Capacity is what enables people to get their work done, be it their normal day-to-day work or their change work. Having adequate workload capacity to do both when required is essential to their success and the success of change! If your organization does not have or generate the capacity for change, you are at risk of failing to achieve your expected results. Without people knowing there is adequate capacity to accomplish their change work, they will always do their operational work first, as that is what they are measured on. So how do you know if you have adequate capacity for change? You must assess it first for successful capacity planning.
Assessing Organizational Capacity
In assessing capacity, consider your organization's required workload for both current operations AND conducting change activities. Adding any work requirements to either side of the equation—operations or change—consumes a certain amount of your organization's capacity. It is a zero-sum game; the organization has only 100% of its capacity, even when people are working very hard and very efficiently. Your workload for both operations and change can only add up to 100% capacity, or you have a capacity issue to resolve!
Operations and Change Capacity: A Delicate Balance
When assessing capacity for change, keep two key strategies in mind: first, determine how much capacity it will take to succeed in your change efforts, and second, how much capacity you can “borrow” from current operations and still enable it to continue at your chosen level of performance. There is a delicate balance to maintain, or either operations or the changes will be impaired. Capacity management for change requires that you determine the time and attention your change work will require of both project team members and your stakeholders who must make the change happen. Each require capacity.