Quarterly Capacity & Demand

Lean Portfolio Management



Quarterly Capacity and Demand matches the prioritized ideas to the capacity of the teams to deliver so that the roadmap is realistic and priority-driven. It includes the process of allocating Run, Grow and Transform work to reflect the desired investment spend in each category.

Ideas that pass the opportunity assessment are analyzed to build the roadmap. Backlogs are evaluated based on business value, dependencies, size and risk and then ranked. Capacity is defined in terms of teams that are ready to pull work into their backlogs (rather than identifying specific resources) and is based on calculating enterprise velocity per quarter (rather than resource hours). This creates realistic plans driven by estimates of the team’s ability to deliver on prioritized initiatives and avoids allocating projects beyond capacity. Teams are allowed to focus and get the work to done without multi-tasking or being pulled to other work.

Quarterly Planning

Quarterly planning is a visible, hands-on and collaborative accomplished through Enterprise Clarity Center (ECC/”Big Room”) Planning. With this approach, leaders create the prioritized portfolio backlog to establish demand and teams provide a view of their current work in progress and available capacity. Then, stable teams pull work from the backlog based on their capacity and leaders and team members work together to review and adjust the plan to ensure alignment between strategic goals, demand and capacity for the upcoming quarter. See Enterprise Clarity Center Example Agenda for a detailed plan for the meeting.

Benefits from the Quarterly Planning Meeting

  • Enables Program review, planning and execution
  • Business and IT alignment on “Customer Seat at the Table”
  • Facilitates clear direction through vision, roadmap, quarterly objectives and MVP Focus on integrated product and service delivery
  • Face-to-Face communication, trust and team building for stable and program teams Plan is built by the people closest to the work
  • Enables teams to “MAKE STATUS” not just “REPORT ON IT”
  • Brings visibility and transparency to the teams and program

Allocating Teams

Team allocation needs to align with future needs and provide clarity on how and where money is spent. Work is categorized according to whether it is needed to keep existing initiatives going (Run), provide new features or expand upon current markets and customer segments (Grow), or move into a new area market or strategic area (Transform). The budget is allocated to each of these areas in alignment with the overall business strategy.