We are all expected to do more. Do you struggle to explain to your boss what you are doing and how much capacity you have for those last minute, must do tasks?
Here is a simple model to explain your capacity to your those assigning you work. It is from a video presentation called “Future-Proofing Your Design Team: Three Lessons from an Overnight Rebrand (S5285)” by David Lesue at the Adobe Max conference in October 2015.
How Much Work Can You Do?
Do the math to calculate your capacity. The formula is,
- number of team members
- the number of hours planned worked per work per team member
- focus percentage
The first part is easy and is the size of your team. In our example, we assume 3 people.
The second part represents the number of hour per week you can realistically work on planned stuff. Over time you get better at estimating how much extra work you have to do each week that is unplanned. You want this as low as possible but be realistic for your situation. In our example, we assume 30 hours of planned work and 10 hours of work that is dropped on us that we must get done this week.
The third part represent the focus or quality percentage. This means what else is going on that week – is there a holiday or event, or something else (Blue Jays’ playoff run) that could impact the team? In our example, we assume a 90% focus.
The capacity of the team is 3 people x 30 hours planned x 90% focus = 81 hours planned work.
Overtime we get better a estimating the time it takes to do our work. Now you can use your estimates to layout what you are working on, across all assignments. As your estimates of planned work improves, you can have more confidence showing how the next big, must do, unexpected task requires something else to slip. Something has to give.
You will likely experience push back on your estimates and approach but persevere – it will be well worth it.
The entire video can be see on the Adobe Max site in the Sessions on Demand section.