Blog | 03.01.2012

Team workload is a strong lead indicator of potential problems

Small setups of 50 employees or less are managed directly by founders and CEO. Line of sight management ensures good governance. As companies scale, it becomes increasingly hard to know what is happening in the trenches. Teams may be overloaded for extended stretches, or may be spending relatively few hours on actual work (though time in office may appear reasonable).Our product, Sapience, helps management at all levels to discover teams that are overloaded (>7.5 work hours per person per day) or under-utilized (<6 work hrs per person per day). This information is a ‘lead indicator’ of potential operational or management issues in the project. ‘Lead indicators’ are vital as they alert you and provide time to work out the right solution.

For one thing, both often cause attrition. Employees leave either because they are stressed for long stretches, or don;t have enough work. But the real problems can be even deeper.

Low utilization can mean: –   Lack of proper management oversight, leading team members to be relatively slack in terms of work

  • Inadequate inputs from client, causing the team to be less productive
  • Tendency to have a slow start on fixed cost projects, creating future pressure to meet deadlines
  • In T&M projects, assuming that low productivity does not matter, since revenue is assured

All of these mean a significant (and often hidden) hit to revenue and/or profitability.

Overloaded teams also reflect serious under-estimation of effort, poor management (tendency to push team too hard), unreasonable client pressure (on T&M contracts), other operational issues. These can help improve profitability on future projects by making effort calculations more accurate, or being able to negotiate higher headcount on T&M deals.

With Sapience, you can improve governance significantly, head off potential problems, and boost revenue and profit.