Capacity Planning with Cloud Coach

Zach Burcaw

Nov 28 2016 6 min read
A common issue in many organizations is deciding which ideas should become projects. And of the ideas that will become projects, when should they be executed? In this post we will walk you through a few simple workflows to improve your ability to make those decisions. There are a number of ways to solve this problem using Cloud Coach tools, but in this case, we decided to use the Project Charter as a top level grouping object for the purpose of planning and approving our potential projects. Related to the Project Charter are Resource Request objects, which capture the estimated level of effort of the projects. From there we used Visual Workflow to allow users to dynamically toggle on/off the Resource Capacity impact of each proposed project. Let’s get started. 1. First, we’ll need to add the Resource Request object related list to the Project Charter page layout. Once that’s done, we can add Resource Requests with the record type of Work Type (Hours) to the related list. As you can see in the screenshot, these represent specific workloads by Work Type. In essence, these are a simplified model of your project and it can be as simple or complex as you would like.
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2. Now that we’ve created some Resource Requests, we’ll want to lay the groundwork for the workflow we will be building. On the Project Charter object, we created a Checkbox field called Show in Capacity. This will directly drive the Visual Workflow that we are going to build momentarily. The idea being that anytime the box is checked, it will turn on or off all the Project Charter’s associated Resource Requests. 
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Next, we need to add  a formula field that pulls the ID of the related Project Charter on to the Resource Request record. This is done so the our Visual Workflow only updates Resource Requests that are related to the applicable Project Charter.

In addition to that formula, we’ll want to create a Checkbox formula that is True or False based upon the value in the Show in Capacity checkbox on the Project Charter. This will help us ensure that only the correct records are updated. 3. Now we can create our Visual Workflow, which is a single Record Update node:
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Within the Record Update we have two sets of criteria: 1. a Resource Request where the ‘Show in Capacity’ formula checkbox equals True 2. the Project Charter ID equals a variable called CharterID. That variable will be filled by a process that’s fired when someone checks the ‘Show in Capacity’ box. If both of those things are true, all Resource Requests that meet this criteria will have their Active checkbox field set to True.
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Once that’s built, we’ll use Process Builder to fire the Flow. In the criteria section, any Project Charter that has the ‘Show in Capacity’ checkbox set to True will launch the flow.
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In the Launch a Flow section, we will fill that CharterID variable by referencing the ID of the Project Charter that began the process.
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With Resource Requests created on our Project Charter and a workflow built, it’s time to test the process by toggling the Show in Capacity button on our Project Charter.

In Resource Capacity we can see the capacity of our Developer work type without taking into account the pending projects found on our Project Charter:

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Then when we select Show in Capacity on the Project Charter we see that the utilization for that work type has increased, reducing our overall capacity for that time period.
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Now we have the flexibility to evaluate the impact of each potential project before deciding to take on the work. This can be used to compare multiple projects that are in the pre-planning stage in order to decide which projects to take on, or it can be used throughout the year to schedule projects when there’s enough capacity to take on the work.


Zach Burcaw

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