How to Write a Capacity Plan

capacity-plan-buildingDeveloping a Capacity Plan is vital if you want to understand how much capacity will be required to support your IT systems and, by extension, the infrastructure that supports it.

Think about it.

If you plan to install a new large-scale solution, for example, IBM WebSphere or SAP, you also need to consider the impact these will have on your existing systems.

How to Write a Capacity Plan

1. Capacity Planning & Outsourcing

Another area where Capacity Plan is vital is outsourcing. Say you plan to outsource your Help Desk to a third party firm.

Well, for them to support the system technically (not from a business perspective) they need to prepare a Capacity Plan that details the technical requirements to support this solution.

2. Developing a Capacity Plan strategy

  • Assess the current solution and component performance
  • Identify constraints that may be imposed on the system
  • Use this information to develop the Capacity Plan for component acquisition, configuration, and upgrade.
  • Make recommendations on how the Capacity Plan should be maintained, monitored and updated as necessary.

3. Benefits of a Capacity Plan

Developing a Capacity Plan ensures that business and technical requirements can be supported by the infrastructure and application elements of the new solution. In this case, the Help Desk or the IBM back office solution.

4. Management Guidance

The Capacity Plan provides management with:

  • Breakdown of the resource capabilities required to operate the solution
  • Assessment of current capacities
  • Estimates on the resources and services to be upgraded and acquired
  • Projection of resource and services capacities that may be required by the solution
  • Capacity Planning ensures that there is sufficient processing capacity to run these new applications and for some predetermined time into the future as your business expands.

A well-defined Capacity Plan takes into consideration the likelihood that your business will grow and provides the appropriate estimates so you can develop the systems in line with these projection and also budget accordingly.

5. Capacity Plan Risks

If your company runs out of system processing capacity at some point (for example, due to increased user numbers, higher business volumes), the system’s performance will begin to suffer and you may be faced to upgrade the system (and associated applications) or move to a different more powerful system/server to process these applications.

To ensure that these applications can process the application load at cutover, and for some period of time following this, develop and check your capacity plan.

Capacity Plan Template

The method and results of this study should then be captured in the Capacity Plan document.

Have you got these templates?