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9 Steps to Developing a Sound Capacity Planning Process

The book is called IT Systems Management. The author is Richard Schiesser, a senior IT executive writing for Computer World. In his book, Scheisser takes us on a tour de force of how the IT unit can align infrastructure development with user demand in nine succinct steps.

Process Ownership

Step One – Selection of Process Owner
Step Two – Identify Key Resources

From the start, you’ll need a capacity planning process owner who is qualified to design, implement, and maintain the process, and to negotiate with relevant developers and support groups. That process owner must then identify infrastructure resources that require performance measurements, such as network bandwidth, centralized disk space, desktop memory, etc.

Understanding Resource Capacity

Step Three – Measure Resource Performance
Step Four – Compare Utilizations to Maximum Capacities

The infrastructure resources that require measurement must be understood in terms of a utilization baseline, with knowledge of excess capacity for each respective component. The excess capacity for each component can then be measured against maximum capacity to account for resource limitations.

Forecasts and Requirements

Step Five – Collect Workload Forecasts
Step Six – Create IT Resource Requirements

Next, the process owner should have developers sit down with pilot users to draft worksheets for creating a workload forecast. That forecast becomes the means by which project changes are converted to IT resource requirements.

Mapping Requirements to Resources

Step Seven – Map Requirements onto Utilizations
Step Eight – Predict Out of Capacity
Step Nine – Update Forecasts / Utilizations

The resource requirements get mapped onto charts of excess utilization to show the quantity of new capacity needed by each component to meet an increased demand. This mapping will also establish a timing framework for upgrading the specified resources. This entire process is continually repeated in a series of updates to achieve maximum value from the plans.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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