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Capacity management

Capacity management is a process used to manage information technology, its primary goal is to ensure that all current and future capacity and performance aspects of the IT infrastructure are provided to meet business requirements at acceptable cost, it is a set of work processes associated with the provisioning and management of IT infrastructure resources such as servers, printers and telecommunications devices, etc. It is used to support business processes in a cost effective manner by monitoring, reporting, tuning, planning and predictive modeling,

The three distinct areas of Capacity Management are:

  • Resource capacity management
  • Service capacity management
  • Business capacity management

By understand the demands being made currently, and how they will change over time, planning for IT service growth, make it easier and less reactive.

Resource Capacity Management 

In the past it was easy for IT departments to throw hardware whenever happen performance or capacity problems degradation rather than spend the enough time to manage what happen to get back to the acceptable service level they have before, however times and management challenges have changed and costs of hardware replacement increased; Evergreen approach led to the foundation of resource Capacity Management procedure as one of the best solutions.

Key Activities

The key activities for this process are:
• Perform demand management for business, service and resource capacity activities
• Perform modeling for business, service and capacity activities
• Provide application sizing for service and resource capacity activities
• Provide capacity plans for business, service and resource capacity activities
• Perform capacity monitoring, analysis and tuning activities
• Implement capacity and related changes

Success Factors

The Critical Success Factors are::
• Providing Accurate IT Capacity Forecasts
• Providing Appropriate IT Capacity To Meet Business Needs

Resource capacity management is composed of two levels; the low level is Resource management, the highest level is Service Capacity Management. 

The lowest level

Resource Capacity Management looks at the use and performance of individual infrastructure Resources to maximize the existing infrastructure, like servers, telecommunication lines, printers, scanners, routers and PCs.

Each unit performance and capacity position is addressed individually to optimize the performance and efficiency by doing the following activities:

  • Monitoring the Performance and throughput
  • Analysis of measurement data
  • Tuning of activities to ensure the most efficient use of existing infrastructure
  • Understanding the demands on the service and future
  • Influences on demand for computing resources
  • Capacity planning and developing a plan for the service

Although it is very effective in managing individual units, this approach has shortcomings because of its narrow view, adding capacity on one infrastructure unit can have unforeseen implications on others. 

The Highest Level

Service Capacity Management takes Resource Capacity Management to the next level, individual resource information like printing, email, telephone, and online transaction processing are aggregated into pools, this approach is applied as capacity positions across the IT infrastructure.

Managing approach at the service level ensures that upgrading of any individual component does not adversely impact the others, the shortcoming of this approach is that the business management cannot relate to the technical terminology, as a result, there are usually communication disconnects between the technical team and business staff.

Capacity on demand

Based on the dynamic nature of the variable Business demand and the growing expectations during the ups and down of the financial situations, it has created  new consumption models for IT forcing organizations to consider new service delivery options, called Capacity on demand, it  is a purchasing option that allows companies to receive equipment in advance with more computer processing, storage or the other capacity than the company needs at the time of purchase, this extra capacity remain unused and unpaid for until the company actually requires, It helps the design and the executes of a cost effective capacity on demand solution to meet their aggressive IT objectives.

Human Resource Capacity Planning

Resource Capacity Planning uses expensive software or complicated math, Modern software tools automatically collect, organize and archive data plus provide analysis and modeling capabilities, they free up for your staff’s time from dull and repetitive tasks to permit more important analysis, planning and prediction workbut also it could use familiar common basic available software using a spreadsheet (like Microsoft Excel and a scheduling tool like Microsoft Project.

Tools permit to correlate events and drill down into details to find causes of performance problems or to identify performance improvement opportunities, Modeling tools permit to perform very accurate scenarios to predict future requirements; permitting more Effectively use and manage IT resources. Reporting tools can help you set up automatically Generated reports, set up a publishing schedule. 

Needed Human resources for capacity management

There is a high need of organizational resources to perform the work tasks, capacity management has so many cross points with the entire organization.

Management Support

Lack of management support will result of  limited success for capacity management development plan, good relationships and periodic dialogues are needed for better understand of the business needs to allocate the skilled resources in the right place whenever there is a business needs, building relationships guarantee the getting involved early in the developing project, permitting enough time to review and plan the required scope of work within a realistic completion time schedule. 

Staffing

Staffing will depend upon the size of the IT organization, system programmers and system administrators make the best capacity planners, especially those with considerable operational experience.

Training is an important part of keeping staff current and effective.

Service Managers, supervisors who lead a team of people struggle with the following HR capacity resource managing issues:

  • How do they allocate work to their teams so that they aren’t underutilized or overloaded?
  • How do they prioritize the work so that highest priority work will do first?
  • How do they forecast in case of need for more people in the long run?

The Resource Management Maturity Model with the support of capacity on demand enables organizations to define and execute effective Capacity management strategy, It accomplishes this by helping stakeholders for better align resource and related information needs with their level of the project management process maturity demand and the technology enablement.

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