Are your resources best utilized? Do you actually have enough people for the workload, or do you have people with time to spare? Time management and resource allocation takes on a new meaning when others’ time must be justified.
To plan workloads you need to find simple ways of monitoring your time. You will need to repeat this exercise for your team to understand how time is being spent. Combine that with your delivery schedule and a spreadsheet application, and you have a cost‐effective resource management tool.
Understand how much time is needed on average for the major ongoing tasks that need to be accounted for, but are non‐specific and can happen at any time. This includes support tasks, but can also include meetings, administration, etc.
Next, factor in other duties that can be planned more easily. Include software/ systems development time, training, standards preparation, and other administrative activities such as weekly team meetings.
You should have a general outline of how much time you need to allocate on a regular basis. You can now start to put names against the tasks to identify where you have available resource for other activities, such as project meetings, training, upgrades, and other development projects.
These tasks should be kept in a formal list, with an estimation of time for each one.
Once you have all this information, you can allocate time to delivering these projects in between the regular workload. You can assign each member of your team to the tasks that suit them best. If you find your team is now overloaded, you either have to push deadlines back for non‐urgent tasks, reduce the time spent on non‐critical activities such as administration or meetings, or find additional staff. If you have created a list, you have a method of demonstrating necessity for extra staff in a clear, easy to understand format for senior management.