Leveling the workload for your team or seeing someone’s allocation at a glance is important to any project manager. It should also be important to any team that’s looking to ship a product whether they are agile and self-organizing or use a more top-down traditional methodology.
Unfortunately, many tools make leveling your team’s workload complicated, and when new teams come to us they expect a complicated solution. Usually, I tell them the same thing: Because of the way that OnTime is designed, managing the team’s workload is simple and very much like managing any other aspect of your project.
So let’s say I want to take a look at my team’s workload.
First thing I’m going to do is switch to the Planning Board in OnTime and group by “Assigned To.” I’m now looking at an aggregate amount of work in front of each of my developers and I can easily see if one person has more work than the other.
That might be enough to level workload amongst my team, but very often I’ll be interested in just the work over a given period of time. Say, for the next two weeks, I’m on the lookout for potential bottlenecks for my sprint. Maybe even next month if I’m trying to figure out what my workload will look like for an upcoming release that I’m planning. This is pretty easy to do, I’ll simply create and apply a filter to find items that are due in the next two weeks.
Running the filter or just clicking on a particular sprint will trim the hours down to items relevant in that time span. If it’s two weeks that I’m interested in and a team member has more than 80 hours worth of work, then I know I’ve got a problem.
The neat thing about managing workload in this manner is that it’s simple and interactive. I’m doing more than just finding potential bottlenecks, I’m avoiding them completely by starting with a visual snapshot of my team’s workload and making appropriate adjustments.
Managing my team’s workload doesn’t have to be hard; I don’t need to run reports all day and do some kind of complex analysis. Instead, I see a problem and I fix it right then and there. Rethinking how you level your team’s workload simplifies the whole sordid affair, and that’s okay. I’m sure you’ll find some way to use the free time.
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