Capacity Planning: Top Free Tools to Save Time

In an ever-changing world, it may seem like you need a magic ball to plan for the future of your business, but that’s not true. So how can you stay relevant when your customers’ needs change? Or should you quickly grow your business to avoid stock-outs in the event of a surge in orders?

The answers to these questions are straightforward. Every day, successful businesses use capacity planning to deal with the same problems. But it’s hard to predict how much power you’ll have or need for a particular activity, project, moment, or situation in most parts of life. This is because so many people make changes as they go, making space where they can. This is a fact of life, but it doesn’t have to be the business case. 

How does capacity planning work?

Capacity planning can be challenging for any business, no matter how big or small. People, budget, and other stakeholders all have to work together in a delicate way to make sure that work is done when and where people need it. Businesses use capacity planning to figure out how much work they can do with the number of people they have and the time they have coming up.

“Capacity,” on the other hand, refers to the maximum amount of work that can be done in a given amount of time. Employee work hours are often used to show how much capacity a company has. It also means allocating staff time to a certain amount of work that has already been done or is expected to be done.

Is capacity planning important?

Capacity planning helps determine how services are delivered and how many people are needed to meet current demand and cover all costs. It also helps determine how long benefits should last and how many people must do them. This is very important when you make annual budgets to spend your money wisely. 

Suppose your company is hiring more people to help meet demand based on capacity plans. In that case, you may find that you need specific skills, a more prominent place for workers, and any new equipment required.

When choosing a capacity planning tool, what things should be considered?

As hard as it is to choose a capacity planning solution from all of the tools out there, it might be even more difficult. This is because each capacity planning tool has a lot of different ways to manage capacity. However, there are three essential things to look for in a good capacity planning software program, no matter what your business needs are:

Reporting and analytics tools that can be used right away:

Before a resource manager can plan effectively for capacity, they need to have data that can be used. However, even if your capacity planning is based on data, it’s impossible to keep track of everything in an organization by hand.

In the reports, you can learn about a wide range of things, from how your team distributes their work to how much time and resources they use in a day. This way, you’ll have accurate and actionable information about your team’s capacity, which will help you quickly decide if your current capacity is enough to handle new projects that come in.

The tool which can work with other software:

Companies that do many different things need to use various tools. In contrast, others are better at managing project teams. Make sure to think that your capacity planning tool will not be able to handle everything you try to do with it. 

Capabilities for automating things:

There is a strong connection between capacity and resource planning. And scheduling activities include a lot of simple tasks that don’t need to be done by humans. However, manually performing these processes will take up a lot of time and money. That’s money you could be using to plan instead!

Best free capacity planning tools:

Saviom:

An organization founded by Saviom’s founders aims to revolutionize the corporate world. Companies will no longer operate as they have in the past, says Saviom, which makes enterprise resource management and labor planning software. As a result, you’ll be able to do things like better resource utilization, better workforce optimization, and lower project resource costs, all in real-time.

There is no pricing information available on the Saviom website. To learn how much it will cost, give them a call. A free trial of one of their three tiers is also available.

Toggl plan:

Toggl plan is a simple project management and execution tool that is easy to use. However, it also helps with the design of the team’s capacity and the way tasks are done. Using the team timeline view helps keep track of the resources of a group of people who work together. 

It gives a high-level look at who is working on what across many different projects. This way, you can figure out which team members are overworked. Overworked or underworked team members can be found by looking at task estimates. It also gives you vacation and holiday plans for team members to plan around them not working. It has a free subscription for individual users to make as many project plans as they want. Paid plans are $9 per month. Also, they offer a 14-day free trial.

Teamup:

Teamup is a calendaring app for teams to use together. Work can be organized by people, places, and events on colour-coded sub-calendars. However, if you have a big team or work on many projects, Teamup can quickly become messy. In addition, there is no way to zoom in or out quickly to figure out how well someone can do something.

It also has colour-coded plan sub-calendars to make it easier to keep track of everything. Unfortunately, the free plan can only have eight sub-calendars. Getting a month-to-month premium membership costs $8.

2Plan:

In 2Plan, you can use a free and open-source project management app to keep track of your projects. Most open-source software doesn’t have a user interface or experience that makes it easy for your team to use it, as most of them do. There are some similarities between Toggl Plan and 2Plan, but they aren’t all of the same kind.

On the bright side, it has some essential time-tracking tools. However, this isn’t a service that is run by someone else. This means that you will be in charge of file sharing, installing, and maintaining the program. 2Plan is a genuinely open capacity planning tool.

10,000ft, Smartsheet:

Make sure your operational decisions are sound. Smartsheet’s resource management software makes it easy to allocate resources, plan projects accurately, track time, and create dynamic reports. It has all the tools you need to figure out how much space you can use with teams of different sizes. 

Another company doesn’t show its prices on its website, even though it has a free trial. Different tiers for each person, business, enterprise, and premier have other report options, customization options, and access to enterprise-level services.

Conclusion:

Capacity planning assists your team in completing projects by ensuring that the appropriate resources are available at the right moment. Capacity planning and its implementation were the first topics we discussed. In addition, we looked at the many types of approaches for controlling available resource capacity. 

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