Workload Management is available to all Pro and Enterprise Plan customers
Workload management is the process of efficiently allocating and managing work across your team. When implemented successfully, it helps in:
- Maximizing your teams' performance
- Optimizing workload
- Promoting high work efficiency and
- Driving employee satisfaction
Key benefits of workload management:
- Improved Visibility: Managers can get quick insights into who is working on what in their team and their workload level. Agents and project-only users can view their own workload across modules in a single pane of glass.
- Manage Employee Workload: Managers can identify the right resources for assigning any work and balance the workload of overworked employees by re-assigning or re-distributing their work.
Enabling Workload Management
How can you access the workload module?
Workload Management has to be first enabled from Admin > Project and Workload Management > Workload Management.
After clicking on 'Workload Management' on the admin screen, follow the bellow steps to enable the module:
- A section on 'Manage Workload' will open up. Click on 'Enable'.
- A pop-up titled 'Enable Workload Management' will show up. Click on 'Proceed' option.
Enabling it will introduce planning fields (planned start date, planned end date, and planned effort) in ticket and problem forms. In change and release forms, as planned start and end dates are already present, only planned effort will be additionally introduced. Agents will then be able to plan the dates, add effort, and get an overview of their assigned work in the workload module.
Note: For accounts that have workspaces enabled and have created multiple workspaces:
1. The Workload Management module will function as a global module and workload settings will apply to the entire account.
2. Agents will be able to visualize their work from across workspaces in the workload module.
WHO can access the workload module once it's enabled?
You can view your workload as well as your team’s workload based on the privileges assigned to you.
Agents who have access to tickets, problems, changes, releases, or projects as well as project-only users will by default be able to see the workload module under "My Work" on the top navigation bar.
They will only see their own work as per their access permissions.
You can additionally supervise your team’s workload if you have been granted a role with these permissions:
Manage team members’ workload - You will be able to manage the workload of all those agents who have been added as members (not observers) to the agent groups you are present in.
Manage project members’ workload - If you are a project manager, you will be able to manage the workload of all your project members.
If you have workspaces enabled in your account, the "Manage team members’ workload" privilege will only apply to the agent groups present in the workspace in which the permission has been granted.
Default roles such as supervisor, problem or project manager are populated with the relevant supervisor level permissions when the workload module is enabled in an account.
The module can be accessed from the left-navigation bar by supervisors/managers.
Disabling Workload Management
An admin can disable Workload Management as below:
- Click on 'Workload Management' icon on the admin screen.
- Click on the 'Disable' option.
Once Workload Management is disabled,
- All planning fields that were introduced after enabling it will be unavailable
- Workload and Work Schedule modules will be hidden
- All workflows that reference the hidden planning fields will no longer function
- All Freshservice API calls that reference hidden planning fields will no longer function
Before we get into the details of how you can manage workload, let's understand the basics of workload management.
What is workload?
Any work assigned in the tickets, problems, changes, releases, tasks, and projects modules contributes to the workload of agents and project-only users. When this work is planned, a day-wise summary of it is displayed in the workload module either in the form of workload count, workload hours, or percentage of working hours occupied.
What do we mean by 'planning work'?
Planning work means indicating the dates on which you will work on an item and estimating the effort (in time) required to finish it. For effective workload management, it is very important that your team plans the work assigned to them.
But before we talk about how to plan work, let’s discuss a few important terminologies related to planning:
These fields are added to ticket, problem, change, release, task, and project task forms when the workload module is enabled in an account (if they are not already present by default).
Planned Start Date - Tentative date on which work will be started.
Planned End Date - Tentative date on which work will be completed.
Planned Effort - Estimated amount of time required to complete the work.
Know more about automating the entry of Planned Start Date and Planned End Date fields here.
Any piece of work that has values for planned start date, planned end date, and planned effort filled is considered to be planned.
Any work that has not been planned completely is considered to be unplanned.
Any work that has status as 'in-progress' . If the current date has passed the planned end date (i.e intended completion date) but the status of the item is still open or in-progress, it is considered to be delayed and is indicated with red colour.
The workload card of each person gives the count of planned, unplanned, and delayed work (upcoming feature).
How can agents and project-only members plan their work?
To plan any piece of work, you can enter the planning details while creating it or update these properties later. These fields will be available in all the task, project task, ticket, change, problem, or release forms and can be updated easily, anytime.
Learn how you can automate the entry of planned values here.
How is workload displayed in Workload Management?
Workload can be visualized on a calendar view if it has been planned (partially or completely). You can view it by:
Workload Count (Count of items) - It needs only planned dates to be filled.
Workload Hours (Hours/day that have been planned) - It needs both the planned dates + effort to be filled.
Workload Hours as % (% of working hours that have been planned) - It needs both the planned dates + effort to be filled.
Available hours and Available Hours as % are two upcoming views that will be added soon.
Note: An agent’s workload is displayed as per their time zone.
To help you understand this better, let's take this example:
Agent Name: John Doe's
Working Location: London (UTC + 1 hrs)
John's Supervisor's Name: Rachel
Working Location: San Francisco (UTC - 7hrs).
John plans to work on Ticket 'A' from 15th August 6 AM (UTC + 1 hrs in London) to 16th August 6 PM (UTC + 1 hrs in London). When Rachel views John's workload in the workload module, she will see the start date as 15th August 6 AM only even though 15th August 6 AM is actually 14th August, 10 PM in her location (San Francisco). This is done so that Rachel gets the correct picture of John's workload and the count is not influenced by timezone differences.
If Rachel decides to update the date, she will be able to view it in both her time zone and John's time zone.
To know more about these metrics and how they are calculated, please read this article: Calculating workload.
Know more about visualizing workload here.
Exceptional case: Since Rachel is John's supervisor, we assume that Rachel has all the privileges or more than those with John.
Architecturally, Freshservice module accesses are assigned based on user roles and scope of those roles. There could be cases where agents have access to additional modules and items that their supervisors do no have. In such cases:
- Situation: Supervisor doesn't have access to a specific module such as 'changes'but the agent has it
Outcome:The supervisor will not see any item from that module and the workload metrics will also not reflect that count. Therefore, the supervisor will not get the true picture of the agent's workload.
- Situation: Supervisor has access to the same modules as the agent but doesn't have access to some work items that the agent is working on:
Outcome: The supervisor will be shown the correct workload count but will not be able to see the non-accessible workload items. Information on this will be available by clicking on the day-level workload cell.