Managing the workload for increased efficiency

Let’s go back to our school or college days when there was that one nerdy kid who did all the work and then were the backbenchers who passed the project because of that kid. 

Similarly, in the corporate world, there are hard workers, overburdened ones, and, on the contrary, the backbenchers who do not share the responsibility of the project equally. 

This scenario in Project Management is known as Workload Management. The definition of the term is the process of distributing the workload or the tasks efficiently to ensure the successful completion and delivery of the project.

Workload management helps the teams to distribute the workload efficiently across the team members. It helps in resource planning, capacity planning, contingency planning, monitoring, and controlling activities.

Even though it sounds easy, workload management is a mammoth task. It requires careful planning, project management tools & software, and organizational & management knowledge.

Now the question arises, how to manage the workload?

  • Review – The manager should take a closer look at the current tasks at hand and map the bandwidth of each employee and the time required to complete any activities or the turnaround time (TAT). 
  • Target setting – When planning for a project, set targets based on the availability of resources and the time estimates. It helps in realistic target setting and easy monitoring.
  • Equitable distribution – While planning 7 scheduling the tasks, the manager needs to ensure that none of the team members is over or underutilized. Following the 80-20 principle, the crucial activities that take up 80% of the time should be distributed evenly over the week. And the 20% time should be allocated for tasks like follow-up, client updates, preparing reports, or less crucial work.
  • Team workload – Identifying the overloaded team members and splitting their duties or allocating a few tasks to the underutilized ones will create balance. 
  • Discussion – Regular team meetings, brainstorming sessions, or one-on-one meetings regarding task allocation, deadlines, and progress help to understand the level of project completion and reassign the tasks in case any member is overloaded.
  • Software & tools – Managers should use project management software & tools like MS Project and Jira to aid in project planning, job allocation, and monitoring. 
  • Contingency plan – Making a contingency plan ensure that the project meets the desired timeline, despite the absence of any team member. 
  • Automation – Wherever possible, it is advisable to automate the activities to reduce the burden on employees and make the process efficient.

Workload management is not meeting the timeline but ensuring a conducive work environment, equitable distribution of work, and effective utilization of resources. 

It requires the manager to have a sense of team management, people management, time management, resource allocation, planning, forecasting, and quick decision-making capacity.

MIT School of Distance Education (MITSDE) is an institute that understands the current skills gap in the market and strives hard to reduce it. Hence, MITSDE brings you PG Diploma (PGDM Project Management) in Project Management. 

The course covers the concept, philosophy, and importance of Project Management, hands-on tools like Microsoft Project and Jira, project analysis, risk management, and project audit techniques.