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The workload plan in a service company: global approach
Resource management

The workload plan in a service company: global approach

Content manager
October 21, 2021
7 min.

The workload plan is at the heart of project planning for any service company. It is an indispensable reference tool that is the reference point for all project stakeholders. Having a workload planning tool is therefore a real necessity, as it frames and organizes a project in its entirety. Any service company that implements a workload plan should not do so lightly and, above all, should not be allowed to make mistakes, as this could have consequences on the company's profitability! In this article, Napta discusses the definition of a workload plan, the advantages of a dedicated tool and some tips on how to create your own. 

Definition of a workload plan

A workload plan is an operational tool, which details with high precision : 

  • The participants throughout the project (1 leader (director, manager) accompanied by 1 or more collaborators who accompany him/her in the project).
  • The period of time allocated to each person to carry out their mission in its entirety (day, week, month). 
  • The margin allowed between the project and its completion, with the corresponding impact on the delay of client deliverables...

In service companies, this workload plan is driven either by :

  1. the operations managers
  2. project managers
  3. those responsible assignment

The benefits of having a load planning tool

This tool generally takes the form of a shared cloud server. In this way, all those involved in the project have access to all project information, and can monitor project updates in real time. Service companies use a workload planning tool because it enables :

  • Constant work. The project is punctuated by periods / stages defined before the project.
  • Collaborate more easily! You position employees on assignments before and during the project.
  • Notify, via a notification system, one or more project stakeholders of a change, a modification, a delay, a new key element, etc. 
  • Adjust the pace, if the schedule is too busy, neglected or underestimated. 
  • All employees share a 360° view of the project. Everyone knows what stage the project is at, what stage is next, and which employees are involved.
  • The time invested by the employee is reported. The project manager can quickly see the hours worked by each person. He can thus relieve a member of staff who has found himself on all fronts, redistribute tasks to another, etc.
  • In addition, the project manager has 360° visibility of the availability of everyone in the project. This allows more flexibility throughout the project. 

A workload planning tool is ideal for defining the scope of action of your various collaborators. It's also a useful tool for providing information, asking questions about project progress, and taking counter-measures in the event of an incident on the schedule, etc. 

How to develop a workload plan for your service company?

An Excel workload plan: a good solution?

It's common for service companies to use online software that's virtually free of charge. However, these solutions, such as Excel or ERP software, are not suited to the nature of your business. In this case, an Excel-based workload plan is very practical for service companies with 10 to 30 employees or less. As soon as this threshold is crossed, they lose their footing!

The reasons are very diverse: 

  • This software is not shared, it limits the collaboration of its users. 
  • The impossibility of centralising data. This leads to a waste of time consolidating information in Excel, risk of errors, loss of data...
  • As a result, it quickly becomes obsolete. The lack of collaboration on the Excel file leads to a lack of transparency and ineffective communication between project stakeholders, which can lead to misunderstandings, delays, etc.
  • The incompatibility of an Excel file of assignment with each other. Each employee has their own Excel version. Consolidating it is a real headache for managers. 

Use a professional tool!

Managing your business with a high-performance workload plan is a vital necessity. You undoubtedly work with digital tools, renowned for saving your staff time and boosting productivity. Sales opportunities are managed in a CRM, employee HR information in an HRIS and invoicing in an ERP. But are you still drawing up your workload plan on an Excel spreadsheet? 

With a more reliable and dynamic workload planning tool, you can consolidate all the data needed to draw up a workload plan, thanks to interconnection with the above-mentioned tools, saving time and avoiding errors. The Napta solution, for example, once integrated into your company, ensures that all your data is better kept, for easier project follow-up.

Questions from Internet users

How to calculate the load of a project?

Your project requires many players to make it happen: project manager, employees, manager assignment, sometimes partner or HR manager, etc. Not to mention interactions with external service providers or freelancers. To calculate the workload of your project, we recommend that you take into account the planned time allocated to each member of staff. Check that the number of hours invested leaves you room for manoeuvre, while allowing you to add hours of work if necessary. 

When you buy a tool, to ensure that it meets your expectations, check that it ticks all the boxes in your specifications

Who should be responsible for the workload plan? 

The workload plan is maintained by the operations managers, project managers and managers assignment. 

Let’s sum up!

A workload plan calculates and allocates the workloads of your teams for one or more missions. More than a simple support tool, it allows you to manage a project from A to Z. For good performance, we recommend that you adopt a solution on a shared server, such as the cloud. This way, each employee is directly informed of any new modification or progress in the project. By using a trusted service provider, you have a complete tool at your disposal. 

Would you like to find out more? We've got plenty of resources to help you go further.

To complement this topic, read our template "The perfect load plan for successful deployment".

See also our guides, templates and checklists in the Resources tab.

See you soon at Napta!

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