Many Capacity Managers face a common pain:
Our existing Capacity Planning reports are full of information but nobody outside the Capacity Management team is able to understand them.
We learned a few key factors that make a “Capacity Planning report” (a Capacity Plan) effective.
Whether reporting about capacity of an IT infrastructure silo (Midrange machines, Network devices, Application Servers, etc.) or about the capacity of a service (Mobile banking, Web Portals, Mail system), the reader is probably looking for these answers:
The best way to translate your data (CPU or Memory Utilization, disk space, network bandwidth usage, number of transactions, online sessions, etc.) is correlation: everyone understands “We are currently able to sustain 1500 visits an hour” while “The peak CPU Utilization has been 76%” is too technical.
This is how:
Wipe off some dust from your college books about statistics or read specific articles like “Statistics for the Performance Analyst”. Learn to reduce as much as possible the quantity of data you display by applying the correct statistical function (for example average of CPU Utilization, 90th percentile of Response Times, standard deviation of Jitter etc).
The profile of a Capacity Manager must include strong communication skills and this applies to reports too: not only quality of information but also quality of display. Create a check list based on tips found on data visualization and reporting websites such as Mike tips list and Reporting best practices.
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