Resource Capacity Planning: Insights and Best Practices


When I speak with PMO leaders around the world, resource capacity planning is crucial for organizations wrestling to achieve strategic goals. In this blog post, Steve Beaumont and Greg Gomel, Founder of the Gomel Group, explore best practices and concepts for managing resource capacity planning.

Podcast: How to Manage Resource Capacity Planning


If you are making criteria selections to continue to put projects into the hopper to be worked on, but you don't take into consideration, I've got this downstream bottleneck... you're going to be very unsatisfied with the results. - Greg Gomel

About The Gomel Group

The Gomel Group is a consulting firm that's focused on helping C-Level executives deliver on their strategic objectives through project execution. Focus areas are Agile and Digital Transformation, Program Management, Organizational Change and Security.

In this short podcast Greg Gomel (Founder of the Gomel Group) shares his views on how to manage resource capacity planning by:

  • Understanding what is theory of constraints and its application
  • Identifying the key bottlenecks
  • Optimizing the prioritization process in project portfolio management

Essential Practices for Successful Resource Capacity Planning

To effectively manage resource capacity planning, Greg suggested the following practices:

  1. Identify and Optimize Bottlenecks: Recognize where bottlenecks are in the organizational processes and optimize them to ensure a smoother flow of projects.

  2. Filter Projects Early: Before projects reach the prioritization stage, filter out those that don't align with the strategic goals of the organization or don't have high value. This can save time and resources.

  3. Understand Resource Constraints: Know the availability and capacity of your resources to avoid over-committing. Allocate resources efficiently based on the bottlenecks and constraints.

  4. Educate and Communicate: Make sure that all stakeholders understand the organizational goals, the criteria for project selection, and how the process works. Communication is vital to ensure alignment across the organization.

  5. Measure and Evaluate: Implement metrics to evaluate the impact of improvements in the process. This will provide empirical data on what is working and what isn't, allowing for evidence-based decision-making.

  6. Continuously Monitor and Adapt: Project selection and resource management is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. Continuously monitor the system for changes in constraints, bottlenecks, and resources. Adapt as needed.

  7. Manage Resources Efficiently: If there is a single critical resource involved in multiple projects, consider developing ways to replicate their skills throughout the organization, or hire additional personnel with similar skills to distribute the workload.

  8. Align with Strategic Goals: Make sure that the projects selected are in line with the strategic goals of the organization. Strategic portfolio management plays a critical role in achieving strategic alignment, ensuring that resources are allocated to the most impactful projects that are in sync with organizational strategy. 

  9. Understand Your Processes: Gain a deep understanding of the various processes within your organization, so that you can make better-informed decisions regarding which projects to prioritize.

  10. Balance Demand with Capacity: It's essential to understand that simply approving more projects doesn't necessarily mean more will get done. There needs to be a balance between the demand for new projects and the capacity to execute them effectively.

Key Concepts for Resource Capacity Planning

Understanding these fundamental concepts can provide a strong foundation for implementing resource capacity planning effectively:

  1. Theory of Constraints: This concept focuses on identifying and managing the bottlenecks that hinder an organization from reaching its goals. By addressing these constraints, organizations can significantly improve their performance.

  2. Lean Thinking: This is about streamlining processes by reducing waste and inefficiencies. It aims at maximizing productivity and is somewhat similar to the Theory of Constraints in its goal of optimizing processes.

  3. Operating Expenses, Throughput, and Inventory: These three aspects are critical for optimization according to the Theory of Constraints. The podcast emphasizes lowering operating expenses, maximizing throughput (rate of output), and minimizing inventory or work in progress.

  4. Understanding Processes at Different Levels: The podcast stresses the importance of comprehending processes at various levels, from high-level organizational processes to more detailed individual work processes.

  5. Prioritization Paralysis: This term refers to the difficulty in making effective prioritization decisions, often due to an overload of choices or lack of clear criteria for decision-making.

  6. Education and Communication: The podcast highlights the necessity of educating stakeholders about constraints and ensuring effective communication across the organization.

  7. Resource Management: Managing human resources efficiently, especially in terms of identifying and addressing bottlenecks related to personnel, is discussed.

  8. Criteria Selection for Prioritization: Selecting projects and priorities based on clear criteria that align with organizational objectives is emphasized.

  9. Metrics and Measurement: The podcast mentions the importance of having metrics to measure the impact of improvements, allowing organizations to monitor progress and make data-driven decisions.

  10. Dynamic System: Organizations are described as dynamic systems needing ongoing engagement and adaptation. The podcast notes that there is no one-size-fits-all solution and that approaches must be adaptive to suit the organization.

  11. Strategic Alignment: Ensuring that project selection and execution are in line with the strategic objectives of the organization is considered essential for success.


Effective resource capacity planning is paramount for organizations to align their resources with strategic objectives. Through understanding key concepts and implementing best practices, as shared by Greg Gomel, organizations can optimize their processes, overcome bottlenecks, and ensure successful project execution. Listen to the full podcast for detailed insights.