Project Management Fundamentals
Project scheduling is not the same as project planning. It’s only one part of the plan, but it’s critical for finishing your project on time (how do you know what’s on time if you don’t have a schedule?). This is your beginning point, and it should not be overlooked — a well-planned timetable will lead you through the project lifetime and keep you on track. Strengthen leadership and behavioral capabilities by enrolling yourself in a project management course.
The following are the stages to creating your project schedule:
1. Create a project scope.
This procedure is followed with the participation of all parties. The project scope specifies the project’s anticipated outcome and the steps necessary to complete it. Include all resources, as well as cost and time limits, in this scope. A work breakdown structure (WBS) is created for this project scope, which specifies all activities and breaks them down into individual deliverables.
2. Activities in Order
After you have your Project Scope and Work Breakdown Structure, you may extract the list of tasks that must be completed (WBS). To be clear, the WBS lays out what must be done, not how or when it must be done. You may sequence the tasks in the correct order and estimate the time and resources needed to complete them once you have the list.
3. Divide your tasks into phases.
You may extract the list of activities that need to be accomplished after your Project Scope and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS). To be clear, the WBS lays out what must be done, not how or when it must be done. You may sequence the tasks in the correct order and estimate the time and resources needed to complete them once you have the list.
- Developing a project (the idea)
- The project concept is assessed to see if it helps the organization, what those benefits are, and how viable it is to complete it.
- Project planning and definition (scheduling is part of this phase)
- The scope of the project is stated, outlining the tasks that must be done.
- This phase involves calculating budgets, schedules, and resource requirements.
- Launching a project (this is the execution of the project)
- During this phase, resources begin working on their assigned responsibilities, deliverables are accomplished, meetings are held, and status reports and development updates are produced.
- Project Execution (comparing expectations to results)
- Project managers will be using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to see if the project is on track.
- Project completion (project delivered to the client and further evaluated)
- This is the final phase of the project. A meeting is frequently held by project managers to discuss the project’s triumphs and shortcomings.
4. Map-based dependencies
It’s time to start charting out the interdependencies between actions or which tasks need the initiation of another activity or completed before they can be completed once you have a clear picture of all the deliverables and what’s necessary to fulfill them. The dependency map will display the relationships between tasks. Interdependence may be classified into four types:
Finish-to-Start: Before the next action can begin, the previous one must be completed.
Before the next action can begin, one must first complete the previous one.
Before the next action may begin, the previous one must be completed.
Before the next action may begin, the previous one must be completed.
5. Make a schematic of the critical route.
With all of this information, a critical route for scheduling project activities may be created. If the delay between a task’s finish date and the start date of the next job is zero, the task is potentially important. It becomes important when it cannot be postponed without causing the entire project to be postponed.
As a result, the critical route is a set of linked tasks with zero intervals, and it is this critical path that will determine the project’s length.
6. Set project goals and objectives.
Milestones are milestones in the project lifecycle that identify critical tasks, allowing the PM to determine whether the project is on schedule. Milestones have a length of 0 seconds and are not jobs in and of themselves; rather, they represent milestones in the completion and delivery of a project.
Using software to aide in job and project scheduling can be very beneficial when it comes to achieving your goals and objectives. JAMS job scheduler boosts productivity and reduces job failures.
In your project, you may wish to include two types of milestones:
Internal milestones are those that your project team uses to keep track of the project’s progress and their own timetable.
External milestones are those that should be shared with stakeholders, marketing teams, the press, and others, and are linked to the project’s overall phases.
7. Make a Human Resource Plan
You may begin adding individuals to the plan now that you have a clear breakdown of all the necessary actions and a schedule. People with the relevant skill sets should be matched to the right activities. It’s a good idea to consider that people won’t be completely focused or productive on the project, so don’t schedule all of their time. As a general guideline, they should dedicate 80 percent of their time to the project and 20% to administrative tasks.
8. Pick a start and end date.
You’ll have a reasonably good idea of the milestone dates and how long it will take to bring your project to the end once you’ve completed all of these stages and created your project plan. You may now pick a well-informed due date and a commencement date.
Remember the following:
- Include both public holidays and employee vacation days in your calculations.
- Spend time understanding and mapping out job dependencies.
- Establish milestones.
- Make a timetable that is fair.
- Before you establish a project deadline, figure out how long the job will take.
- Assign individuals to work 80 percent of the time.
- Include time for emergencies.
- Prepare for rescheduling (this may occur if one or more resources are unavailable) (illness, unexpected activities,etc)
- To reduce risks, include these “surprises” or have a backup plan.
Project planning and scheduling, of course, go hand in hand and are essential components of project management. ‘Project planning,’ in a nutshell, is an iterative process that encompasses all elements of a project from beginning to end. A “project schedule” is a tracker that keeps track of the order and duration of project-related tasks.
If there are any delays or if the project is going in the incorrect direction, a project schedule informs/alerts the project team. It’s a living document that has to be updated and recorded on a regular basis. ‘Task Breakdown Structure,’ ‘Scope of Work,’ and ‘Critical Path Method,’ termed as ‘TBS,’ ‘SOP,’ and ‘CPM,’ respectively, are the tools and methodologies used for project planning. ‘PERT’ (Program Evaluation Review Technique), Gantt charts, Pareto charts, and other networking visualizations are used in project scheduling software.
Without a well-developed project plan and a specific project timeline, a project is incomplete and cannot be successful.
Plan & Schedule it to meet project goals!