Capacity Reviews

What is a capacity review?

A capacity review is a tool and process to help managers understand and communicate workforce capacity. It involves a dialogue between supervisors and team members on how they can best contribute to company goals, while also getting the resources they need to get the right things done.

However, it is important to note what a capacity review is not. It is not a time sheet or a way for supervisors to scrutinize every employee activity and minute spent. It is also not about squeezing more “work” out of employees or getting more things done. Instead, it is a tool to help managers support their team members in achieving their goals and contributing to the company’s overall success.

What is the process for conducting a capacity review?

  1. To conduct a capacity review, the employee should fill out a template listing their activities and rating how important they are. Include a space in the template for the employee to list where they think there could be efficiencies as well as development that they feel will help them be better at their job. Emphasize it is a conversation about what they are doing and how they can better tie into company priorities.
  2. The supervisor pulls out the employee’s job description and that role’s key initiatives or critical projects.
  3. The pair then engages in a dialogue to eliminate, streamline, or delegate activities.
  4. The supervisor can then emphasize the more important activities that should be added in. The employee can see how their role ties in with the company’s priorities and strategy.
  5. The manager can offer the resources available to help as well as development or training to support the employee.
  6. The result is an action plan for both the supervisor and employee on shifts to the activities. Ideally the pair should check back in to note any progress or adjustments needed.

Why should you care? What are the benefits?

For the manager, the Capacity Review is an important tool for employee engagement and helps managers balance workloads and manage underperformers out. It also helps managers delegate, manage team scope, and leverage resources. It also ties younger members of the workforce to the company’s mission, making you look like an awesome leader!

To be most effective, a capacity review should be adopted by the entire company at all levels of the organization. When starting at the top, the Capacity Review models a commitment to the company’s strategy and employees. While it takes planning and consideration up front, the benefits are significant in terms of productivity, alignment, and employee goodwill.