[Donna Fitzgerald Video Series] Video 1 of 9: How Resource Capacity Planning Enables Strategy Execution

October 1, 2019 | By Sean Pales

Tune in to the first installment in our 9-part video series with renowned resource management expert, Donna Fitzgerald.

Donna Fitzgerald is the Executive Director at NimblePM. With over 39 years of experience in product development, operations, implementation and research, Donna is widely regarded as a premier thought leader in the resource management and project portfolio management spaces. Prior to founding NimblePM, Donna spent ten-years with Gartner Research as lead analyst in the PPM space where she covered a range of critical topics including IT resource capacity planning, demand management and strategy execution.

In this video, Donna uncovers how strategy is realized with resource capacity planning and resource management. You’ll also learn:

  • What is holding companies back from adopting resource capacity planning
  • Why resource capacity planning and resource management are the key to strategy execution
  • What needs to happen before your organization can start executing according to a plan

Transcript: How Resource Capacity Planning Enables Strategy Execution

A common question is how is strategy realized with resource capacity planning and resource management.  I really like that question because it really starts to map out something that I don’t think we’ve spent enough time thinking about.  So the first thing I’m going to say is, why hasn’t every company in the world adopted resource capacity planning.  We know we’ve got resource problems.  We’ve had resource problems since the day I started work, and after thinking about it long and hard I’ve come to the conclusion that the easiest way is to just have a Field of Dreams.  IT somehow as a shared service center has always been able to get something done.  In most businesses up until now it’s been annoying but not critical.

So really we started with this quadrant.  When you start talking about resource capacity planning and its relationship to strategy execution, I’m going to put “strategy execution” up here.  So we start with whatever we can get done is basically good enough.  We get the top five stuff done, we get the bugs fixed.  Okay.  Now we’ve got a change in what’s happening.  When we start talking digital business, because this is all about technology this is all about essentially coding and developing something.  We need people to do that so we can’t quite live at this standard.  One of the key things we’ve got to do is look at our people capacity planning because it’s really people we’re talking about, and what we can start to do to improve that is do resource management.  What we do to execute portfolio is resource capacity.  This is software.

So let’s look at this.  Part of our issue today is we have a 63 percent disengagement problem at work.  Anything we can do to fix that increases our available productive resource.  We also know we have a resource capacity problem.  Why?  Because we have people doing too many things simultaneously.  We’ve also got too much work in the system simultaneously.  If we start using software, which now today there is really something that works.  When I started my career the one thing I wanted to build myself was something that would do that.  I knew with the teams I had it would simply beyond our capabilities, but it was always a critical path item.  Now we’ve got the ability to do easy resource capacity planning.  What that means is we can start to fundamentally break down what’s somebody doing and we can ask ourselves is eight hours a week actually enough to have a developer work on code for a project?  Might get a maintenance request fulfilled but is it going to get a project done?

Once we start looking at this and improving that and we start handling the disengagement, we actually can start executing according to a plan.  Most clients I’ve talked to, everybody believes they have a strategy.  The question is most people don’t actually spend the time worrying about how it’s going to get executed or they really do a good job for the first year and then it starts to tail off.  What we need is something that allows us to build a culture to where we don’t have to be micromanaging, where we can set a strategy and actually get it done.  I hope that answers the question.


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