Capacity Management is one of five components in the ITIL Service Delivery area. The work is proactive rather than reactive in nature and is responsible for ensuring that business needs and service definitions are fulfilled using a minimum of computing resources.
Capacity Management activities include:
Immediate and long term benefits include lower costs, more consistent levels of service and improved service quality. Processes allow you to:
Capacity management teams have close ties to ITIL Service Level Management and Financial Management areas. Through Capacity Management processes, more thorough service level and associated financial information is available to the business, permitting business leaders to make more informed decisions.
ITIL Capacity Management offers quick, early wins that have often generated enough cost savings (in the millions of dollars in our experience) to fund the remainder of your ITIL project. Recovering implementation costs early and demonstrating success also helps gain momentum for the project, encourage senior management to stay the course, and alleviate organizational resistance. These benefits make Capacity Management a good candidate for a pilot implementation.
TeamQuest Surveyor and TeamQuest Analyzer enable you to easily identify underutilized capacity, determine opportunities for consolidation, and then monitor and document improvements while maintaining application performance. In addition to embedding a process that satisfies ITIL requirements, the resulting savings from such an analysis can often fund a considerable percentage of the rest of a company's ITIL program.
TeamQuest Predictor enables IT departments to proactively partner with business units to simulate the potential impact of a new application, business process or IT requirement change. TeamQuest Predictor results can help gauge IT impact and enable accurate calculation of potential future costs. This information allows for a more informed business decision on whether to move forward with a project, as well as how to budget for the project and provide detail needed for cost justification.
TeamQuest tools support Capacity Management by:
As with all major projects, proper planning is key. TeamQuest recommends following these steps for implementing ITIL Capacity Management:
Once the implementation plan and budget are complete, they should be submitted for approval.
Secondly, you need to document and publish the processes. This typically requires a substantial amount of work. It is important to document the workflow while minimizing any disruption to day-to-day activities. Processes are commonly documented for these areas:
Third, you must acquire and implement the appropriate tools. The tools you use should have these capabilities:
Fourth, you must define meaningful metrics in order to measure success. Be sure to tie your metrics to business value, not technical measures. Keep them at a manageable level as management does not have the time nor the desire to sift through many pages of metrics reports.
Lastly, you must build the training materials and execute the training plan. The better staff members understand the work and the processes, the greater the chances for successes. Develop training materials based upon the processes you documented and test staff members to ensure retention.
Initially, you will want to focus on performance management since it takes time to gather sufficient historical data for capacity planning areas.
To begin, choose a highly visible but less complex piece of work. Attack low-risk problems that have wide visibility and where correction efforts provide significant benefit to the company.
Gather at least 30 days of historical performance data before developing any trends or models. Work your way from simple, platform-specific capacity planning to end-to-end application transaction and business processes. You will enjoy the benefits of ITIL all along the way.