There’s an old saying that people do their best creative work when they’re retrospectively filling in timesheets. Tracking your billable hours after the work is done is a bit like driving a car while looking in the rear-view mirror.
And for those in control, it’s impossible to manage teams effectively without a clear picture of what they are working on and where available capacity is. You want to ensure that your team is firing on all cylinders, but the last thing you need is for people to become so overloaded with work that the engine stutters to a halt.
Workload forecasting software (WFS) has emerged as a go-to tool for managers wishing to make the most of their teams’ productivity, skills and capacity in a smart and sustainable manner. Let’s take a closer look.
The value of workload forecasting software
Workload forecasting software gives organizations the ability to accurately forecast anticipated work and allocate tasks to individuals based on a range of metrics: availability, experience, skills, and capabilities.
For businesses – such as professional services firms – where time is money, having a clear picture of the team’s current and anticipated workload enables managers to make smarter decisions that boost productivity, improve workload management and ultimately maximizes profits.
It gives managers complete visibility over how busy team members are to ease the process of scheduling new work or determining overall team capacity for additional projects. But the true value of workload forecasting software rests in its ability to build a measure of intelligence into the management of your most important resource: your people.
Building greater intelligence into team management
Beyond just seeing the capacity of team members, workload forecasting software enables managers to quickly get to the correct information. For example, managers can use the contextual information linked to each team member’s profile to determine whether the organization has the correct skills for a specific project, and whether there is adequate capacity.
A manager initiating a project requiring a German translator for an automotive project can simply search for “mid-level German writer with automotive experience or an engineering degree”. And 1-2-3, you see all the team members that have relevant skills, as well as their current (and anticipated) capacity.
While all this sounds promising, not all workload forecasting software is made equal.
What to look for in workload forecasting software
Organizations and managers looking for a WFS solution should make sure it has the following capabilities:
- Easy-to-use dashboards that provide an accurate view of available skills and team capacity at a glance. Our workload forecasting software provides color-coded reports that give an instant indication of current and forecasted workload;
- The ability to allocate work across teams, practice groups and departments based on actual availability;
- Easy configuration to ensure practice groups and departments can customize the software to track availability according to their specific needs, whether by day, week, or month;
- The ability to add rich data about each team member to allow for improved visibility over certain characteristics, including academic qualifications, native languages, experience, demographics and more; and
- An easy and intuitive interface that minimizes the amount of time professionals need to spend on updating their availability.
Try our complete workload forecasting software solution
Our WFS solution is designed to give managers the power to effectively allocate work and build teams based on skills, capacity and availability. To learn more or request a demo, please click on the button below.