I worked on a team that shared a single resource to handle a certain set of tasks for new telecommunication installation projects. Catherine was a hard worker and had a lot of work coming her way pretty consistently. We had multiple projects at one time that needed her. The PMs of course developed our schedules with her input, she was at kickoff meetings, and she was always in the loop on what was needed from her. However, because there were so many projects that relied on her, Catherine felt the stress. Additionally, if one project schedule slipped, others were impacted, so the PMs felt the stress, too.
This was not an isolated incident or two. It was a situation in which Catherine felt the burden of being the bottleneck. There were days when she expressed great frustration at this.
A PM suggested a simple solution: bi-weekly short meetings with Catherine. For 15 minutes in alternating weeks we compared our schedules to let Catherine know what was coming in the next few weeks. The goal was to ensure there was no overlap in her scheduling and to work around any potential conflicts.
It was a simple solution with such a big impact, easing timeline concerns and reducing stress for all the team members.