To explain how capacity configuration works, it is helpful to consider an example. Let’s say we have a chef working on the cooking step. Check the example here.
The background information:
To cook, we need both a chef and stoves. Let’s assume we have only one chef and two stoves, each with four burners. These parameters determine how many items a chef can cook within one run. The step properties determine the run duration, and for the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that it takes one day to complete cooking.
It means to do cooking, a chef always needs one day.
So let’s explore how many items our chef can prepare.
Since we have two stoves, each with four burners, the chef should be able to cook up to eight dishes at a time. However, in this example, we have specified a capacity of only one for the chef. This means that the chef is inefficient and cannot multitask, and can prepare only one dish at a time during the cooking step (the activity run). As a result, the total capacity of the cooking step is just one, despite the fact that our stoves can cook up to eight dishes at a time.
Let's run a simulation with an order intake of one per hour and observe the results. By the fifth day, we will have received only five orders, resulting in a process throughput of one order per day. This is despite the fact that our chef is 100% utilized and our stoves are utilized at only 12.5% of their capacity.
If we increase the capacity of our chef to eight, our process will be able to handle eight orders per day with 100% utilization of both the chef and stoves.
However, if we further increase the capacity of our chef, our process will still be able to handle only eight orders per day, as the stove capacity will become the bottleneck.
In certain exceptional cases, you may need to simulate infinite capacity. One example of this is the deployment step in the software development process. It takes wherever is ready for deployment and executes the actions required. To simulate that, you can use the “set manually” checkbox and enter a value of zero, indicating that the step has infinite capacity.
The “set manual” checkbox overrides the automatically calculated capacity if, for some reason, you decide to lower capacity.