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Why Fight It?

Optimize Blog - February 9, 2012 - 0 comments

Many business travelers would agree that going without Wi-Fi for any length of time is becoming more and more of an obstacle to effective business practice.
With powerful new hardware and software that fits into our pocket or briefcase it is hugely frustrating that these multi-media devices are frequently rendered almost useless thanks to inadequate quality and quantity of Wi-Fi networks.
Arriving at the airport in plenty of time for a long haul flight only to find out that the cost of logging on for a few minutes to download an e-book can be almost the same as a monthly internet bill at home is infuriating and there is nothing more frustrating than going into the bowels of the New York subway system for example, which is devoid of any Wi-Fi signals, and spending a 45-minute commute wishing you’d remembered to sync devices before you left home.
Just one new product like Apple’s iPhone 4S can cause major headaches within hours of its release and only exacerbates the situation. Instead of sending photos that were 1MB each, owners suddenly want to send upgraded photos that are 4MB each. These newest devices feature data intense apps that are permanently updating, fetching new information or syncing without any prompt from the owner.
On top of this, people expect to be able to update Facebook whenever they want to, or carry out multiple text chats complete with photographic illustrations, or take part in live video streaming conversations with relatives around the world. It used to be that email would do.
Unfortunately it doesn’t look as though the overall situation will get better any time soon as businesses and public spaces continue to be slow in delivering the capacity to meet the capability expectations.
This got us to thinking about capacity planning which is defined as the process of determining the production capacity needed by an organization to meet changing demands for its products. Any discrepancy between the capacity of an organization and the demands of its customers results in inefficiency, either in under-utilized resources or unfulfilled customers. The goal of capacity planning is to minimize this discrepancy.
As for all strategic decision making, there is a tradeoff between having enough capacity to meet customer needs and having too much capacity resulting in low utilization of resources.
In our experience few leaders understand or spend any time undertaking true capacity planning within their team, choosing rather to react to demand rather than to be proactive or designing their team around the true demand expected of their function in support of the overall corporate strategy.
As we move further into 2012 make sure that you reflect on your plan for the year and spend time determining the true capacity required from your team in delivering your expectations. If you have insufficient resource you will need to fill the gap and if you are expecting under-utilization of some of your resource look to reallocate that resource to somewhere where increased value can be obtained.
Capacity planning is a leadership accountability so don’t ignore this critical strategic planning activity. Unlike the public Wi-Fi coverage disappointments, create an environment where you have the capacity to deliver on your customer’s expectations.

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