Work Allocation- How to Efficiently Assign Tasks in 5 Steps
What is Work Allocation?
Work allocation is the process of effectively organizing resources and labor to meet the company's output goals of a task or project. The allocation is based on how the business will benefit from appropriately assigning resources and roles.
For project managers, work allocation allows for the efficient and strategic management of tasks. This offers more ease in overseeing projects while ensuring maximized production and efficiency as resources and labor are allocated in the most impactful way.
- The main benefits of work allocation include-
- Easily handle multiple projects of different sizes at the same time.
- Cost-efficient scheduling, which saves the business money.
- Boosts productivity by requiring less time and resources.
- Time management improves, and staff can log more accurate times for shifts.
- Staff morale is boosted when employees know that project managers are examining productivity and staff skills.
- Managing the team workload and having accurate predictions of the completion of the project.
What to Consider When Allocating Work
Leaders must consider five key factors when allocating work within a team. It is important to understand that inefficient staff scheduling will cost the business more money in lost-productivity. Additionally, it is beneficial to allocate work based on personal interests as well as employee abilities.
Below are the 5 key factors for work allocation-
- Skills Needed
- Task Priorities
- Labor Availability
Just because there is a highly qualified person who is in line with the role, does not mean that they are the only employee who can take on the job. It is essential to only shift people from one task to another if it is the last resort, otherwise, keep people focused on what they are already working on.
- Employee Development
The ideal scenario is to assess the skills of each employee and make the decision based on who has the capacity to complete the task, while also upgrading their experience and skills in the process.
- Personal Interest
People are more motivated to work on what is interesting to them, the output of the work will be higher-quality, and the rapport built with the team will improve staff retention rates.
How to Allocate Work- the Process Explained
Once the above points have been considered, the following 5 steps can be put into action to start planning and allocating work.
1. Set the Strategy
This outlines the direction of the project to give the team a clear strategy to follow for reaching the desired goal. It can be a good idea here to include the team in the decision-making process, as it empowers them and will inspire the team to be more engaged with the task.
In this initial stage, it's vital to also set the overall objective of the project and make sure it is clear to all who will be involved. It is important to also consider different scenarios in terms of what obstacles or problems may arise in the project so that the team can prepare for the potential risks.
2. Planning Phase
This step is about prioritizing the resources and taking into account the time and budget required for the project. Organizations can assess each action of a task in terms of the impact it has on the objectives of the overall strategy. The tasks with the most impact can be allocated more support from the budget or time.
Also, note which jobs will be easy to implement and take the least amount of resources. Break down the tasks into high-level milestones and set due dates so the team can stay focused.
When allocating these roles to team members, consider their experience, skills, interests, and opportunities for development within the subject matter. Give all team members a brief on what they need to complete and the expected performance for the project.
Encouraging team members to ask questions and make suggestions is key here to also learn whether there are any differences in expectations. Give delivery dates and outline how the task progress should be monitored and communicated (e.g. bi-weekly reporting).
On a regular basis, check-in with the team on the progress of the project and provide feedback that is weighted against the expected performance.
Consider how to support team members who may be underperforming in quality or efficiency, so that they can get back on track. The manager holds the role of motivating team members to continue with their tasks and complete their work to a high standard.
To help drive the internal motivation of the team, once the project is complete, it is important to recognize the success of each team member and give constructive feedback. In all cases, communicate what went well and what could be improved upon.
In the case of poor performance, identify the cause and assess ways to improve in the future. Management should keep a record of the team's success rates to use this information in the future for promotions or allocating additional projects.
Allocating work according to demand and skillset will ensure that companies are distributing tasks in a strategic manner to get the most out of the team while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.