Ten Commandments of an Uncongested Team
The fact that excessive workload is a growing problem is confirmed by a Deloitte survey in the US, in which 64% of managers complain about their teams being overloaded with work. What can be the consequences of such a situation?
- Reduced quality of work outputs
- Team fails to meet deadlines
- Reduced motivation and proactivity
- Uncomfortable atmosphere at work
- Increased employee turnover
Manager's Ten Commandments
How can you help your team from feeling overwhelmed? Just stick to the "Ten Commandments of an uncongested team" and your team will be working at ease.
1/ Be transparent
In many companies, we find "unacknowledged projects" that take away capacities. These can be personal tasks, past unresolved projects, or simply ad hoc assignments that one wants to quickly get rid of. It's important to let everyone know about them – especially those who do the planning.
It could be the PMO, portfolio manager, CEO, or resource manager. Always acknowledge all projects in the company. What can help you do this, for example, is Agile Resource Management which gives you a real-time overview of all projects. All projects are simply stacked in this tool and others can easily see them.
2/ Use a tool for project assignment
Use a tool that shows you which teams are already overloaded and where capacities are becoming available. The ideal project assignment tool is intuitive – it doesn't add work and allows you to see the status of each project at all times. Those who need to see the details of tasks can look into individual projects.
3/ Improve the skills of your team
Are there often tasks that only one particular employee can handle? But what if he or she is busy with another task? Consider whether it's time to train another employee so that projects don't pile up on one person and overload them. What can help is that in the "Skills Management" section of the Agile Resource Management tool you can always see the current workload of your team members.
4/ Don't be afraid to say no
Does the project assignment tool show you conflicts or team overload? Don't try to squeeze another project into a crowded work week, it's necessary to push the work to other weeks. This will improve not only the quality of projects but also the mood in the office. Communication, in short, is essential in any work environment which brings us to the next point.
5/ Don't underestimate communication
We often take on more projects than we should. This is due to poor communication. It's crucial to listen to team members so you can set realistic deadlines, estimate how much work can be handled, and provide accurate information to all parties. The Agile Resource Management tool will help you with visibility and communication between teams on the status of capacity.
Agile Resource Management
6/ Don't set unrealistic deadlines
Mastering a challenging schedule starts with a realistic deadline. Always count on unexpected delays, feedback and don't forget about "buffer time" – a time for unexpected occurrences. Too little time to complete a task also decreases employee creativity.
7/ Set priorities
It's easy to get lost in priorities during the course of a project. Have your list of priorities at hand at all times and don't forget to refer back to it regularly. Moreover, in Easy Project you always have all your priorities conveniently at hand thanks to the personal dashboards.
8/ Don't forget to praise
Motivation and trust can work wonders. Let employees know you appreciate their work.
Show them trust, for example, by allowing them to plan their work for themselves. This leads teams to individual accountability.
9/ Break big tasks into small ones
Always break projects down into sub-tasks, for example using the WBS tool. This makes the project look more manageable and helps employees complete it faster as it motivates them to see the progress.
10/ Focus on rest
And just your own, but also your teams'. Avoid unnecessary work communication after hours and if someone plans to go on holiday, it shouldn't mean they have to work more before they leave. If possible, encourage flexibility and working from home.
Summary: Goodbye overloaded team
Balancing things well and learning how not to overload your team can be a bit tricky. But if you follow the ''manager's ten commandments'' and remember to check in with your team regularly, you're well on your way to achieving an ideal work organization. Discover the new Easy Project 12, which contains the right tools you need to do just that.
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