Schedule project management is necessary for ensuring your project is completed on time at the quality that your stakeholders expect. By establishing a reliable schedule, you can outline all task deadlines and stages of your project so you can measure your project’s progress task by task. By breaking your project into major milestones with times or dates associated with them, you can assess where your project is after time has passed and whether you are on track for moving forward toward your project submission date.
When enforcing schedule project management, your calendar is the ultimate point of reference that will keep you and your team on track. Your timelines will hold everyone accountable for completing their work on time and at a quality that won’t require too many revisions or redos that could lead to delays and throw your entire schedule off-course.
Initiating Schedule Project Management
When relying on this project management method, you will want to consider all factors in your project that will influence its timing. Every considerable detail or stage and all small details or possible speed bumps need to be considered so your team can easily follow your defined timeline without time-consuming delays.
You will need to be highly organized and consider the overall big picture goals and the required deliverables to achieve them. For improved efficiency, you will want to break your project into:
- Major milestones or project stages
- Various smaller tasks to assign to team members
By arranging these into a sequential format with a linear timeline to direct your team’s progress, you will give your project a base on which it can stand. This structure will be your go-to resource for everyone to commit to so everything is completed on time.
There are several strategies that you can implement when creating your schedule. Depending on your project’s scope and your required resources, you can adopt the necessary schedule project management techniques. Considering the conditions of your project, you will want to adapt your schedule project management techniques.
Here are the various scheduling techniques that you can establish for your project:
1. Mathematical Analysis
With mathematical logic, you can calculate your project scheduling with all factors of your project scope considered.
Critical Path Method
The CPM involves considering the minimal time completion of your project compared to your maximum expected submission time. With this method, you will address the major tasks involved in your project and your scope. With the CPM, you will need to estimate all task completion times and identify all dependable variables that could influence your project’s progress. With the CPM, you will include milestones that need to be met at certain times to ensure your project is on track.
Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
This method involves linking tasks and establishing the flow of your schedule. You will need to determine all tasks involved and connected in your project and organize them in a logical consecutive order within project milestones. Your timing calculations will rely on:
- Optimistic timing
- “Most-likely” timing
- Pessimistic timing
By averaging these times, you will be able to determine your project’s timelines.
2. Duration Compression
With duration compression, you will have room to adjust your scheduling without impacting the whole project’s timeline. You can also cut scheduling shorter if a project is falling behind.
These are the two methods to try when implementing duration compression for your schedule project management:
With fast-tracking, you can speed up your project process by completing multiple tasks simultaneously. With CPM, you can determine which tasks can be overlapped or propel your project’s timing.
In your scheduling project management, crashing could help speed your process as you incorporate helpful resources. To effectively rely on this strategy, it’s essential to have these resources lined up so they are easily accessible when you need to include them. These resources could consist of software or external services or new team members to keep your project on schedule. It could also entail paying for overtime hours. This solution will likely lead to higher budget costs. Keep in mind that the resources may not be guaranteed for getting everything done on time.
If your project involves many uncertain variables and unclear final results, the simulation could help your schedule project management. You will develop your timeline based on assumptions, which will help when you’re not fully aware of all tasks involved in your project yet, or if any details of your scope change. While you may not know all the involved factors, you will want to consider all possible uncertainties and scope adjustments so your schedule is realistic and attainable.
4. Resource-Leveling Heuristics
In schedule project management, you may notice that you have room for reshaping your scheduling or how you rely on particular resources. You can hone in on the tasks in your project schedule and adjust your resource use, so they’re not under- or over-used in your project. You can focus your tasks around the resources available, like your team members, so they are contributing a balanced amount of time to your project. The possible harm of this method is that it could lead to longer project timelines and costs.
5. Gantt Chart
A Gantt Chart will help you and your team to visualize the overall scheduling of your project. With this bar chart, you can list your project tasks in their sequential order, signified by a bar, with their associated timelines.
6. Task List
Go simple and list your tasks with their expected scheduled completion dates. You can choose to list applications or documents, which is useful for small teams or smaller projects.
A calendar is a basic outline that connects dates to your project’s task deadlines and milestones. Outlined in calendar cells, you can see all the days when your team members should be submitting completed work and recognize if any dates have not been met or delays have occurred in your project’s scheduling. This formatting does not allow much detail or task assignments and does not display the linked tasks.
Leading Your Team to Success with Schedule Project Management
By implementing schedule project management, you will be the enforcer of your project schedule, depending on which technique you’ve chosen. You will want your plan to apply to the factors involved in your project that will be easy for your team members to follow and will make sense considering all resources and tasks required for completion.
When leading your team with your schedule as your main outline, you will need to make sure everyone works at their highest potential efficiency. Your project’s scheduling ultimately depends on your team’s productivity when executing their assigned tasks. If your members are experiencing roadblocks or not meeting their deadlines, you may need to adjust your project scheduling or find solutions to improve your workers’ productivity.
actiTIME Time Tracking for Your Schedule Project Management
Time tracking software, like actiTIME, offers a platform where you can establish your project schedule with all tasks, resources, and dependent variables considered. Through actiTIME, you can share your project details with your team members so they can track upcoming deadlines and milestones that need to be met by specific dates.
This software also includes inputting their hours committed to your project tasks to observe if some are taking longer or shorter than expected and potentially adjust your scheduling accordingly. By tracking your team members’ productivity, you can determine if you need to level your resources or find solutions to enable ultimate efficiency so your project is completed on time for your client’s satisfaction.
See how time tracking will guide your project schedule management process with our actiTIME free trial.