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Black Belt

Black Belt Brief

Project Capacity Management

A method that determines whether a portfolio of projects can be executed by available development assets (staff). A critical tool in the dynamic management of priority and asset conflicts in real-world organizations.

Capacity Management Template

How it works


The project capacity management process and capacity management template can be applied to all types of projects including product development, service development, information systems, sustaining engineering etc. The template is used to evaluate different implementation scenarios. Some of the benefits of using this methodology and model are;

- its visualizations illuminate complex tradeoffs
- it identifies downstream resource bottlenecks
- it drives (forces) consensus on project priorities
- it evaluates alternative staffing tactics
- it supports a rich set of "what if" analysis
- it speeds decisions when new opportunities arise
- it operates in real time


Understanding an organization's dynamic capacity for work is critical when evaluating different implementation scenarios. Overloaded development organizations rarely deliver to expectations. Over committed resources is one of the most commonly cited reasons for project shortfalls.

Top performing multi-project development teams dynamically model their priorities and downstream workloads.

Many organizations suffer from limited means to rapidly evaluate the impact of changes to their development portfolio. Their decisions are based on "gut feel" with inadequate understanding of the inter-project interactions.

Until now there has been no agreed-to way to model an organizations development capacity. What has been missing is a visualization tool that management can readily comprehend and react to; a method that simplifies the complexities of project portfolio tradeoffs and development asset management.

The template uses both color and geometry to convey the results of a scenario. Color represents the availability of resources to meet a project's needs, and the geometry represents the presence of potential bottlenecks in the development chain.

The model is in its fifth generation. It is written in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and is driven from an Excel™ spreadsheet.

The capacity management process and capacity management template encourages participation from non-technical groups. Its ease of use promotes rapid convergence on tactics, crisp communications and better business decisions.

On-Fire's portfolio management discipline was developed for the e-commerce industry but can be utilized by any business seeking greater agility and responsiveness to changes in the marketplace.


For more information, click here - to request a demo version of the template, a copy of our white paper, or the User Manual.