Want to understand capacity in your project-based business? Tasked with creating a capacity report but not sure how? Here’s what you need to know.
In project-based businesses and professional service firms, your capacity is the amount of work you can expect to deliver with the resources and hours available to you. It represents your ability to take on, deliver, and realize revenue from client projects. A capacity report tells you exactly how much you have to work with. So why doesn’t everyone use them?
Capacity planning is the key to achieving your strategic objectives and growth plans. But calculating how much capacity you have - for current projects and your future ambitions - can be challenging.
There are different work schedules to consolidate. Varying skill levels, seniority, and cost to consider. And the shifting sands of client projects and scope.
But it’s essential to get it right. Too much capacity means your business incurs unnecessary resource costs. Too little capacity and you’ll struggle to meet commitments and seize opportunities.
That’s where a capacity report comes to the rescue - both for real-time capacity management and long-term capacity planning. But how do you build one, read one, and use one to proactively manage capacity?
[Not clear on capacity planning yet? Bookmark this article and read our Beginner’s Guide to Capacity Planning first].
A capacity report reveals the capacity you have available to deliver services and take on new work - typically expressed as hours or a percentage. It compares your actual capacity with your confirmed and tentative workload. It includes data and calculations to help you with managing capacity in real-time and planning capacity for long-term needs.
A capacity report helps project-based businesses to answer questions like:
It enables professional service businesses to protect against resource clashes - and the risk they pose to projects and profits - as well as surface extra capacity to take on additional work. It’s also integral to improving operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
Capacity reporting is helpful from a granular and bird’s eye view.
Granular capacity reports are essential for day-to-day project management, resource allocation, and operational efficiency. Whilst bird’s eye capacity reports support forward planning, especially aligning capacity to pipeline projects and strategic objectives.
With granular capacity reports, you can see the workload assigned to individual team members within your chosen reporting group - that might be everyone working on a particular project, or everyone with a particular skill set.
As well as seeing an overview of where this group is reaching - or already over - capacity, you can dig down into the details. See what those overbooked resources are working on and start reallocating tasks and resources to resolve pending capacity issues - issues that could undermine project delivery, budget, and client satisfaction.
With bird’s eye capacity reports, you can visualize capacity across roles, teams, or your whole organization. Use a range of reporting types - such as capacity, availability, and utilization - for at-a-glance insights into capacity compared to confirmed workload.
Filter to see capacity by specific groups - like person type and skills - to identify capacity and recruitment issues in time to take action. Learn more about business capacity and how to manage it.
The main benefit of creating a capacity report is that it lets you proactively manage capacity - to improve client outcomes, staff morale, operational efficiency, profitability, and more. A capacity report
You don’t have to use specialist software to create a capacity report. But it makes the process much faster, easier, and more actionable. A capacity report is most useful when it doesn’t JUST consider availability and capacity but also covers job roles, skills, seniority level, actual project allocations, utilization rate, and more. That additional information helps you take action on any capacity issues or opportunities you uncover.
You can create a basic capacity report manually but anything more detailed will take a data analyst’s time and expertise. Specialist software like Runn, on the other hand, provides intuitive self-serve tools that anyone can use. Sounds good? Check out the seven best capacity planning tools - free and paid!.
A capacity report can provide actionable insights into lots of different factors. Here’s some typical information a capacity report can provide.
How you read your capacity report will depend on the questions you’re trying to answer.
For example, if you’re interested in surfacing capacity to take on new work in the next month, you might look at organizational capacity.
Whereas if you want to know who to recruit for pipeline projects, you could explore utilization. Or, if you’re concerned about workload and ability to deliver particular projects, you could dive deeper into individual allocations and availability.
What to look out for
What to look out for
What to look for
If you’re ready to improve how you use your resources, surface unused capacity, futureproof your workforce, and create more revenue, you can hopefully see the benefits of capacity reports.
And if you want to do all of that in a couple of clicks - instead of hours of manual data manipulation - hopefully you’ll see the benefit of using Runn.
Capacity reporting is just one of the invaluable tasks that Runn can automate for you. It’s the ultimate platform for project and resource management and includes intuitive tools to make everyone awesome at
And you can try it for free today. Sign up now - no credit card necessary - to explore our test environment or set up something specific to your business.
One-third of you say Agile capacity planning is a major challenge. If you struggle to predict capacity for your scrum and sprints, here’s everything you need to know to ace your Agile capacity planning 💪
Having a resource calendar will help you better understand the availability of your resources, plan ahead for upcoming projects, and prevent overloads.
Effective resource management really can make or break a project-based business. That's why hiring a resource manager can be truly transformational. But what is a resource manager, and what can they bring to an organization?