Many businesses are not reaching their desired goals with reasons including, but not limited to poor time management, inaccurate progress tracking, vague goals, conflicting task allocations, etc.
Vague goals set during the project planning phase result in extreme confusion and chaos eventually. Workforces involved in different tasks also require an absolute clarity of purpose of the work and reasonable schedule to bring out the best of their performance to match their potential.
Employees of your organization engaged in the project activities would remain unaware of the importance of the tasks and hence, can’t set priorities. When a critical task comes up, many resources would dedicate more time-to fighting fires, which momentarily displaces work.
The organization’s success depends on many factors that together impact the daily workflow and helps team members stay true to strategic plans. One such factor is the smart allocation that includes streamlining the tasks and allocating resources on different projects. There are many benefits to having a smart allocation process. Many organizations will perform better after they have more control over the factors that keep them from achieving the desired success. First, let’s understand what comes under work allocation!
What is Work Allocation?
Work allocation determines the tasks that are to be executed as part of the project, and sends intimation to a person or a group of people to take up that task in a given time. This process is used to assign the task to the group of people who belong to a department of your organization as well as a cross-functional group by involving members from different departments. You can even allocate work to part-timers, contractors, and freelancers.
Allocating work requires basic understanding of scheduling, priorities of the tasks, and the time when the task needs to be completed. High-growth organizations today rely on a resource management tool to level out and finalize allocations. This platform contains a business intelligence-enabled scheduler that informs managers and team leads assigned to a team on work progress, skill utilization, and any shortages or excesses of team mates that need to be looked into. It helps you foresee future assignments against worker availability so that you can diversify your decisions, from hiring more and moving up projects to outsourcing one-off or temporary projects to freelance, part-time or casual earners who are unlikely to be kept on full-time. Such moves control costs without foregoing strong skills.
1. Optimal Resource Utilization
Work allocation helps you utilize the resources optimally by assigning them the tasks according to their capacity and competency. Underutilization of resources will affect their morale and decrease their productivity. Similarly, overutilization will lead to employee burnout, where the work pressure and exhaustion will disrupt their work-life balance and eventually deteriorate their quality of work.
And without proper allocation, competent resources may end up working more than others as they are visible. Organized work allocation gives complete visibility of resource allocation and utilization tracking. This allows the allocation manager or coordinator to understand which resources are working on different projects. Similarly, the utilization tracking will depict how many hours employees spend on different projects so work from overloaded resources can be reassigned to underutilized resources who are available and suitably competent.
2. Better Task Delegation
Work allocation indirectly involves keeping track of available employees. For example, if you create a project where you have to allocate five people to it, you will look for the available resources and then look for the one who can perform the tasks. In this manner, you will delegate tasks to the most competent people.
While you delegate the task to your team members, you give everyone opportunities and give them equal footing to prove their skills. Further, the work allocation system will set firm ownership of the tasks. You will have complete knowledge of whom to question in case of emergencies.
3. Improved Scheduling
A proper work allocation process lets you schedule the tasks based on your priority. Therefore, you can schedule the tasks sequentially or parallelly if needed to avoid the clash. This way, none of the project processes will suffer unnecessary delays because of the unavailability of the resources.
Task assignment will undoubtedly let you estimate the time required for the completion so you can set realistic deadlines. Although tight deadlines cannot be eliminated, proper task allocation enables you to manage it to some extent.
4. Accurate Progress Tracking
Unlike conventional excel sheets, a tool that centralizes all resource related data can give you powerful insights on employee engagement, work hours, bench-time, and surplus staff. Spreadsheet databases are prone to redundant or erroneous entries that take time to find and fix, besides being vulnerable to security threats. After workers start working on the allocated tasks, the tool produces a comprehensive report of their utilization and task progress.
A reliable allocation process will improve task progress tracking as the team leaders know who is working on which projects. Hence, they will directly look into everyone’s engagement as well as the resources will even know whom to report regularly, which makes reporting more straightforward.
5. Easy Budget Allocation
Resource allocation on different projects helps you determine the billable hours. Along with that, you will have a reliable estimate cost of the resource that you can accordingly bill your client for. The work allocation process lets you determine the billable hours where you can further breakdown of which employee is going to work for how many hours.
When you allocate resources to future tasks, there is a prerequisite process of forecasting demand from the projects and workforce capacity. In this manner, you can determine if your organization is likely to face a shortage or excess of resources within the availability pool! Therefore, in a situation of increasing workflow demands, you can hire new resources so that your company can take up new challenging projects. On the other hand, if workforce capacity is in excess, then you can utilize their time in upskilling and retraining so that your company can embrace the demand changes and keep transforming continuously.
Work allocation is the stepping stone to making things organized. It is the fundamental element of project planning where you decide the tasks needed for the project and then allocate resources to it who can perform the task. It helps you determine the required time and prepare a detailed schedule streamlining the tasks to prevent clash with the understanding of task dependencies. While you allocate resources, you can even form cross-functional teams to utilize your organization’s talent pool. Not to mention, by keeping track of the things, you can quantify your planning methods if it is profitable for you or requires improvement.
Contributor: This article was produced in collaboration with Mahendra Gupta
Mahendra Gupta is a PMP certified consultant for Saviom Software. His experience in technical project management, workforce planning and consultative sales improvement has enabled businesses around the globe to capitalize on resource efficiency. Follow his work here.