeing all of the above in a calendar format, which allows for easy visualization of workloads.

Teamup has a free entry-level account, which not only allows you to try it and see if you like it, but also allows you to add up to eight sub-calendars and an unlimited number of viewers.

You can also try higher tiers of Teamup for free with a three-day trial. This includes the $8 per month Plus membership, the $20 per month Premium membership, and the $80 per month Enterprise membership.

Mavenlink: Plan and schedule resources in real time

Among other software, Mavenlink offers a resource management and optimization tool. As a full-service software with all the bells, whistles, and metrics, Mavenlink enables you to streamline crucial processes, intelligently align staffing and team configurations to business goals, and it has all sorts of forecasting and planning capabilities.

There are four pricing tiers for Mavenlink, and while the first two allow a free trial, all of them are paid. Their lowest tier is called Teams and is $19 per month for up to five users. Their Professional plan costs $39 per user per month, and their Premier and Enterprise plans require consultation for a direct quote.

Saviom: Redefine business efficiency

Saviom offers enterprise resource management and enterprise workforce planning software that claims to redefine business efficiency. This includes the ability to plan, schedule, and forecast in real time, maximize utilization, optimize workforce, and reduce project resource costs.

No prices are listed on the Saviom website. Instead, they ask that you contact them to request a quote. However, you can try one of their three tiers for free.

10,000ft by Smartsheet: Make confident operational decisions

Smartsheet’s resource management software boasts simple resource allocation, accurate project planning, effortless time tracking, and dynamic reporting. It contains all the tools you need for capacity planning with teams of various sizes. One of the nice things about 10,000ft is that it can integrate with many other types of project and team management software.

This is another company that doesn’t advertise its pricing online, although it offers a free trial. Their individual, business, enterprise, and premier levels vary based on report capabilities, customization options, and access to enterprise-level service. In addition, multiple add-on services are available.

Float: Capacity management used by 3,000+ teams

Float claims to be “the resource planner that keeps projects on track.” Its interface enables an accurate view of everyone’s workload and status, time off and public holidays, and future projects and capacity. This makes it an excellent choice for capacity planning.

You can try Float for free for 30 days to see if you like it first. After that, you can choose the Resource Planning plan at $5 per person per month or add Time Tracking for $10 per person per month. All plans include 24-hour support and personal data protection.

Resource Guru: Simple resource management software

Like some of the other tools in this list, Resource Guru prides themselves on their simplicity. But that simplicity comes with many capabilities, including resource scheduling, resource management, leave management, project scheduling, equipment management, meeting room booking, capacity planning, and project forecasting.

Their Grasshopper Plan is about $3 per person per month, the Blackbelt Plan is over $4 per person per month, and the Master Plan is around $7 per person per month. You can try all plans for free for 30 days, and paying annually instead of monthly comes with a discount.

Forecast: Automation workflow ability

Forecast is a platform that enables work automation, team collaboration, project management, business intelligence, resource management, and project accounting. One of the big selling points for this software is its ability to connect with multiple other tools, such as Azure, Google Drive, Microsoft Excel, and more.

With a high level of features comes a higher price. Forecast’s entry-level Lite plan is $29 per seat per month, and their Pro plan is $49 per seat per month. They also offer enterprise-level service, which requires a price quote. You can try all plans for free.

Let Upwork help you find team members

Finding the right tools for the job is one step toward successful project management. Another step is finding the right people to hire for your team. If your team’s capacity needs to expand to meet demand, Upwork can help you find qualified independent professionals who fit the bill.  

You can hire for any scope, whether it’s a complex project, a longer-term contract, or a short-term job. On Upwork, you have access to the top talent in various fields, including software development, writing, sales and marketing, and analytics. Post a job for free today and wait for the bids to come in.

Upwork is not affiliated with and does not sponsor or endorse any of the tools or services discussed in this section. These tools and services are provided only as potential options, and each reader and company should take the time needed to adequately analyze and determine the tools or services that would best fit their specific needs and situation.

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8 Capacity Planning Tools Every Project Manager Needs
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