fWith Thanksgiving a week away, we are in the home stretch for preparations, and it’s no small task to be in charge of making sure the day goes off without a hitch. Thanksgiving Success for us means that the house is readied, people are gathered, food is consumed and enjoyed, games are played, arguments are avoided, and, ideally, families and friends leave with a desire for a repeat performance next year. The crowd for Thanksgiving is typically about 30 or so, which includes immediate family (with a few boyfriends and girlfriends), grandparents on both sides, siblings and their families, in-laws, sibling in-laws, and a few straggler friends. As Customer Success Leader for our family’s Thanksgiving, I recognize that pulling this off is all about Capacity Management.
Good capacity management plans provide clear insight into:
For Successful Thanksgiving preparations, these insights are essential. If I do this right, I should know the answers to some key questions:
So, let’s do this.
First, I need to know my available resources. Availability is the combined time dedicated to a process by a group of resources. In the case of my family Thanksgiving, I have the following resources:
|Resources||Availability/Talents||Total Workforce Availability|
|Customer Success Manager (me)||Unlimited. Will fill in where needed.|
|(3) Grandparents||1 of them is a negative availability. The two grandmas can help with some of the preparations, but we don’t want to task them with too much. I’d give them both 2 hours.||4 Hours|
|(5) Husbands and other adult males||Good for heavy lifting and cleanup duties, but not much else. Could also get injured during football game, so actual availability could be lower. I’d give them each an average of 2 hours.||10 Hours|
|(4) Adult females (sisters, in-laws, friends)||The workhorses for the day, but not available ahead of time. The only risk to their availability is too much wine at (or before) dinner. I’d give them each an average of 4 hours.||16 Hours|
|(7) Female teenagers/ young adults||This resource can also be (guilted into being) strong workers. Their biggest distraction could be the male teenagers, but they’re each good for some help in advance, and some good clean-up help. They are good for 2 hours each. Some of these resources are available the week prior to Thanksgiving.||14 Hours|
|(8) Male teenagers/ young adults||Again, this is a group that can be guilted into helping. They offer brute strength for table set-up, turkey hoisting, and clean-up. They are eager to eat, so they can be of great help on the set-up side (and for the football game earlier in the day). They are good for 2 hours each. Some of these resources are available the week prior to Thanksgiving.||16 Hours|
|TOTAL RESOURCE HOURS OF AVAILABILITY||60 Hours (+ Management)|
Now we need to understand the work that needs to be done, and determine if we have capacity to pull this off. What activities need to be done, and what is the estimation of time/work/talent that’s required to complete each activity well, such that the event is a success and the customers (also the workforce in this case, but that’s because it’s family) want to come back again next year? Here’s a to-do list I’ve developed based upon past years, including estimated time (and notes regarding specific talents required):
TOTAL HOURS: 95 hours
Before we do final calculations and manage capacity for this event, we must look at effort. There are three types of effort, productive, non-productive, and wasted effort. Productive (P) effort includes those activities which directly contribute to the customer’s success. Non-productive (NP) effort includes those activities which are necessary, but do not contribute directly to the customer’s success. And Wasted (W) effort includes those activities that are often unplanned and result in a loss of productivity.
In the case of my Thanksgiving Day event, I can designate each of the tasks as P, NP, and W.
At first look we appear to have more hours of work required than we have resources. Our capacity is, at first calculation, insufficient (60 hours of workforce and 95 hours of “work” required). However, if we remove the Non-productive and wasted efforts, we see that we have full capacity to pull off the work required to deliver to our customer’s satisfaction – 39 hours of work and 60 hours of available resources. A deeper look at the skillsets available and the task descriptions (time and talent required) offers insight into even finer-tuned capacity management. I can easily determine who to tap for which jobs, and when to do that, so that we create efficiencies and availability to do some non-productive tasks, such as football.
So, back to the original questions and insights I hoped to be able to derive from my capacity analysis: