How to adopt capacity management
in your business
To adopt capacity management successfully, organisations need to begin by creating
a team that has direct responsibility for capacity planning with the processes to
support it. Where we ve seen it work best, the company has very strong capacity
management processes, supported by the CIO down, says Tony Way, regional sales
director at TeamQuest.
The first job of the capacity management team is to identify what capacity management
work is already being carried out in some large organisations, separate teams are
carrying out capacity planning for servers, networks and mainframes. The capacity
management team needs to document existing procedures and carry out an inventory of
the capacity management and monitoring tools already being used.
It s important to identify early on the skills required to carry out capacity management,
says John Madden, senior analyst at Ovum: It is good to get a sense of what you have in
terms of ITIL skills and what capabilities and expertise you have on staff.
A key part of capacity management is determining the service level requirements of
the business. It s essential to identify which systems do which work, and to quantify
users expectations for how this work gets done. From there, you can analyse the current
capacity of your systems and determine how well they are meeting the needs of users, and
decide whether you can reduce capacity in some areas or add it in others. You need to
know your assets and your business needs, says Madden. Business and IT goals should
be as closely aligned as possible, so you want to have good accounting of both before you
start implementing any changes that may impact on that in some way.
It s also necessary to be able to measure the success of the capacity planning work. It s
important to have the right kinds of metrics to measure whether it s achieved the goals
that were set, whether it s met the business needs and whether all the SLAs have been
met, says Madden.
TeamQuest software is straightforward and quick to implement, says Way. Once in
place, you need to decide which reports and information you will need on a regular basis
to monitor capacity requirements. Capacity management software works best with
businesses that have got some form of process for a regular capacity planning assessment,
such as quarterly or half yearly, which looks at the performance they re concerned with,
Forecasts of future business activity can be used to determine future system requirements.
Quite often the best capacity managers say they ll look ahead 12 or 18 months, says
Way. At this stage you can make the required changes to system capacity that will make
sure in advance that those capacity requirements will be met. Trying to forecast more than
18 months ahead is usually less fruitful, he says.
Finally, says Madden, it s important to have a remediation plan: You may set out with a
certain set of assumptions about your business resources, so make sure you have the right
tools in place to correct that, or to make fixes on the fly.