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7 Best Ways for Effective Workload Management

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Employee Productivity

According to a survey, approximately 39% of employees say that workload is the primary reason for workplace stress.

To understand the impact of workload stress, let’s take an example:

Suppose, in an organization, 2 or 3 projects are happening simultaneously with fixed timelines. However, due to various issues such as lack of planning, resource crunch, etc., some employees are assigned to work more than 100% on both projects. As a result, these overloaded resources have to work for more hours to complete the project.

When such scenarios happen in organizations, project team members experience burnout, stress, fatigue, and job dissatisfaction. This will consequently lead to reduced productivity, compromised quality of deliverables, project delays, cost overruns, and finally, impacts the project delivery.

To overcome these issues, organizations must implement effective workload management to ensure the even distribution of the work.

This article highlights the concept and importance of workload management and explains how Saviom’s resource management solution can help achieve it. Let’s begin,

 

2. What is workload management, and why is it important?

Workload management is a step-by-step process of planning, scheduling, and evenly distributing the work among the team members. The process also helps in effectively utilizing the resources, monitoring the performance, tracking individual KPIs, and avoiding overloading by allocating the right employee to the right task.

With a uniform workload distribution, employees are better equipped and more focused on work, enabling them to perform better. It prevents employee burnout and ensures enhanced employee engagement and higher productivity.

Moreover, workload management reduces human errors, ultimately saving costs at the organizational level. Apart from these benefits, workload management creates a healthy work-life balance as the team members are not overbooked and will not work under pressure.

Now that it is clear what workload management is and how valuable it is, let’s dive into some effective workload management strategies.

3. 7 best practices to manage workload effectively

It is imperative for managers to prevent resource overallocation and distribute work uniformly among resources to ensure optimal utilization levels.

Here are a few proven steps involved in workload management:

3.1 Create, define, and prioritize tasks and deliverables

The first step in effective workload management is creating a work breakdown structure (WBS). It enables the project manager to break down the entire project into various tasks and evaluate the approximate completion time. Further, it helps identify independencies and buffer tasks as well.

Accordingly, they can allocate critical resources first to high-priority tasks followed by low-priority ones to avoid work overload. This also allows resources to focus on the critical tasks first. Thereby eliminating overallocation.

3.2 Set realistic project deadlines based on resource availability and capacity

Once the work breakdown structure is defined, managers must check if the selected resources have the capacity and availability to work on the project. For this, they need complete visibility into resource information such as skills, competencies, current and future schedules, vacations, and more.

Based on this information, they can schedule the right resource for the suitable project/tasks and set deadlines that can be appropriately achieved. This will help ensure that every resource is optimally utilized without assigning them work exceeding their capacities.

3.3 Foresee and bridge capacity vs. demand gap in advance

Resource foresight will enable managers to predict the workforce requirements for pipeline projects. It will give clear visibility of the excess and shortage of resources well in advance.

With capacity planning, managers can take appropriate measures to mitigate the excess and shortage of the workforce. In case of excess, managers can take corrective actions like bringing project timelines forward or selling excess capacity of resources. For shortage, measures like moving the benched resources to billable work, training the existing ones, or implementing hiring initiatives can be taken. This will lead to the competent allocation of resources before the project’s onset.

3.4 Assign the right resources to the right task

The lack of visibility into the resource information will lead to issues such as incompetent allocation, double bookings, high resourcing costs, and uneven workload distribution.

With advanced resource management software, managers get real-time visibility of the workforce information like their skills, availability, schedules, etc. Based on this, they can allocate the right resource to the right project and deploy a cost-effective global workforce. Allocating competent resources will improve the quality of project delivery and minimize project costs.

3.5 Track and monitor employee utilization levels regularly

Tracking members’ utilization levels is essential to check on the bottlenecks like over/under utilization, project delays, cost overruns, etc., that dampen the project’s success. It enables managers to take proactive measures to eliminate hurdles.

Analyzing the resource utilization rates helps managers monitor their performance at any given time. In addition, with the utilization of heat maps, managers can assess which resource is over/underutilized and accordingly take measures. This will help optimize the workload, prevent employee burnout, and improve productivity and business profitability.

3.6 Apply resource optimization techniques to manage the workload

Once the managers have identified resources that are over/underutilized, they should take corrective measures like resource optimization techniques, like resource leveling and smoothing.

For example, if a project is not time-sensitive, managers can implement resource leveling, where the project timelines of individual tasks can be adjusted to avoid any resource overloading. On the other hand, if an employee is working more than their capacity and the project is time-sensitive, then resource smoothing can be implemented where the additional resources can be deployed. This will avoid workforce overloading and enhance productivity, performance, and efficiency.

3.7 Leverage contingent workforce to manage excess work

91% of respondents said that feeling overwhelmingly stressed negatively affects the quality of their work. – Deloitte

When a resource is overloaded with work, it will impact their productivity and the project’s progress. It will further cause burnout, stress, fatigue, etc. However, unpredictable events, such as unplanned leaves, attrition, etc., in an organization may result in overloading the other team members.

For instance, a project is almost in the final stages, and suddenly a critical resource has an emergency and takes off for a few days. The project manager delegates the work to another person. This person experiences stress due to work overload, thus impacting productivity and project progress. To avoid this, managers can hire an on-demand workforce or outsource the work. This will eventually lead to uniform work allocation and help the employees concentrate on critical tasks.

4. Wrapping Up

Workload management is definitely not an easy task, but implementing some of the strategies mentioned above and leveraging the right tools will improve the process and the overall organization’s efficiency.

Investing in a resource management tool like Saviom can help you plan and manage your workload effectively. The tool’s multidimensional visibility into resource-related attributes helps managers allocate the best-fit resources. Moreover, real-time business intelligence reports like utilization reports and actual vs. forecasts provide a foresight into workforce utilization. This enables the managers to eliminate the over-allocating of work, thereby ensuring the even distribution of work.