Managing the project workload means assigning the right amount of tasks to each team member.
On the surface, this would seem like an easy task, but it is one of the most critical tasks a project manager faces.
Countless pitfalls hide behind the project workload, dangers that must be avoided at all costs if the entire project is not to be derailed.
What is project workload?
The project workload is the process of efficiently distributing and managing work within the team.
When done correctly, workload management maximizes employee performance and avoids confusion, leaving the project manager and team satisfied rather than overwhelmed.
In addition, team members will feel confident in their volume of work and deliver higher quality results at a faster pace.
It’s no surprise that most employees say they feel less engaged when they’re stressed.
Project Workload: Assess current workload and team capabilities
Before the project begins, it is vital to assess the team’s current situation:
- Are some members engaged in other projects?
- What should other daily activities follow?
- Are there periods when some resources will not be present?
It is essential to understand, in a working day, how much time your resources are able to dedicate to projects, knowing the answers to these questions is useful to distribute and manage the workload reasonably.
Having this knowledge allows you to understand how much each team member can take in.
The following actions can help you organize your work better:
- Put together a comprehensive list of projects and processes for which the team is responsible.
- Determine the scope and timing of work for each.
- Break projects down into smaller tasks and workflows, i.e., run a work breakdown structure.
- Prioritize work based on importance and urgency.
Project Workload: Allocate resources and break down individual workloads
Once you have an overview of everything the team needs to do, you can move on to figuring out who will be working on what and when.
Here are five tips for keeping workloads balanced and manageable:
- Assign the highest priority work first.
- Set expectations and goals.
- Have a start date and deadline for each activity.
- Be sure to match the right people to each activity based on skills, availability, and experience.
- Include the team in the planning so they can learn more about their responsibilities and workloads.
- Always inform the person why they are being given a particular task – this is a great way to increase engagement and set expectations from the start.
Completing this activity manually, integrating a new project with existing activities, having clear immediately on the resource is able to complete it on schedule is perhaps the most complicated part.
We at Twproject have integrated the calculation of the average load value directly into the assignment, so that this information is immediately visible and resolvable.
Manage your resources better!
With Twproject you can map all the activities of your resources and unavailability, have immediate feedback if the resources are loaded or not, being able to take actions in real time in case of need.Try Twproject!
Project Workload: Monitor workload and change it as needed
Even the best project plans and timelines can run into obstacles, so the project manager must be ready to make real-time changes before deadlines overwhelm the project.
To keep track of how each team member is managing their current workloads, it is wise is to arrange regular 1-1 check-ins with each employee for updates.
If these checks reveal that a team member is feeling overloaded, it’s essential to reassess the workload and see who might still be available.
When reassigning tasks, the project manager must communicate the changes to the entire team to understand why the change is being made.
For overall workload management, it is advisable to follow the 80/20 rule.
According to this principle, people should only be assigned to specific tasks for 80% of their time. In comparison, the remaining 20% will be used for routine activities such as answering phone calls, emails, attending meetings, etc.
Project Workload: Using project management software
Summarizing what the project manager must do is first of all to have clear the availability of resources, then to assign the activities with set deadlines and acceptable loads and finally to maintain a constant visibility of the progress of the projects to be clear when and where to intervene for a possible adjustment.
All this can be a time-consuming task if done manually.
But good project management software allows you to have all the data in a system and automatically update the project workload as changes occur.
Twproject offers all the tools to have an optimized and easy to update resource load, giving you the ability to manage all types of activities that make up your working day, routine activities, projects or even spot tasks.
By also managing unavailability, the picture of available time is complete.
With these data Twproject will be able to tell you if the resource is loaded or not, if it is able to perform the assigned task on schedule, and also to suggest a possible realistic end date.
Twproject includes an optimized load calculation algorithm that enables the company to optimize resource utilization, and to have a clear view of available skills and work assignments.
To conclude, proper project workload management helps to use resources more efficiently within the team or organization.
By choosing a good project management tool, you will be able to optimally manage the workload of each team member and monitor the progress of the project in general.