Words are hard!
December 15, 2011 2:15 PM   Subscribe

I need a couple synonyms for a somewhat confusing work topic.

I just started a fabulous new contract gig in the utilities industry, an industry in which I have worked before (albeit at a different place). When I asked my soon-to-be-boss what I was going to be working on after I accepted, I was told "Capacity and demand planning". Which, in my previous utility experience, meant power available on the grid and the optimal utilization of the grid to support the need for that power.

Monday was my first day, and I come to find out that "capacity planning" and "demand planning" mean a totally different thing in my workgroup. Here, both terms refer to people and projects - demand is, roughly, what projects are in the "work box" for a period of time (a fiscal year, in this case), and capacity is the number of hours by worker type (carpenter, lineman, engineer, etc) available in that same year to pull things out of that work box to work on them.

(side note: the goal of all this is to develop a system or platform in which all the project work to be done in a fiscal year is visible to all work planners/PM's, so everyone across the organization can see what's on the plate and plan their own work accordingly, so capacity can most efficiently support demand and, to a more limited extent, vice versa)

The problem is, capacity and demand planning do, in fact, refer to the grid here as well. So one of the things I've been asked to do is brainstorm some terms that would be a better fit for what we are trying to accomplish, and would cause less confusion when presenting the concept of managing overall project load and resource availability to an audience that thinks of "demand" and "capacity" in the typical energy industry way and is not familiar with the concept we are trying to promote.

So, internet, I turn to you. What term or terms would you use to describe:

1. The total amount of project work to be done in a one year period
2. The number and type of worker hours available to do work in a one year period

I can't come up with anything descriptive enough - any ideas would be most helpful.
posted by pdb to Work & Money (4 answers total)
Workload and resource.
posted by KateViolet at 2:17 PM on December 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

I would just specify what kind of capacity and demand. Power Capacity and Power Demand (you probably have a more accurate industry term to use here than 'Power') vs Workforce Capacity and Workforce Demand.
posted by ceribus peribus at 2:22 PM on December 15, 2011

Workload and Availability
posted by Rock Steady at 2:22 PM on December 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Scope and Availability
posted by Rock Steady at 2:23 PM on December 15, 2011

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