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A Look at the Capability-Based Planning Process

written by: Jayant R Row • edited by: Rebecca Scudder • updated: 3/5/2011

A project is a one time effort to complete a task and arrive at the desired end product. While planning and executing a project a project manager should limit himself to the resources available and the capacity of an organization to execute the project.

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    The Process of Capability Based Planning

    Planning proces A capability is the ability to complete a specific course of action. A Capability based planning process needs the requirements for completing the tasks in a project to be analyzed. Once these requirements are identified, a study is made of the capabilities within the organization to provide the necessary resources in term of materials, men, money or methods that would be used. The identification of these capabilities then allows the planner to determine, time schedules, specifications, budgets and other parameters that lead to completion of the project. A project that has been planned around known capabilities has a far greater chance of success than one that has just made assumptions of the personnel and resources that would be available for a project.

    Image Source: Wikimedia

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    Requirements for Tasks

    To understand the requirements for a task, follow these steps:

    • Analyze the technical specifications and define the standards that apply to the task in hand.
    • Assess the work load that the task entails.
    • Evaluate other business needs for that task in terms of resources, funds, reporting and documentation.
    • Determine a measuring unit for the task.
    • Decide who is to do the work,
    • Make a clear scope of the work.
    • Select the method for doing the work.
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    Matching Requirements to Capacities

    Now that the tasks have been analyzed it is necessary to correlate them to the capacity of the organization entrusted with completing the tasks.

    The technical abilities, experience and capabilities of the personnel within the organization has to be matched to the requirement indicated in the initial analysis.

    The resources and funds available to the organization for the project in hand have to be studied in respect to the requirements for all the tasks in the project.

    The planning process has to set time schedules and resource allocation depending on the capacities of the personnel and resources available.

    Personnel appointed to the project are from within the organization and there is therefore no time lag or problems that can arise from orientation or adapting to the culture of the organization that may come from new recruits.

    The clear scope of the work and well defined methodology allows the project team to immediately take steps to initiate the project.

    Any enhancement of capacities has to be done with regard to improvements possible within the organization. Any technical training for this has to keep in mind the capabilities of the individuals concerned.

    Capability based planning process greatly reduces the chances of failure in a project or endeavor. This is because the entire planning process has constantly kept in mind the capacities which do exist and are not subject to any assumption. Thus the planner is assured of the skills and efficiencies needed and is always aiming for targets that are achievable. Any improvement is also based on increased efficiencies that come from familiarity or from retraining of existing personnel.