How to manage a large business’ workload with a small team

The way we conduct business is continually changing, especially as most businesses head toward an always-on framework that leaves little idle time.
Software development team
Despite the growing workload, many businesses are making it work with a smaller team and having to deal with the bottlenecks and drama that often ensue. If you are reaching the end of another huge week or about to take on an enormous project, read about how small teams are achieving the impossible with these strategies and tools.

Business management software

All the responsibilities, deadlines and project briefs should not sit on one set of shoulders, but they should be captured within a reliable business management software. This central tool can then control the workload of the team and provide full transparency on what has been done and what work is in the pipeline. It also means that you don’t have to spend half the day chasing up your team for an update and can see what has been done reflected through the software, and action your own tasks accordingly. Many of the leading business management software can be integrated with other platforms, so don’t think you have to replace or remove the parts that are already working.

Revisit all position descriptions

When was the last time you reviewed the position descriptions of your small team and assessed whether the work distribution is still relevant today? Most businesses draft a position description and then never look at it again until the role needs to be recruited for again, which eliminates the chance to optimise and change the role as new information and resources become available. It might be a strategic initiative to get your team together and review each position description in your collection and do some redrafting and ideation around a better split of tasks. Remember, this exercise is not a ‘name and shame’ but an opportunity to identify the shortfalls in your joint output.

Plan for future projects

Poor planning and not being able to anticipate busy periods ahead can be the silent killer for businesses. If you are taking on a large workload then it is imperative that you have meticulous planning in place for each quarter of the year, so you can spot the high-pressure points and tight timelines before they are unfolding around you. You should also feel empowered to ask your staff and clients to be as forthcoming as they can be about their own activity so that you can populate this plan accurately.

Consider outsourced help

For many operations, a small team will suffice for about 60% of the time, but eventually, there is a spike that requires more help and no one has the time to fit more into their schedules. Having outsourced help can really be a lifeline, and you can engage these freelancers as often as you need if you establish a great rapport. It is not uncommon for companies to pay a day rate to a professional when they are in a crunch or have an impromptu pitch or body of work that needs to be turned around quickly. Reach out to a recruitment agency or jump onto a freelance job board and see if you can find a candidate who can help in those busy times and support you when required.

We all like to feel busy at work, but working with an unrealistic workload can be incredibly defeating, especially when there is no light at the end of the tunnel to look forward to. Consider these points discussed today and re-engineer your small team workflow so that you can get on top of the work and start ticking things off your list.

Baburajan Kizhakedath

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