Project Managers have to create project schedules to track their team’s progress. Most people learning Project Management Online Training reveal they struggle with creating project schedules because of the many aspects of it.
A Project Manager has to set up a timeline and delegate tasks with deadlines. On top of that, allocating resources, keeping everything under budget, and adjusting plans according to project progress keep a constant managerial input relevant to project handling. This article will discuss how to create a robust project schedule.
Step 1: Define Goals
The first thing a Project Manager takes on during scheduling is defining the goals and deliverables of the project. These goals become the backbone of the schedule as they help teams set timelines for achieving each goal and help them track their progress.
Additionally, this step should involve identifying possible hiccups that might occur during each task to set realistic expectations and deadlines. Budget constraints or other limitations should be considered when defining goals.
Step 2: List Major And Minor Tasks
Work breakdown structure (WBS) is an organizational structure that allows managers to prioritize and schedule tasks that are in line with project goals. A necessary part of scheduling projects Is to create a WBS. This involves listing down tasks that need to be done to achieve project goals as well as any tasks that are necessary deliverables to move to the next step, i.e., project dependencies.
A WBS will help managers create a hierarchy of tasks in terms of priority and enable them to delegate them in minor chunks to the team.
Step 3: Set Task Durations
After identifying tasks, an estimate of the time to complete each task should be set. Often, precedents help in predicting a task’s duration. For example, a market analysis is something a team has handled before, and you have that data to check how long it took. Realistically, it is wise to give the team this much time to avoid running cold on deadlines.
Events outside of our control can often delay task completion, which is why project management basics courses advise setting benchmarks for unexpected intrusions should be set to keep up with the schedule.
Step 4: Plan Resource Allocation
Resource allocation may or may not be straightforward, but planning it is necessary for a good project schedule. Identify the resources needed to accomplish each task and establish their limits according to availability. Budget constraints may limit resource allocation, and that should be factored into the project schedule.
Step 5: Start A Calendar
After setting up a plan for resource allocation, generate a timeline that incorporates all the information given above. Add tasks to specific days and weeks to add accountability measures for the team.
There is plenty of Project Management Software in the market that can help Managers set up schedules in collaboration with their teams. This software often allows automatic updates on progress based on task completion. You can find a list of free resources that can help you create schedules here.
Step 6: Get The Team Involved
A Project team has to take ownership of the work for the project to be successful. Project Managers should streamline effective communication methods to involve the team in their dedication to sticking to the project schedule.
Team involvement ensures that everyone is on the same page about task handling. This ensures compliance with the timeline and greater productivity.
Step 7: Update The Calendar
Once the system is set up, it is important to track the progress of the system to ensure it is effective. Track the completion of tasks to ensure they meet deadlines, prioritize solving issues that can cause delays, and update the schedule according to recent data points. Project Management Software can help keep track of changes as they happen.
Effective communication is key to keeping the schedule up with the changing dynamics of the project. Hold regular meetings and streamline a communication channel such as email to ensure everyone is aware of the situation at hand. This perpetuates a system of accountability within team members to stay focused on their deliverables.
Project scheduling can be made easy through knowledge, experience, and breaking tasks down into small parts.