IT Capacity Planning

We've recently had some troubles with our upper management and have been asked by his upper management to do some department capacity planning.  We are trying to justify adding to staff in the IT department, but we've never had to do this before.  Does anyone have some advice on what to do, or possibly a template to work from?  We're finding it very difficult to quantify all the work we do, and how to show non techy peple why we are so overburdened.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
dkirchheferAsked:
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notacomputergeekConnect With a Mentor Commented:
In addition to what Rhyseh has stated:

Demonstrate progress and importance to "business value". Show projects started/completed and then tie to the bottom line of the business.

Make sure management is holding your department to the same standards as everyone else. I did a study for a company a few years back and was able to show that each employee only had the capacity to work approx 80% of the time, so management shouldn't expect you to show you "worked" 100% of the time. Once you back out vacation time, sick time, holidays, scheduled breaks, bathroom breaks, smoke breaks, birthday breaks, scheduled/unscheduled meetings, training, research to stay current with technology, etc - you get the picture, there's alot of time taken up just because you're an employee.

Show a proactive approach. Many technology problems have to be reacted to, but many other things require research and knowledge to anticipate or implement so that something doesn't happen. You should still document this and have a reason for it. e.g. We installed company X A-V, so we wouldn't have to spend 2 hrs per computer to clean them (simple example).

Try to demonstrate that your department is an integral part of the company and not viewed as necessary overhead and you'll have won the war.
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RhysehConnect With a Mentor Commented:
This a very complicated problem for many IT departments and is rather difficult to quantify. My advice is to work through your IT department and have each individual compile a list of duties conducted and an estimated time committed to each role on a daily/weekly/monthly basis.

In addition to this you also need to quantify the work you are doing. If you use a call logging system this is very easy, if you don't it is very hard. Remember managers work in numbers and graphs everything else is irrelevant. Your ultimate goal is show that there are more hours of work coming in than you have hours in the day.

If you can quantify your work you should be able to get the extra resources you need. Even managers understand that 16 does go into 8.

If you don't use a call logging system you need to get your staff to start recording what work they perform on a daily basis and time taken.
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amichaellConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Good responses thus far.  And this is an extremely difficult challenge.  One of the reasons I got out of management to be honest.  Constantly having to justify current and future employee needs wasn't fun.  Anyway, the only thing I would add to the thus far excellent suggestions is when compiling the list of what technologies/responsibilities your department handles, also determine if you have the skill sets on staff to meet those technologies/responsibilities.  

In my mind justifying staffing needs comes down to either simply needing additional hands (perhaps you need another desktop person to deal with the number of desktop issues) or you need staff to handle a technology for which no one currently on staff is trained to support.
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dkirchheferAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your suggestions thus far, I'm still hoping to see a couple more and then assign points accordingly.  We are still building our case, and everything you folks have said has helped. :-)
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dkirchheferAuthor Commented:
I will be closing this question on the 25th of this month and awarding points.  Thank you all for the information.
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dkirchheferAuthor Commented:
Thank for your time everyone!
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