Delegating work can become an overwhelming problem. Workloads are ballooning while only a finite workforce, narrow job completion time frames, and a restricted number of necessary equipment are available. Mix in the health and safety rules and regulations COVID-19 has added to the delegation process, and managers can lose productivity and focus fast. It’s a problem over-shadowing every industry – including utilities and critical infrastructure organizations. How can leaders effectively balance and manage the ever-increasing workload and keep the limited number of crews and teams healthy, less stressed, and ready to accomplish the multiple tasks at hand?
Enter Workload Management
Workload Management is the deliberate practice of efficiently distributing work throughout a team. It enables managers to match employees to work and jobs coming in, so performance and productivity levels are never compromised. It allows team members to deliver work of higher quality, to complete work tickets faster, and to be able to move on to the next project with precision and full visibility of all resources available. Workload Management is a strategic productivity enhancement to the skillset of a workforce.
The following tips and tricks can help any company efficiently manage workload distribution, ensuring that more jobs are finished quickly without burnout or resource management complications.
Pre-Planning and Planning Again
Efficiency isn’t random or a magical thing that mystically happens. It’s the product delivered from a mindful application of pre-planning and planning efforts. To accomplish anything, an organization must have a strong workforce and workload management plan first with the foresight that it is malleable and able to change as situations warrant. A project can only be victorious based on the latest facts, schedules, and resource allocations. Effective work distribution cannot happen any other way. Plans must include an achievable goal, a list of team players available to work including their skillsets and strengths, and the tools available that match the work that needs accomplishing. Running through scenarios and reviewing past jobs is essential in pre-making plans, so you already have something in place to face whatever the world wants to throw at you. Make sure you schedule time to strategize, so delegating is already decided and can be put into motion at a moment’s notice. Then, be ready to pivot. Nothing stays the same forever. Always be planning, and you will stay three steps ahead.
Know the Analytics in order to Prioritize
If bad data is coming in, you’ll only have bad data going out. Garbage in, garbage out, right? One of the most critical aspects of workload management is to be sure you are getting the most up-to-date and reliable information possible. You cannot set you and your team up for success unless your analytics are top-notch and accurate, including field reporting, team rosters, itineraries, crew schedules, work and job tickets, equipment inventories, and in this day of on-going pandemics, PTO and quarantine contact tracing lists. Each of these analytics can help prioritize the workload and reveal the exact team members you need. “When” is never a question as the analytics will show arrival and estimated completion times and alert you of any bandwidth issues before they happen. Prioritizing workloads and managing tasks can be done when all the numbers fall into place before you in one centralized system.
Use a Workforce and Workload Management Solution
So, our last tip had a lot of moving parts. How can a manager keep track of that many data points while being crushed by a continuous torrent of work orders rushing in? Get started with a workload management solution like ARCOS Mobile Workbench. ARCOS Mobile Workbench acts as one central source of truth. It’s able to give you a complete view of what’s going on with every job, work ticket, and crew team member and can tie into your existing OMS, WMS, and other business systems – precisely what you should look for in a workforce and workload management solution. You also need a system that can record, track, and retain historical data. ARCOS Mobile Workbench does that too, making reviewing, planning, and reporting as easy as a few clicks of a mouse. Saving time, avoiding conflicts, and having the agility to move fast on projects is essential. When you don’t have to use multiple apps, reach for a spreadsheet, or decipher a whiteboard, you can react quickly. A workforce and workload management tool gives you that proficiency with full visibility, and an added layer of team confidence that brings crews, their work, and their resources all together in a singular system.
Balance Your Approach
Workload distribution and workforce management tools have come a long way. Creating a better process using the latest technology can lead to better communication, collaboration, allocation, and real-time task insight. It can improve morale and get more out of teams on a work site. It can provide a holistic view of all resources available and a historical record which informs future work management planning and staging. It provides a balanced approach that puts every team member on the same solid ground as they tackle a never-ending pile of work. Find out more about how ARCOS solutions can help by checking out our recent Storm Cost Recovery & FEMA Reimbursement on-demand webinar.