How to visually capture workload/peaks & troughs across a team?

(13 Posts)
largeprintagathachristie Thu 03-Sep-20 16:12:34

I'm a new manager with a small team of four people.
I need to get everyone to capture the major things they have to deliver for the next 12 months.

So I can capture and understand the whole of the department's work, anticipate peaks and troughs/divvy up the workload fairly/push back on incoming workload from higher management when appropriate.

I am not a visual person and my default would be a Word or Excel doc. Like, OMG September 2021 has eight major pieces of work that need to be delivered, and OMG Janet has four committees to run in May and John has none. Ooh, I wonder if I'm moving towards something in Excel, that's sortable by team members' name and month. But, as you see, not really visual.

Project planning software would probably be overkill at this stage. But happy to be corrected as it's many many years since I got into a tangle with it and gave up. Something that will take me a month to learn how to use won't work right at the moment.

thank you

OP’s posts: |
Jen435 Thu 03-Sep-20 16:22:45

Try Monday or Trello - I think both have a free version you can use, and are quite straight forward so wouldn't take ages to learn how to use. Somewhat visual but options to adapt it to suit you, and easier than an excel.

stayingontherail Thu 03-Sep-20 18:53:13

I wouldn’t discount excel for this given it’s a small team and you can sort by person. Dates across the top, projects/deliverables In column a, lead person in column b, then put the activity across the rows with start dates, deliverable dates etc. Far easier and quicker to do then messing around with project management software.

user12642379742146 Thu 03-Sep-20 18:57:24

You can add auto charts to excel based on spreadsheet data. So you can have your sortable table and then a visual representation of it that automatically updates.

user12642379742146 Thu 03-Sep-20 18:58:53,how%20your%20data%20will%20look.&text=When%20you%20find%20the%20chart%20you%20like%2C%20click%20it%20%3E%20OK.

Breadandroses1 Thu 03-Sep-20 19:05:48

I just do things like this in excel. I am Not Visual. You can always convert it to a chart.

The difficulty is you can count the number of pieces of work but not the time it takes- so sarah has one deliverable, but it's a big one and will take 15 days, but mark has 6 smaller ones of one day each.

May not be a problem if you're really clear on how much work they all are.

emptyplinth Thu 03-Sep-20 19:09:12

A Gantt chart might work, it's simple to put together, you can do it Excel and it will give you a really simple overview of workload.

CatBatCat Thu 03-Sep-20 19:11:58

Asana. This has trello style card view or list view for tasks and you can also view in a timeliness grant chart view to see where the bottlenecks are.

JaJaDingDong Thu 03-Sep-20 19:23:33


Day dates across the top
Names down the left
Then you block out the dates each person is busy and merge the cells so you can write in them what it is they're doing.

Or you can put activities down the left and names in the merged cells.

Merryoldgoat Thu 03-Sep-20 19:39:10

OP - I created something similar for my finance team in Excel. I could send you a copy if you wanted to see it and have a play? PM me if you’d like it.

SoloMummy Thu 03-Sep-20 20:21:57

I presume they have their calendars online?

I would ask them to retrospectively complete the exercise for the last 12 to 18 months, and forecast whtadabrhey already known for the future on a collaborative calendar plotting time scales.
This givez you an understanding of the history and reality of the workloads in time of each person's responsibilities.

largeprintagathachristie Fri 04-Sep-20 16:08:28

Really appreciate all the replies, thank you.

OP’s posts: |
Merryoldgoat Fri 04-Sep-20 17:06:12

OP - I tried to reply to your PM but the message didn't seem to send, or it sent around 10 times...

Anyway - I've emailed you.

Do reply if you need to.

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