Hi everyone,

I've just been chosen as the new mgr of a Reporting(business reports) team of 5 people. The main problem i'm having at the moment is the work allocation amongst them.

I need to allocate the tasks by the next week. The workload is quiet heavy and fluctuant, the expectations of the stakeholders are very high in terms of deadlines and quality of the work, therefore i'm having headaches when i think about it.

The question i have for you is : How would you do a workload allocation amongst 4/5 guys if you have a very tight deadline ?

Thank you,


lindge's picture
Training Badge

Coming in brand new, you may not have much context to who has relationships with whom and who has what expertise.  So I would suggest asking the team themselves how they want to allocate the work to meet the deadline.  This will also give you some good insight into how the team operates and the dynamics between the team members.

flexiblefine's picture

You're the new guy -- the best thing you can do to start is to learn how things are done and how they have been done. I agree with Lindge -- ask the team how they want to handle it, because they probably have ideas based on experience you don't have yet.

Houston, Texas, USA
DiSC: 1476

rattlesnake's picture


Actually i'm not a new guy in the team, i was chosen as the new mgr from inside the team. This position is new, previously all of us used to report to the higher management, but as of 1st of December, due to the increased level of workload, a Reporting mgr position has been opened and i was chosen to manage the 5 persons.

What approach should i use to push them to get deliverables and what method should i use for workload allocation?

Thank you,



buhlerar's picture

Bottom line, don't try to change anything you don't have to change.  Obviously there's no way for us to give specific recommendations about who should do what -- we don't know the work or the people.  But I'd generally recommend you don't be too quick to change things around.

Here's my recommended approach.  Start by meeting with each team member to get a good inventory of the work assigned to them previously.  Use this as your starting point (you may be surprised by how many tasks you were unaware of).  Next, create an inventory of your previous responsibilities as a member of the team.  Finally, add in any new responsibilities given to you by your boss.

The main thing you'll probably do is just reassign the tasks you used to do to the other members of the team.  In my experience you may also keep some of these tasks.  For example, I'm assuming since you were the one chosen to lead the team that there were some areas where you were already representing the team (perhaps cross-functional working groups, presentations, etc.).  You might end up keeping some of these (although some of these are possible areas for delegation down the road).  Otherwise, you assign work based on bandwidth and skill-set.  Occasionally you may reassign work from one team member to another (in order to make everything fit), but keep this to a minimum, at least initially.  Everyone's getting used to a new operating model, so minimize change for now.

In many situations like the one you describe, one of your first responsibilities will be to hire a replacement for you.  If so, you might decide to make some of the reassignments temporary until the new person comes on board.  In some cases, you could take this chance to give more complex work (possibly your old assignments) to a high-performer or someone with more experience, and then have them hand off their more routine tasks to the new person to start off.  But again, resist, resist, resist, the urge to change too much.

A word of warning.  All I'm describing is a way to create an initial work plan for your boss this week, which sounds like the immediate issue.  But you definitely need to start one-on-ones with your team and take the other steps outlined in the various MT podcasts.  These will allow you to read the pulse of the situation over time (in order to modify the work assignments as necessary down the road).  Feel free to tell everyone that work assignments may change over time, and make a couple of immediate opportunistic adjustments if you see imbalances, but don't shoot yourself in the foot by changing too much too fast and creating a management problem right out of the chute.

And finally, in my experience there is some risk that you'll want to keep too much of your old work rather than hand it off to the team (to send the message that you're still "one of the guys" etc.).  I gave some examples of tasks you might legitimately keep for yourself, but what you really need to do is take on work from your boss.  He or she presumably created this role because it was too much for them to handle the day-to-day management of this group.  If you keep too much you'll find yourself either be failing to keep pace with deliverables to your boss (bad way to start) or you become a bottleneck on the team's performance (again, bad way to start).

Good luck with the new role!


rattlesnake's picture


many thanks for your time :)

To provide you with even more details, actually the interesting thing is that thisleader/mgr assignment(position) is (at least ofr a period) on the top of my activities. So, apparently, I will have to balance to incoming workload/tasks within the members, including me, as i won't delegate too many tasks i currently have.

As I said, the workload and tasks are fluctuating and until we will standardize a bit the process, their priorities may oscilate as well, depending on their urgency and the stakeholders. 

I know it's gonna be a tough time, but at least I would need a good starting point.