Hi again. Okay, so we've discussed time estimation, which is a prediction of the total amount of time that will be required to complete a task. And we've also discussed effort estimation, which is a prediction of the amount, and difficulty of active work required to complete a task. These techniques can help you estimate the length of time it will take to complete a task. Once you have that information you'll need to determine, if you have the right number of people to get the work done. To figure this out you can use a technique called capacity planning. First, let's define capacity. Capacity refers to the amount of work that the people or resources assigned to the project can reasonably complete in a set period of time. A person can only do so much, and it's important to keep in mind each person's capacity when assigning work. This is where capacity planning comes in. Capacity planning refers to the act of allocating people, and resources to project tasks. And determining whether or not you have the necessary resources required to complete the work on time. During this process, you might find that you need more resources to speed up the project timeline, like a second web developer, or a third writer. Let's imagine capacity planning in the context of our Plant Pals project at Office Green. If you know that you'll need to deliver plants to 100 customers over a period of five days. Then you'll need to determine if you've hired enough delivery drivers to meet that deadline. If one driver averages four deliveries within an eight-hour workday, then you know you'll need to hire at least five drivers to complete the work on time. Even if a person on your project team is spending 100% of their time at work on your project, they'll have limited capacity for the amount of work they should be expected to complete each day. Between meetings, unexpected urgent tasks, and other elements of a typical work day, there's only so much each person can complete. So how do you decide where a teammate should focus their priorities, and make the most of their capacity? You can prioritize their time by plotting the critical path of your project timeline. The critical path refers to the list of project milestones that you must reach in order to meet the project goal on schedule. As well as the mandatory tasks that contribute to the completion of each milestone. Anything else is considered off the critical path. For example, tasks on the critical path for launching Project Plant Pals might include hiring plant vendors, developing a new website, and fulfilling deliveries. A task like adding flowers to your product lineup, is nice to have, but might not have much impact on the overall success of your project, because this task isn't crucial to your launch. These tasks aren't part of the critical path. To summarize, your critical path includes the bare minimum number of tasks and milestones you need to reach your project goal. If your team is unable to complete any of those tasks on time, that might result in a project delay. To determine the critical path of a project, you'd start by listing all the tasks required to complete the project and the milestones they feed into. This is a perfect time to think back to your work breakdown structure, or WBS, which is a chart that sorts all the milestones, and tasks of a project into a hierarchy according to the order in which they need to be completed. This includes a detailed overview of every project task. Then, you determine which tasks on the list absolutely can't begin until another task is complete. This is called a dependency, and we'll discuss this topic in more detail later on. Next, you'll work with your team to make time estimates for each task, and map each task from start to finish. The longest path is your critical path. There are a few factors that can impact capacity, and capacity planning. First you need to be able to identify which task can happen in parallel, which means they can happen at the same time as other tasks. You will also need to identify which task can happen sequentially, meaning they must happen in a specific order. When you identify which task can happen in parallel, it helps you create efficiencies within your project schedule, by demonstrating where you can complete multiple tasks at the same time. Identifying sequential tasks, helps you identify the tasks that you need to prioritize early on in the project. For example, a sequential task for your Plant Pals project may include needing budget approval before hiring a vendor. And two parallel tasks might include hiring delivery drivers, and the development of a website. These tasks have no relationship to one another, as they focus on different portions of the project, and can be completed by different members of the team. That means that one task can begin even if the other task hasn't been completed. And so the work to complete these tasks can happen at the same time. You also need to determine which project tasks have a fixed start date. A fixed start date refers to the date on which you must start work on your task in order to achieve your goal. Identifying whether or not your tasks have a fixed start dates can help with capacity planning. Because it helps ensure that you'll have the right number of people available to complete tasks on time. For example, let's imagine that your contract says you'll need to deliver 100 plants on a specific date. That means that the task of picking up those plants has a fixed start day of one day prior to delivery. Alternatively, some tasks might have an earliest start date. An earliest start date refers to the earliest date in which you can begin working on a task. Identifying an earliest start date can set accurate expectations for when vendors, and team members will be up and running on the project. This can help you plan your work, and prioritize your work accordingly. For example, if you're working with a new vendor, you need to wait until contracts are signed, and the purchase order is approved, and created before the vendor can start. Let's say that at Office Green this process can take about three weeks. Based on this information, you can determine that the earliest start date for your vendor will be three weeks from the kick off meeting with your vendor. Another best practice for capacity planning, and creating a critical path includes identifying if a task has float, also sometimes known as slack. Float refers to the amount of time you can wait to begin a task before it impacts the project schedule, and threatens the project outcome. These are high priority tasks that have low to no wiggle room. This helps reinforce what is, and what is not on your critical path. For instance, tasks on the critical path should have zero float, meaning there is no room for delays. And tasks that do have float are not a part of the critical path. For example, the shipment of plants to a priority customer who has requested their delivery on a specific date is a task that has zero float. Great, you've now learned a bit more about how to define capacity, capacity planning, and critical path. We also discussed the techniques used to identify critical path in a project, and the various factors that can impact capacity, and capacity planning. In the next video, we'll continue learning how to create viable estimates in a project plan. You will also find out how your soft skills can help the effectiveness of your team. Meet you there.