The purpose of preparing a manload is to relate the time and volume of the work. This forms the basis for further standardization of the work.
A manload is not the same as a workload. A workload indicates how much work an employee must perform. That does not say anything about whether this is too much or too little. Workload is all about volume.
A manload not only provides insight into what work is being done. It also makes clear how it is performed, what times and occupation it involves. Through good process labor studies, this forms the basis for further standards in the field of optimal utilization, lead times, basis for process improvement and is related to capacity planning. The manload therefore studies the function at the activity level.
When evaluating workloads and staffing, the following steps should be taken:
1. Determining the activities and the associated time.
2. Determine the current staffing of the department.
3. making observations for the efficiency determination.
4. determining the standards against which employees must work.
5. determining the required employees.
There are several options for conducting a process or work study. This can be done by sampling or factual observations. In both cases, the functional activities must be carefully mapped. A general picture is drawn up in advance in consultation with the manager and employee. A number of test observations will follow, in which the concept activity list will be tested against reality. The researcher then has the choice of which methodology to apply. This depends on the availability of researchers, the function being investigated, the spread, etc.
In the example below, continuous observations are assumed. This has the advantage that the researcher is more closely involved in the execution of the work, in the sense that it is easier to explain why the work is carried out as such and the deviations can be explained more effectively. In terms of time, it is much more intensive than sampling methods.
Administrative assistant – concept activities list.
The list is built up with a sequential numbering for administrative purposes, the description of the activity and the unit of measurement. The volume is obtained by historical research from, for example, a call register or by looking at the post book of incoming documents. The current or forecast figures are used here for later occupancy determination. Frequency can be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.
The time estimate per activity is based on feedback from employee and manager. This part will be further investigated by observation. The Qty [quantity] is the number of times the activity occurs per week. Since it is a daily activity, the Qty is always 5 [days a week]
It is striking that the function has only one activity that consumes 92% of the time. Because this is the main activity, the employee will quickly experience other small activities as disruptive and annoying, such as Calls and Cash Management. People tend to consider main activities as more important by definition. While the occasional Calls can be customer moments. The question is whether you want to leave these calls with this employee. [focus]
In addition, the total time spent is exactly one working day [480 minutes]. This is exceptional and shows that the employee counts towards his working day. [Note: 23 invoices means that the activity is performed 23 times a day with a time commitment of 250 minutes at a time. – ergo: several employees carry out this activity]
The activities over the week give an indicative occupancy of 15.4 Fte. This includes the factor Personal Hygiene, sickness absence, holidays and the actual number of hours worked per week. Since this is a preliminary estimate, this should not be overly valued. [note: there are therefore 16 people working full-time in this position]
The Calls are highlighted here as an example. Based on 10 observations, the average duration of a Call appears to be much lower than estimated. There is a peak of 3.8 minutes. If we disregard this as an incident, the most common duration is between 2.5 and 3 minutes. A standard time of 2.5 minutes is then fair, given the spread.
the number of observations made can be statistically determined depending on the reliability desired. For convenience, 10 have been chosen here. The observations should be spread over several weeks to form an objective picture.
The standard time is determined in consultation with the employee and manager. In addition to the statistical evidence, there should also be clarity about the reason for outliers. It is very important that the employee recognizes himself in the observations. It is therefore recommended that the employee register his time from time to time. The employee becomes more aware of the time spent, but also of the inefficiency in the execution of his work.
The recalculation based on the observations compared to the estimate shows that there are large deviations within the activities. A number of activities are clearly higher than estimated in terms of time expenditure and some are much lower. It is therefore not surprising if the employee experiences the archiving of documents as his greatest workload. In this situation, the best proposal is to take up 1 Fte for the small activities while the other Fte perform the main activity [specialization]
The final calculation shows that the utilization is almost optimal. In fact 0.4 too low, but too little for reclassification. What is clear is that this function has become a collection of activities with little coherence. The small irrelevant activities disturb the main activity. By splitting them off, there is room for optimization of the function. The employee can then fully focus on this and will be able to greatly reduce his ramp-up and ramp-down time because the number of disruptions decreases. After such restructuring, new observations can be made on the basis of the same manload to measure the effects
A manload is not purely for reducing occupancy. It is mainly intended to gain insight into which activities are carried out, the time pressure, volume and reason for inefficiencies that emerge during the observations. Steps to improve can be taken in consultation with the employee and manager. Before working on the occupation itself, it is wise to first examine the content of the job, reduce possible work inefficiencies and then evaluate the occupation yourself after re-examination. Nevertheless, such steps can be carried out in quick succession or even simultaneously if the deviations are relatively large and intervention is required.