Workload Forecast

Workload Forecast - On an ongoing basis, usually monthly, the Portfolio Manager and senior leaders should get together for a planning session.

This meeting should be scheduled at the end of the month or the very beginning of the month.

The workload forecast is the process you use to look at each person in the portfolio and estimate his or her workload for the next two to three months.

This is vital to ensuring that all your people are busy and that the critical work on the team is getting done.

Even though there is usually enough work for everyone, you need to make sure that you know what is most important and that the staff is focused on completing the highest priority work first.

The workload must include all the types of work that your group works one. This includes projects, support, discretionary requests, and any projects that are assigned.

Don't forget to add vacation, training, holidays, management time, etc. to get a complete picture of the next three months for each person. A simple spreadsheet can work well, with people across the columns and the potential work activities on the rows.

During the first pass, you would estimate and categorize the workload for each person for the next three months. After the first pass, you need to review everything again to ensure that everyone is fully allocated and that the highest priority work is being worked on.

You may find, for instance, that some people have too much work allocated and some people do not have enough. You will have the information you need to balance the workload between these people.

If the skills are not interchangeable, you will need to stretch out the work of the over allocated people, and work with the client to assign high-priority work to the under allocated people.

If not, then adjust the forecast accordingly. You should be able to estimate the work for the next month (or current month if you meet at the beginning of the month) pretty precisely.

However, you will be less accurate the further you go out in the future. If you estimate the work over a three month window, some of the estimates for the second and third month will be little more than guesses.

However, if you find that people do not have enough work allocated two or three months in the future, you will have an opportunity adjust the plan to add high priority work to the workload forecast.

After the workload forecast meeting, the managers must pass the information to the rest of the group so that they know what the priorities are. They should know what work has been assigned for the most current month so that they do not take on other, lower priority work instead.

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