30 Dec 2021

When managing a team, you have a huge responsibility in delegating work, keeping members focused, productive and most importantly motivated. There is a lot that comes into play when being a project manager, or a manager in general!

Thanks to the advanced age of technology that we live in, several tools can be used to help. Most businesses adopt task or project management software to help with the load.

As amazing and coherent as they are, you still have to do a lot of manual work to get more bang for your buck.

We’ve now reached an era where AI is used to facilitate most aspects of our lives. This also includes how we manage work. By combining conventional project management tools with AI, we give you workload automation software!

What is a workload automation tool?

A workload automation tool is a system that allows your business to distribute reliably the tasks and responsibilities throughout your entire team. With the use of AI, the software can optimize resources to complete projects in the more efficient way possible.

Artificial intelligence (AI) uses machine learning to imitate human intelligence. It combines a large amount of data with fast processing and intelligent algorithms allowing software to learn automatically from patterns and features found in the data.

By taking into consideration variables like skill set, availability and effort, a workload automation tool will provide you with the perfect employee to complete each task successfully.

Automated work management is a solution to all the limitations that come with manually planning. In most cases, a lot of guesswork is done, which can be a risky move that will end up bringing more obstacles in the long run.

1) Maximizes resource allocation

Resource allocation is essential to execute projects as efficiently as possible. A resource is anything that is needed to properly achieve completion. This can be desired skill sets or the adoption of a necessary software or tool. Depending on the type of industry you’re in, different requirements would be needed.

As important as this is, resource management is not adopted by the majority of companies. In a survey done by the Project Management Institute (PMI) only 26% of businesses always use resource management to estimate and allocate resources.

Automated workload tools can effectively handle scheduling, reminders, and follow-ups to eliminate the need for human input. The innovative workspace provides timeless automatic assistance by sharing tools that foster effective teamwork and productivity for every member of the team from the least skilled to the most.

You can attribute job titles, seniority or location so that you can filter your resources easily. A global schedule with custom tags can help managers with deciding whom to assign for a given project.

By helping to make sure that nothing is overlooked, these tools are capable of saving humans time on their various efforts. You can integrate it with popular communication tools for a more productive process when it comes to getting tasks resolved.

2) Provides predictive analytics

Predictive analytics in project management is the process of making the right predictions about future projects. It helps you identify early warning signs which in turn reduce risk and drive more successful project outcomes.

The ability of AI to manage complex analytics allows the tool to observe the way that a project is moving and make educated predictions about the future of the project.

Unfortunately, humans are more likely to get caught overlooking specific shifts in the project as they're not seeing them directly. While AI can make valuable predictions based on what it can see through all of the moving parts of a project.

With the use of AI, a workload automation tool can monitor budgets and scheduling, and over time it can learn to identify potential impacts on these processes.

This makes it possible to recognize when something is occurring that is likely to lead to scheduling conflicts. Making it possible to offer up suggestions on alternate completion dates if the scheduling is off track. It also means that the system may be able to help offer personalized coaching for team members based on learned habits.

3) Keep track of budget and expenses

Monitoring a project budget is an important responsibility that managers face. It’s not only about keeping track of your costs but also managing risks and making sure that your spending is at a healthy level.

It’s quite expected that if you don’t keep track of your expenses, you’ll run the risk of overspending or running out of money before the end of a project. But somehow less than 60% of projects meet the original budget according to the PMI report. Which will obviously harm your business performance.

However, keeping up to date with your budget and expenses is easier said than done. Especially if you have several projects being executed at the same time. This is where a workload automation tool can save the day.

By not only keeping track of your teams' responsibilities, but you can also get each member to register any costs that have come up. You can then analyse the costs for individual project tasks like scoping, iteration, building and QA.

Better yet, you can add a cap on the amount of spending each project can have. When you’re getting close to maximum, the automation tool will notify you. You can then evaluate if you should invest more in a project or if there was some extra spending left.

4) Provides autonomy within teams

Autonomy in the workplace means that you give your team the freedom to choose how they want to work. They get to decide how and when their work should be done. What we call today flexible working.

No one enjoys when a superior is constantly looking over your shoulder, or frequently asking what you’re working on. Micromanaging will end up tampering with your teams' productivity and job satisfaction.

Known market leaders like Spotify, GitHub and Google have publicly shared their policies on allowing employees to self-select the project and teams they work with. With the argument that encouraging higher levels of ownership, better and innovative ideas are created.

Unfortunately, we all can’t be like these giants, who have what seems like an endless budget and are always ahead of the game when it comes to technology. But, what we can take from them is that encouraging autonomy at work increases flexibility, creativity and productivity.

With the use of a workload automation tool, you provide your team the space to choose how to complete tasks. As each project, task and subtask are registered within your workspace, there is no need to be on top of your team. As long as deadlines are met and completions are done properly, you can allow your employees to choose how and where they want to work.

5) Increases sense of accountability

By keeping track of what has to be done and having set deadlines, you can increase the sense of accountability within your team. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that responsibilities are clearly defined for each employee.

Your role starts from the beginning, where you help team members set measurable, individualized goals that align with their role and skill set. You should discuss the important metrics that will help them evaluate if their achieving expectations or not. It comes down to what was previously mentioned in regards to autonomy. If your teams feel like they have the freedom to dictate how they work, they will also feel more responsible for their actions.

You should also keep in mind that providing frequent constructive feedback will also increase their levels of accountability. In a study done by Gallup, it was found that only 26% of employees strongly agreed that the feedback they received improved their performance. Also, almost 50% of them received feedback a few times or less.

By keeping track of each employees workload and responsibilities, as well as the time it takes them to complete each task, you can have a more realistic view of how they are performing.

6) Improves prioritisation of tasks

When you work with several projects that have a number of tasks that need to be completed, you may need to develop an effective system to manage them efficiently. By prioritizing tasks, you can determine what should be accomplished first based on importance and urgency.

Doing this manually has several limitations. You may find yourself prioritising all tasks as maybe at that moment, they all seem important enough. This however will probably cause chaos within your team.

By understanding the best ways to prioritise tasks, you can save time, increase productivity as well as performance. This will allow your team to complete important tasks first, achieve deadlines successfully, and have more time to finish more difficult responsibilities. Basically, you’ll be able to achieve more in less time!

When working with a large team, or a virtual one, it can be challenging to ensure that all members are working on tasks that need to be prioritised. With an online automation tool, you can have all the necessary information in one place. As you prioritise tasks or any unexpected changes, your teams work schedule will adjust accordingly.

7) Prevents overworking and burnout

Around two-thirds of the global workforce have at some point experience burnout. This can have a substantial negative impact on your business. Employees that currently feel this way are typically 13% less confident in their performance and are more likely to discuss how to approach goals with their manager.

Talking to your employees is important when anticipating exhaustion at work but you can also take matters into your own hands by analysing their workload. One of the main causes of burnout is unmanageable workloads.

With a workload management tool, you can have an overall picture of what everyone in your team is doing. With this, you can get a sense of who in your team is over-working and find solutions to distribute tasks more efficiently. By doing so, you can alleviate the pressure on those who might be struggling with motivation due to stress.

Also with an automation tool, tasks will be distributed depending on each individuals' skill set and availability. Meaning, that no team member should be working after hours, only if they choose to do so.

It helps provide a good work-life balance, as employees can add their working hours, holidays, sick days and so forth to the software. You can trust the tool to find the best solution possible and ensure that everyone in your team is working at 100% capacity and nothing more!

To sum up

While humans are more likely to get caught overlooking specific shifts in the project because they are not seeing them directly, AI can see through all of the moving parts and then make valuable predictions based on what it is seeing. AI can monitor budgets and scheduling, and over time it can learn to identify potential impacts on these processes. Planless uses this innovation to predict the most suitable team member for a task and assign them with designated tasks.