How do you balance workload and team size?

48.2k views23 Upvotes33 Comments

Director of Information Technology in Education, 201 - 500 employees
One word: DENIAL Over 30 years in IT and the teams have never been large enough to handle workload. That’s where the team leader, in concert with the customer (consumer of the services) comes in – it’s their job to rank, prioritize, and re-prioritize as needed the workload.
Individual Contributor of Information Security, 10,001+ employees
It is more than just ranking, prioritizing and re-prioritizing needs. It comes down to how much risk is the customer willing to accept with balancing workload, teams and re-prioritizing what they can do. Obviously, investing in technologies to reduce the capacity needed to meet business operations is key. If the current technologies require more workload to meeting the need, then you have to look hard at how much of an investment is needed to reduce that gap between your teams and what they can do.
Chief Security Officer in Software, 10,001+ employees
This is part of our op and strat planning. We link quarterly and yearly objectives to teams/ individual contributors. We prioritize the asks and link them to strategic objectives or business risks. The additional funding or headcount increases are clearly linked back to deliverables and objectives OR leadership has been made aware of the risk and has chosen not to prioritize the ask. All part of being a leader.
VP of Product Management, 10,001+ employees
Enabling an optimum workforce management is key to achieve a better workload balance and team size. This is a complex subject and requires hours of study and deliberations. At macro level, you need to determine competency of your team members and identify their interest/career path aspirations to map target state competency. You need to create a multi skilled team, which can serve multiple types of workloads basis their availability and bandwidth. The other side of coin is also to closely monitor the productivity of the people who work with you. There has to be a defined KPI against which they have to perform from
sLA perspective. Certain deviation is allowed, but they have to be mathematically assessed. If there is a productivity issue, then work closely with the HR to resolve challenges if any. But this is just starting the journey, there is plot more to it
no title, Self-employed
The more people you have on a team the more communication channels you have and the greater margin for error. Breaking up the projects/workload has shown more success in my experience than adding more and more resources. Smaller teams can act and respond more quickly. If your question is around operational activities you need to approach with metrics so you know the point at which quality will suffer without an additional resource. At that point, the business assumes the risk. Best of luck Daniel.
no title, Self-employed
This is a capacity planning problem. I have attached a spreadsheet that is fairly rudimentary, but effective. Capacity Planning Document First list all of the projects and activities down the first column (Column A). Then list all of your human resources across the top.Starting with the first person (in this example, Cheryl Barnard) go down all of the projects and activities assigning how many hours per week she will spend on every item during the quarter.When you have done this for every person in your group, row 7 will give you the number of hours available (in excess of 40 hours per week), or the number of hours you somehow need to fulfill.What I do is hire a contractor, or contractors to fulfill the void created by hours needed. This can be done by having the contractor be a “floater” that works/helps with many projects, or you may need to readjust everyone’s work assignments.When I get to a certain number of contractors (this is situational), I will convert one to a full time employee. Using contractors in this way allows you to terminate a contract, should you need to shrink your workforce. Another advantage is you can mold behavior of contractors with a full time job being the carrot.If anything is not clear, let me know.
2 1 Reply
Deputy Director Information Technology in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees

thanks for the spread sheet, yes what i do right now is outsourcing any void just to reduce fix cost, but sometimes some adhoc requests from top level management which are not planned really ruin the team occupancy level...

CTO in Software, 2 - 10 employees
For teams looking to improve their workload and delivery, a key factor is to increase visibility through prioritizing, keeping track of who's working on what and identifying team skills.

With the necessary visibility, teams will find that their workloads are not only more manageable but that they can deliver more with the same amount of resources. And with the right understanding on workloads and staffing, a director or manager will be better equipped to justify requests for additional resources.

At a more personal level, increased visibility and improved resource management will reduce burnout among your team, helping improve their happiness at the workplace and helping you balance workload and team size while retaining your top talent.
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
I like this "microservices-esque" approach -->
IT Director in Services (non-Government), 11 - 50 employees
if I will talk about IT market in the middle east, I will say we have to customize and split the workload on the the available team members fairly as much as you, can to avoid any explosion from this high pressure on your team and give them any kind of motivations to push them to finalize the tasks on time, i know this way it will make some pressure sometimes but when you have friendly environment and try to make sometime for fun to clear the stress and refresh your team it will help as well. this plan i will use in case i forced to use the available resources.

if I have extra option with enough budget to hire a new member to my team in case this task will continue for long term, I will do that for sure.
but if this task will be for short term so in this case the outsource will be the ideal solution with some special conditions.
VP Infrastructure and Support Services in Finance (non-banking), 10,001+ employees
Our teams scale up or down by using contractors for specific roles/projects. We are also investing heavily in automation. Workload is managed by a tool and it is easy to see when we have more demand than resources so that we can act accordingly.
2 1 Reply
Deputy Director Information Technology in Services (non-Government), 201 - 500 employees

Thanks for your answer, what tools are u using at the momment to monitor your team work loads?

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