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From Chaos to Control: Planview Reveals Global State of Resource Management and Capacity Planning

Research identifies best practices to mitigate lost revenue and increased costs due to missed market windows, wasting resources on the wrong opportunities

Austin, TX — February 26, 2013 — Lost productivity, staying in crisis mode, and delayed time to market are hampering large organizations with limited capabilities to answer this question: "How do we make the best use of our limited resources and focus them on work that matters?" This is the feedback from more than 600 executives and managers who participated in the most comprehensive study ever on the state of resource management and capacity planning at complex, global organizations.

Top Pain Points by Maturity Level (image version)

Top Pain Points by Maturity Level (image version)
Top Pain Points by Maturity Level (text version)

Commissioned by Planview® and conducted by Appleseed Partners and OpenSky Research, the study found that organizations committed to mature business practices, technology, and processes solve more strategic problems and experience tangible business benefits. Representing 17 countries around the globe, the online survey respondents manage the human resources that deliver products, projects, and/or service engagements via IT, product development, services or enterprise project management offices (PMOs).

Through the lens of a maturity model created specifically for the survey, the report describes organizations' pain points and causes, business risks, software use, and best practices. The results show that organizations can move up the maturity scale from a state of chaos to a state of control of their resources.

Key Findings

  • Shared resources without centralized planning: 80 percent of respondents share resources across projects, teams, departments, and/or countries. However, only 45 percent report having a resource management and capacity planning function, resulting in resource misuse, misalignment, and cost and quality issues.
  • Top maturity level evades most: Only five percent report being at the highest maturity level. Two-thirds of organizations are in early to mid-level maturity brackets.
  • Top pain point is "constant change": This is followed by "not enough visibility into capacity" and "ineffective demand prioritization." Lower maturity organizations have less insight into demand, making project prioritization challenging.
  • Top business risks are "lost productivity" and "remaining in crisis mode": The risk of remaining in crisis mode reduces by half or more as organizations move up the maturity spectrum. Delayed time to market and wasting high-value resources on low-value projects tied for the third-highest business risk.
  • Software usage varies by maturity level: 60 percent of mature organizations use enterprise software, and in particular project portfolio management (PPM) solutions, better enabling them to select the right opportunities and match the right people to them. By contrast, nearly 70 percent of less mature companies use spreadsheets and project tools as their primary tools, making basic visibility into demand or capacity challenging.

Mature Organizations Share Characteristics

The study finds key similarities and best practices in companies that are successfully bridging resource management and capacity planning to move from chaos to control: Mature organizations secure executive buy-in, have dedicated functions to run resource management and capacity planning activities, and use project portfolio management software to optimize their assets. They can better prioritize projects, see what people are working on, identify bottlenecks, and run what-if scenarios on demand to adapt to change. The resulting business benefits include increased productivity, maximized revenue, and lower costs.

Business Risks (image version)

Business Risks (image version)
Business Risks (text version)

For more information and a set of recommendations for improving resource management and capacity planning, download the Global State of Resource Management and Capacity Planning study.

Planview will host a Webinar to discuss the research findings featuring Jerry Manas, Planview senior editor, and Maureen Carlson, Appleseed partner, to be held on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. EST. To register for either the live broadcast or the on-demand recording, visit the Results from the 2013 Resource Management and Capacity Planning Benchmark Study page.


"This study shows just how much risk businesses take on when they don't address resource management and capacity planning challenges and continue to overcommit and underutilize their finite resources," said Maureen Carlson, partner, Appleseed Partners. "The good news is that a quarter of organizations in this study are breaking through to solve more strategic problems than their counterparts facing chaos and basic supply and demand visibility issues."

"According to these results, organizations are very concerned that they are assigning resources to projects without sufficient information, due consideration of priorities, and tying capacity planning to resource management, which negatively impacts the business," said Linda Roach, vice president of marketing, Planview. "The study also shows that organizations have a blueprint for increasing their maturity level by modeling themselves on those higher up the scale and leveraging best practices, the right technology, and improved processes."

Sample Report Charts

Top Pain Points by Maturity Level

Level 1 and 2 (N=9) Level 3-limited (N=148) Level 4-Managed and 5-Optimized (N=205)
Constant change that affects assignments and availibility 37% 47% 43%
Ineffective demand prioritization and governance process 35% 43% 30%
Not enough visibility into demand 33% 18% 17%
Lack of visibility into company's strategic goals, making project prioritization challenging 26% 21% 21%
Not enough visibility into capacity 25% 14% 11%
Ineffective management of shared or pooled resources 20% 25% 22%

Business Risk of Not Addressing Resource Management and Capacity Planning with Improved Process and the Use of Enterprise Software

Business Risk Percentage (N=514)
Lost productivity; resources not optimized 49%
Remaining in crisis mode 41%
Not leveraging the best resources for the highest value projects 40%
Delayed time-to-market resulting in losses of revenue, savings, user and or customer satisfaction, and or market share 40%
Quality or cost issues due to misalignment of resources to projects 39%
Decisions based on dated or inaccurate data 37%

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Video Overview

From Chaos to Control: Planview Reveals Global State of Resource Management and Capacity Planning
Maureen Carlson, Chief Researcher, Appleseed Partners discusses the results from the 2013 Resource Management and Capacity Planning Benchmark Study


Resource Management and Capacity Planning Infographic