My team is understaffed and has a lot of tasks to perform - most of them 'incident triggered' due to the kind of IT work we do here.

We used a RASCI table to assign responsibilities per task, but it does not take into account the dimensions of:
- complexity
- workload
- level of skill/knowledge
- structural or ad hoc nature of task
- etc.

I am looking for a [b]tool[/b] or well documented [b]method[/b] to get more insight, and to get some planning done!
Looked for it, did not find any. My gut feeling tells me I need a kindoff small ERP system to do this :(

One of my teammembers will be gone within a month time. I do want to make the gap he leaves visible (quantifiable).
Appreciate your thoughts on this one.

bflynn's picture

It sounds like what you need and are missing is a load planning tool - kind of a master planning application to determine how to allocate work to your people and where you're weak effort wise. By way of clarification, the problem you have IS a master scheduling problem and your complication is that you don't know what your people are going to be demanded to produce on the fly.

At a simple level, you should be able to take the jobs that need to be performed and place a loading on them; use hours per day, hours per week, whatever is best for you, just be consistent. Example, it takes 15 minutes to resolve a locked password and you get 10 calls a day, so you need to allocate 15x10 or 150 minutes per day for locked passwords. After you've done this for all your tasks, you should have something that equals the number of hours your directs work.

Now you can do some planning. Cross chart your direct's knowledge against a schedule of these things and determine where and when something can go wrong. Determine your bottleneck and crosstrain to relieve it. Track the number and type of calls to know when to add another person.

If you don't have the personal capacity to do this, look around and see if one of your directs does.

As much as we like to look toward communications, sometimes in the trenches it just takes jumping in and crunching numbers.


Norwood's picture

I had a workload problem with my team a while ago and although we're certainly smaller in size than you (about 5 people), maybe it's a starting point... we used Excel to help with resource allocation.

We created this spreadsheet where we would have tasks listed by week and the resource associated with each task, identifying how much time it would take to finish it. With some simple formulas we were able to allocate people to tasks throughout the week / month and then see how under or over allocated they were and we would then shift things around.

If your work/tasks are complex in nature or you have a lot of people that you need to manage, this approach may not apply... can u give more info?

BJ_Marshall's picture
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If you use MS Project, you might be interested in Eric Uyttewaal's (he's a PMP) book [url="Dynamic Scheduling with MS Project 2003"[/url]. It includes best practices in how to use the Resource Tables in MS Project. I think this might this be like the load planning tool bflynn mentioned, and it also addresses your master scheduling problem.

The International Institute for Learning, Inc. has a [url=]pretty good class[/url] on doing this. I've taken it and found it very helpful. Bonus: You get the book with the class!


DrMaltz's picture


I'm in a similar situation. Were you able to get far with the suggestions provided?

TedAldrin's picture

Hey Mark,

I am a manager myself and i know how straining it is to manage your resource, especially when they are situated all around the globe. It was mistake prone and troublesome since i was doing all the scheduling and planning of my available resources manually. I had a detailed discussion on it with an IT expert about automated solutions to this problem. He told me to try a resource management software named "eResource Scheduler". I went for the trial and found out that the software was very efficient, easily configurable and collaborative. I think it can also be a solution to your problem. You can log on to their website for more details. 

Be Blessed.


nancycahille's picture

Hey Ted,


I am an astt project manager in a company. Although we are not a big organization but there are sometimes issues related to planning & scheduling of resources. I searched google and have found number of products but none of them were what was i am looking for. Then i saw your post and visited the website of the software recommended by you. I was not fully satisfied but what i like the most in the software is the drag & drop feature and management reports with multiple user login feature. I am sure that these are the basic requirements which every company expect from a software . Hope this will help me a lot in managing my resources.

Thanks Ted.

TedAldrin's picture

Hi Nancy,

Nice to hear from you that you appreciated the application and its features. I would like to know what made you unsatisfied though its has lots of features which helps a user to gain knowledge about the resources availability and its performance.