If there’s something truly valuable project managers have learned during years-long running projects is that productivity suffers without smart workload management.
Project managers have also learned that there are still many challenges associated with workload management when it comes to practice. They often stumble upon things like dissatisfaction, stress, and inefficiencies that are common work-related issues reported by the team as a result of improper spaced-out workloads.
Research points that 80% of workers revealed they feel overworked and near burnout. What’s more, 82% of employees claim that they don’t feel engaged at work. Despite being incomplete, these numbers are enough to start talking about improving workload management.
How Workload Management Works?
Workload management is the process of distributing work among employees and team members while tracking their performance and assigning them tasks they have skills to do.
Workload management is also the ability to distribute a fair share of workload among employees, giving each team member a task they’re able to do and no more. Unless there’s a special case such as an important deadline that requires everyone’s effort, managers should not overload their team. Though you have good intentions, at some point, it may get destructive and impact team performance.
More often than not, businesses trying to boost their efficiency forget that workload management isn’t about tasks and hours. There’s a clear difference between time management and workload management. Workload management handles everything that means planning, estimating, and tracking the work so you can balance all the workload demands across individuals and groups.
Projects, to be successful, need more than just enough resources – they need enough of the RIGHT resources. We can all agree that there’s smart workload management.
Check your team’s capacity before planning our project tasks
Figuring out who will be working on what is critical before starting any project. Evaluate the projects in your pipelines and drill down into who will be working on each project’s task. You should use reliable project management software to keep track of everything.
To make things more bearable, create a work breakdown structure – a chart that can tell you who will be assigned where.
But before you create a work breakdown structure to navigate projects, you must first assess your team’s capacity and luckily, there’s another plan for that. Capacity planning can make or break your workload management. It can help you identify if your team has the ability to take on a new project or whether their schedule is already busy.
With most teams working from different time zones and more remote employees, it’s important to have an accurate view of their workload and capacity.
Allocate resources and tasks fairly
Now that you have an accurate idea of who does what, go ahead with assigning tasks. You must delegate tasks to employees who can handle them best. According to legal experts from PersonalInjuryClaimsUk.org.uk, improper work allocation can lead to disastrous results, time spent in vain and workplace accidents due to excessive burnout.
Therefore, you must make decisions based on experience, results and field of expertise when assigning the right team member for a job. Consider the following:
- When assigning tasks, start with the highest priority. Because priority tasks are required to be over soon, you should handle them first.
- Determine an appropriate timeframe for each task. Keep a calendar so that it is easier to keep track of and check the results.
- Make sure you assign the right team member with the correct skillset.
- Make it a point to let the person you assign for the task understand why you choose her/him.
Work on team efficiency
Team efficiency is critical in meeting due dates and reducing costs. To be more precise, there’s always a team member who gets things done quicker than others. As a team manager, apart from showing appreciation, you should also try to understand their method as well. There’s only one way to find out, and that is asking.
If a task can be completed in no time, the whole team must know the procedure as well. But if that’s not the case, you can follow a few examples to work on your team’s efficiency. Such as:
- Reducing unnecessary meetings
- Ensure employee development and training on project management abilities
- Leverage on individual employee strengths
Smart workload management systems might help project managers with administrative work, the part of workload that can and should be automated to cut, remove human error and save time.
When administrative tasks are effortlessly completed, managers can focus on key operations and effective team performance management. Additionally, project managers seldom refer to administrative work as their favourite part of the job, so why waste valuable time doing it when there’s a system that can do it ten times better than you?
There’s always a tool for something
A workload management software can distribute and monitor work across teams based on their skills, abilities, and availability.
Such tools can be hugely useful as they streamline the process and make it easy to follow up. They can do everything from reporting, task and project management, time tracking, collaboration and more, so why not automate what can be automated?
A recent study found that every month, 43% of project managers spent one or more days manually creating project reports. This is one of the reasons why admin work is considered the silent killer of productivity.
Repetitive work kills your time and your productivity, not to mention it can introduce human error.
There are a number of tools that can save time and energy. For example, Forecast software can help project managers create reports in a few clicks and share them with the team in an instant.