Workload Management is Critical
Workload management is difficult. The idea of equally balancing direct reports’ workloads is a simple idea. However, without careful monitoring and constant team scrutiny, it is by no means inevitable. In the Harvard Business Review article “Make Sure Your Team’s Workload Is Divided Fairly,” author, Rebecca Knight addresses one obstacle to optimal workload management:
It’s tempting to give the workhorse more projects than others (especially if she’ll get them done the fastest) or to ease up on someone who is struggling, but you also need to be fair. How do you make sure that work on your team is evenly distributed? What do you do about the person who’s great at saying no and the one who can’t say no?
A bias towards overloading star workers, is not the only problem, however. There are practical questions to consider.
Priority Matrix and Workload Management
Knight’s set of principles for better workload management, above, are helpful for some. Yet, for others, they may seem difficult to put into practice. If you are like many managers, you deal with an overwhelming workload yourself. Practices devoting time to ponder delegation strategy can seem like “nice-to-haves” rather than “must-dos.” Priority Matrix helps you employ these principles while managing daily tasks and projects.
Thinking Through Your Delegation Strategy
You must understand your past conscious or unconscious strategy. Priority Matrix gives you a snapshot into the past. This helps you become fully aware of how you could have made better choices around delegation. Reports and Universal Views+Filtering let you take a good hard and learn from your mistakes.
Making Your List
Knight suggests making a list of all the work that must be done. It is true that working from a unified workload and assigning tasks based on critical factors is necessary. However, you should not have to start this list from scratch. In Priority Matrix, the list is ready and waiting. You can create new tasks and projects as they come up. Then you can pull everything together when you need the big picture. With a few clicks and filtering choices, you will have generated all the data you need to know.
Better Productivity Is Better Than More Hours Worked
The amount of time spent working can inaccurately indicate productivity. It also encourages an exhausting team culture. Priority Matrix provides the necessary context throughout the life cycle of a task. This way, you have the information you need to highlight accomplishments.
Priority Matrix is built on the Eisenhower Method of Prioritization. This method specially designed to helps you prioritize and reprioritize based on new information. The goal is that the team and individual’s focus goes where it is needed most. Poorly managed priorities makes for poor workload management.
Protecting Top Workers From Burnout
Managers want the best performers on top projects. This is completely fine, however, other aspects of an all-star’s workload workload must change to make room for new assignments. Quadrant four, in Priority Matrix, can hold postponed tasks. In addition, it is easy to change the ownership and due dates if needed.
Difficult conversations are made easier if they revolve primarily around facts. In priority matrix, you can monitor each team member and then hold conversation around specific instances where improvement is necessary. Monitoring also helps you help employees overcome obstacles to their performance before problems occur.
Workload Management Requires Visibility, Organization and Agility
For optimal workload management, managers must be thoughtful and strategic. This combined with an agile response to priorities and problems will help them make their team members more successful.
Watch a video on the topic here: