Time management and project management are two essential parts that contribute to the success of a company. A delayed project not only affects the company’s reputation but also hinders profits due to more operating costs. As a result, businesses must introduce a project tracker which will also track the work hours of employees to keep them productive.
To manage a project’s time, managers and respective teams need to plan, organise, track and control tasks throughout the life cycle of the project. Project managers often use various strategies to monitor its progress. The best way to track projects will be by using project management software, for instance, ProHance. To know the best practices for efficient project time management, read the blog.
Concept Of Project Time Management
Project time management is a part of the project management process that deals with analysing work and creating a timeline to guarantee teams and members complete a task or project in the given timeframe. When managing project time, project managers go through 6 steps:
- All the tasks of the project are to be defined before the final deliverables.
- The order of the tasks and what is to be delivered are to be set.
- Project managers must know what resources will be required to finish the task and produce deliverables.
- The time taken for every task to complete shall be sorted beforehand. Also, the estimate of the final project shall be identified.
- A project schedule will be created using the above-mentioned information.
- Since risk is associated with every project, managers should create a plan to prevent it from happening.
Strategies For Project Time Management
Here are some top-notch project time management strategies that every manager can use when working on a specific project.
Have time and resource estimates ready
Estimates can help project managers to prepare and optimise a project plan if needed. People can use the time factor which gives teams and members an idea of how much it will take to complete the project, based on their capacity. Teams can also utilise their time to make changes if required. It also helps project managers to determine the workload at a given time and maintain proper workforce numbers.
Likewise, having an estimate on resources can help in planning, resource allocation, managing expenses and preventing last-minute delays. Furthermore, these estimates can be used to create a rough project budget, which is useful if a company charges its clients for every target.
Select a project management strategy
It is also important to have a plan for a project management strategy. This involves choosing the appropriate time management and project management tools. Plus, analysing project priorities and resources and adopting the best project management techniques like CBM, Kanban, etc, is also crucial.
Doing this at the beginning of the project cycle can aid project managers in setting realistic goals and maintaining a regular time management schedule throughout the project. If a company is managing numerous projects at the same time, it is even more critical to design a schedule management approach ahead of time.
Form a task order and prioritise
When project managers identify all the tasks that they need to complete, they can create a task order and then prioritise them. A network diagram or a flowchart can help teams and individuals achieve that. A network diagram depicts dependencies, tasks and critical paths graphically. It represents tasks with boxes and dependencies with connecting lines. However, to appropriately create a task order, project managers must set priorities. They can select the right prioritisation method depending on the complexity and scale of the project. Some of the top techniques are:
- Bubble-sort method: It is an easy sorting algorithm that changes adjacent activity entries if they are in an incorrect sequence.
- Pareto principle: It helps project managers distinguish between vital and insignificant tasks by applying the principle that 80% of the results come from only 20% of the efforts or inputs.
- Eisenhower Matrix: A basic yet efficient method for ranking project tasks in terms of urgency and priority.
Create a project schedule
A project schedule is basically a timeline containing all project tasks and deliverables. It should also have interdependencies between several project tasks, start and tentative end times, all project goals, and resources associated with the same. Businesses often utilise scheduling systems to create a final schedule based on these facts. Once accepted, the timetable serves as a guideline for the project team to adhere to until the project is completed. It is, however, a dynamic document that project managers may change on a frequent basis to handle unanticipated events during the project life cycle.
Identify the project activities
As a project manager, you need to develop project activities and their dependencies. This is an important part of the project time management process as it enables you to split down a project into more manageable tasks and offers greater autonomy over its execution. Project managers can also set milestones while setting the project activities. They commonly use a work breakdown structure (WBS) for this job.
WBS is a visual tool that lists all the deliverable-centric project activities hierarchically. The WBS hierarchy’s top levels indicate broad categories, while lower levels are more specific and intricate. Work breakdown structure may be used by project managers for various objectives, including constructing a Gantt chart, determining the critical path, setting project milestones and so on.
Track and manage project time schedule
The project time schedule should be monitored once it is in place. Project managers should also apply other project management strategies to manage the schedule. Schedule management refers to examining a project task and comparing its progress based on the timeline. It will also help people know if the project is progressing on time or behind schedule. Once they know its current status, necessary actions can be taken.
Actively maintaining project timelines also aids in quality management. Managers can utilise tools like Project Evaluation and Review Techniques (PERT), time-monitoring software and Gantt charts to track and manage project schedules. Know more about Why Is Time Management Important In The Workplace?
Since effective project management ensures the goodwill of an organisation, project managers should follow some essential practices to create proper project time management strategies. It can be difficult to manually develop project times and resource allocation and manage expenses. Hence, project managers use different time-based project management tools to set a timeline in which teams and individuals would work on the specified tasks and complete them. One such time management tool is ProHance.
Used in various industries like retail, BPO, manufacturing, telecommunications and more, this software allows managers and employees to create achievable targets on the activity dashboard. Once they complete those targets, they can move ahead to the next part of the project without discrepancies.