One thing project managers and team leaders
have to look out for are signs of burnout in their team members. Frustrations, stress, and overloading can affect people strongly and may lead to a breakdown in a team’s dynamics. Overworking can only happen if you don’t employ effective workload management. It’s important for teams to hit the ground running when approaching projects but it’s also equally imperative that the drive and gusto to perform and deliver burns within the team until everything is finished and complete. This is where a workload management tool can come in handy. So, how does one go about accomplishing the perfect workload management?
1. Take time to make plans
It’s vital to know what you should be aiming to achieve, but it’s essential to know how those things will be accomplished. Take the time to make a concrete plan of attack for your team to follow to help them keep their eye on the goal and finish the project on time. The best workload management tools can help you come up with comprehensive plans. Make sure to take into account people who will be on vacation or on leave so you can make adjustments in the tasks you’re distributing and the staffing that you need. Create a resource buffer while you’re at it. Something or someone is bound to break down along the way as you’re working to complete a project, so it will be highly helpful to have a fallback of sorts. This way, you not only have a clear roadmap to success but a well-assembled team of people and resources to help you get things done.
2. Create subtasks from tasks and to-do lists
To make sure no one is overwhelmed, take a closer look at tasks to figure out how they can be broken down into subtasks. This is especially useful when tackling big tasks for particular projects. Afterward, create a to-do list, so you have an order in black and white for doing things. Creating subtasks makes otherwise major tasks easier to accomplish, inspires teamwork, and drives productivity. To-do lists will act as your plan of action. While you’re looking at tasks and creating subtasks from them, be sure you’re also allocating tasks to everyone in your team fairly and in an even manner. This way, you can make sure that work is not dumped on just one person and everyone in the team contributes one way or another. At the same time, you’re also teaching them how to manage workloads effectively. Getting a job or a task completed can boost your team’s confidence by leaps and bounds.
3. Create task dependencies
Accomplishing tasks and completing projects
can sometimes compare to puzzles where you step back to see how everything fits in the grander scheme of things. Understanding that no man, or task, for this matter, stands alone can create a sense of urgency in your team. Once they understand what it means to get a task done efficiently before another can be worked on, you can expect the progress to be steady.
4. Face the elephant first
Battling the elephant in the room can be arduous at best but can be great for your confidence, and motivation once completed, so consider starting with the more difficult tasks first. Get them out of the way as soon as you can so you have more time to divide among smaller, more manageable jobs. This is one part of time and workload management skills that you can also impart to your team. For some people, this might be working backward but once you try it, you’ll see how it makes sense. It’s not about how hard you work. It’s how you strategize to complete each hurdle – one at a time. Teach and show your team that multitasking is not the answer. Working smart is.
5. Make goals SMART
Simply put: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ATTAINABLE, RELEVANT, and TIME-BOUND. Specific in the sense that your endgame or your goal is clear, measurable which means your goal and how you’re achieving it is quantifiable, attainable makes your goals realistic and actually doable, relevant means that your projects and goals match your company’s mission, vision, and values, and, finally, time-bound because you’re working with a timeline and a deadline. To help, set priorities for your team. Before you even start working, map out the more important jobs that should be tackled first. This way, you can get the hard stuff done first before proceeding with the more minor jobs.
6. Keep track of time
We’re not only talking about using a time clock or time tracker but it would also be helpful if you can track the amount of time it takes for your team to complete tasks, the start and end date of tasks, and efficiency reports with the assistance of workload management solutions. These will help you see when your team needs help to finish tasks sooner or if you need to adjust a deadline somewhere. Being able to keep track of time will also aid in promoting and improving your team’s work-life balance. Working long hours, way after the workday is done, is not healthy for your team’s morale and motivation. Excessive overtime can lead to burnout sooner than other contributing factors so it’s important to impart to your team the importance of keeping an eye on the time as they work and managing their time better and with more care.
7. Automate what you can
Administrative tasks, or more specifically administrative tasks that are not efficiently done, can wreak havoc on your productivity and the team’s morale. Repetitive tasks and collecting data can waste precious time and increase human error. So, for more important jobs such as administrative tasks and reports, you can use automatic workload management tools. These tools can also help you figure out which tasks are redundant while also allowing you to create templates for repetitive tasks or manual reports.
8. Meet and greet on a regular basis
Make daily huddles a part of your workload distribution management. These hurdles do not have to be major hour-long meetings, though. Even a short 15-minute conference is enough for you to check in on everyone and see how they’re faring before doing a deep dive on the progress of the work that’s being done. Make sure they know as well that they can come to you anytime during their day if they run into hurdles and feel stuck or if they just want to take a short break to chat. Let’s face it: nothing makes anyone feel more cared for than being asked about his or her wellbeing. Your day may be crazy busy, but stopping at the top of the work hours to check in on the team, knowing their challenges, celebrating successes, and discussing projects can come a long way in making sure your team stays motivated and engaged.
The best workload management tools in one solution
Bitrix24 has created a robust solution for all of your workload management needs. Whatever area you require help in, you can be sure we have the workaround so you and your team can come out the winners – motivated, productive and accomplished. Register for free today so you can enjoy the freedom that comes with a well-thought-out workload for everyone across the board. Need a little help figuring everything out before committing? Schedule a demo, and we’ll gladly help you out!