What Is Project Schedule Management?
When collaborating with a team, it isn’t easy to track all the moving parts of a project. As a project manager, you must accept one large task, project, analyze it, and break it down into all components that need to be acknowledged and solved.
You may have found the best group of specialists in your office who you know can complete what the task entails, but in what time frame? What if one person can’t complete their task until another member has finished theirs? What if you overlooked your project’s budget requirements and ended up spending far more money on labor and material costs?
Ultimate chaos, a frustrated group of employees, a late and sloppy result, and a dissatisfied client are among the worst-case scenarios of a disorganized project. As you know, a dissatisfied client also means a client who may move their business and money somewhere else and notify their connections that your company is not reliable for getting the job done. This is why structure is essential when you are managing a team and a project.
Why You Should Try Project Schedule Management
Project schedule management entails creating a sturdy base that you and your team can follow and refer to during your project’s implementation. It will consider all elements of your project and any possible obstacles you may face, so you and your workers are invincible in the face of whatever comes your way while working on figments of the whole project.
With a schedule, you’ll notice fewer or no massive irreversible mistakes as you can prevent them in your various schedule stages and resolve them before they impact the entire result. This system helps ensure that your project will be completed on time and at the quality that your clients or audience are expecting. As you know, a happy client means more business and profits for your business. A successful project is imperative for boosting your positive reputation and team satisfaction, too.
What Is Project Scheduling?
When performing project schedule management, your focus should be on creating and following a schedule. By relying on project schedule management, you will have everything listed in one place.
Here is what your detailed project schedule will need to include:
- Project Scope Statement, including project deliverables, solution, expected outcomes, etc.
- Resources and materials involved and for which tasks
- Task breakdown and assignment to team members
- Task duration and designated deadlines
- Task dependencies map or outline
- Project milestones or stages requiring project manager review and approval
With the help of your schedule, every intricate detail should be appropriately inputted and timed, making a functional Work Breakdown Structure for everyone to follow. Your schedule will guide you smoothly to your project’s finish line.
How to Establish Project Schedule Management
With the various moving parts of your project, you will want to know everything there is to know so you can appropriately time all tasks and stages of your project as they lead to the final deadline.
Here is how to begin forming your project schedule:
1. Gather all the necessary information
When conducting project schedule management, there are plenty of factors that you are responsible for keeping in mind as the project is executed. You’ll want to ensure your material and labor costs suit the outlined budget, and if possible, you have some room in your budget for potential obstacles or extra charges that may be incurred.
While your schedule will heavily entail analyzing and planning the timing of task completion according to their difficulty, research required, materials involved, and so on, remember to factor in your employees’ already-existing scheduling. If they have other large projects or unrelated work assignments on their plate or have planned vacation days, you will need to reshape their expected task deadlines. This could impact the scheduling of other members’ tasks.
2. Establish a work breakdown structure
Your work structure will include naming all team members to their appointed tasks. That way, all parties involved in the project know who is handling what and when it should be completed. This accountability will help determine where your delays may be occurring and where to find the answers to explain them.
This will also help you track all moving parts of your project. If any changes requested by the client or related to external material gathering and more arise, you can address the specific team member(s) impacted without wasting the time of other members who are not involved.
Distribute your project duties fairly and realistically. Try not to overload one team member with several responsibilities and too little time to complete all of them. Your schedule needs to make sense for all parties involved- especially those who are performing the deliverables. Watch for overlapping tasks that could lead to a lag in project completion.
3. Set deadlines
Assign deadlines, dates, and times for all nitty-gritty details available when creating your schedule. Your deadline dates are important for offering limits on how much time should be spent on every task. Make sure they are realistic by considering your team members’ work efficiency and the challenging level of the task they’ve been assigned. You’ll also want to be aware of task dependencies so they are scheduled appropriately.
Following deadlines during project execution is essential to the functionality of your schedule. They are essential dates on your project calendar that determine its progress and keep it moving forward as you near the final expected completion date.
If you recognize that deadlines are not being met, you will need to consider the root of the delay. Are you waiting on a resource that impacts the completion of a task? Did one delay of another task affect the deadlines of connected tasks? Is your team member working as productively as they should?
4. Monitor progress
When conducting project schedule management, you will want to keep looking at your schedule and how your team members follow it. You’ll also want to prevent possible delays or issues that could impact your whole plan. By monitoring your team’s progress throughout every phase of your project, you can ensure no significant mistakes are being made. You’ll also be able to determine whether everyone is meeting the client’s expectations with their work.
You can monitor your team’s progress through:
- Frequent meetings (once a week)
- Chat platforms
- Shared project platforms
- Time tracking
Time Tracking Software for Your Project Schedule Management
Time tracking is an important tool that will guide your project schedule management. Using effective software platforms, like actiTIME, you can create your schedule and observe your team members’ productivity as they complete every task. They can input their hours committed to specific tasks so you can judge if your deadlines have been realistically set or if you need to revise your schedule. Or, you may notice that some members are not working as productively as they should. You may need to motivate them or get to the root of a problem that impairs their ability to meet your schedule’s deadlines.
With time tracking software, your team will have constant access to your established schedule to know how the project is progressing and what they need to address as they complete each task you’ve assigned to them. Together, you can watch your project come to fruition and recognize if any flaws need to be fixed before handing it off to the client.
Let actiTIME help you stay on track with your project schedule management. With our high-end time tracking software, you can make sure your schedule is implemented and lead your project team to success. Try a free trial today to get started.