10 Tips to Manage Project Schedule Effectively [and Firmly]

Editorial Team

Tips to Manage Project Schedule

What Is This Project Scheduling?

Scheduling is the listing down of activities and deliverables within a project. It contains a planned start and finished date, duration and resources assigned to each activity. Thus for a successful time management there has to be an effective project scheduling.

Moreover, project scheduling is a formidable task as it involves planning and running a project from the beginning to completion. And, for it to be successful one has to be equipped with the project management skills. Sometimes experience plays a vital role in guaranteeing your success in this field. Regardless of one’s professional qualifications, general project management concepts help in achieving goals for any particular project you intend to pursue. Here are some effective tips to manage project schedule effectively and firmly to take you a step closer to success.

1.     Identify Potential Risks Which Might Impact Project Schedule And Prepare Action Plan

It is only after acquiring the necessary requirements that you can be able to plan for an impending project. After the onset of the project., you are required to manage it through the set timeline successfully. Seamless progression from one step to another can be hampered by unseen risks. Projecting these earlier can go a long way in ensuring smooth running of the project. Anything that happens inside a particular phase will have been pre-meditated somehow. This gives you an early advantage to mitigate these challenges. Think from different angles, different situations and different perspectives to achieving the laid down goals.

2.     Ensure The Project Schedule Is Very Detail

Timeliness is essential in any project plan. Usually, you will have your objectives divided into phases that demand completion after a stipulated timeframe. Supposing you have one year to complete a piece of work. How much of the work will you need to complete in a day to ensure your vision is achieved? With proper planning and experience, you will not have a problem passing through this phase unscathed.

It also helps to collect all the requirements and have them ready before planning on the timelines.

You will always need to set a deadline for the finishing of your project plan, this helps you estimate the time needed for each task along with your project. The deadline should be fixed and firm so that you work towards it.

3.     Plan The Resources/Materials Delivery In Advance

Assessment is the process of defining, selecting, designing, collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and using the information to increase output.

This step includes a number of activities. Your available material will always determine if the time you schedule will entail the process of working on the project itself or collecting the requirements and pushing on the project. Determining the available resources shall help you to prepare for starting the project, it gathers enough evidence and satisfaction that informs your instructional decision. Assessing the available human resource, investment and equipment is necessary to determine any situation that could stop the process from taking place, during your project execution.

Nevertheless, the human resource and materials available will go a long way to determining the risks and outcomes of certain steps. It therefore helps you to plan and tackle them as required once you get to that phase.

4.    Ensure Key Stakeholders Are Updated Throughout The Project

Usually, any project starts and continues with the blessings and approval of the stakeholders. It would therefore be improper to overlook this momentous stage in project management. As the overall planner, you need to present to the board and supervisors a workable plan, a progress report, and any tiny information that needs to be disclosed because it may affect the progress of the project. A project plan ensures that all the stakeholders share the same vision, set measurable aims and goals for your project, establishes good rapport amongst the team members and the stakeholders, and also serves as the foundation for the transparency of the project. This plan should include your project schedule and task workflow, critical path, resources and network diagram.

Project plans provide the stakes in the ground that is, they are used to determine whether or not the project is on track during the execution of the project, and ensures the stakeholders buy into the project throughout its life such that no sudden changes will be requested.

5.    Have A Proper And Systematic Communication Within Project Team And Project Stakeholders

The ability to pass information from one end to the next is a cornerstone to the success of any project. It doesn’t matter the stage of the project, if there develops miscommunication, the next phase of action will not go as planned. Remember, you are the link between the benefactors of the project and implementers. One end formulates a vision and plan, the other implements it. If any change is effected without the knowledge of the other team, then problems arise. Always seek to involve your team members in any issue arising either from the ongoing work or future upgrades planned on the said project.

6.    Delegate Work According To Their Skillset And Capabilities

This involves transfer of responsibility for a task from a manger to a subordinate.

If you get to have enough resources, and you are a leader of the team, or rather the owner of the project, or business owner, it does not mean that you have to do all the work by yourself, in fact you should not do them by yourself. Practice on delegating the work to your team mates according to their skillset so that you get to focus more on monitoring and control. It will also help you to identify who is best suited for particular tasks. It gives chance for your team to be empowered. It helps to build trust amongst yourselves and assists with the professional development. Not to forget it brings about unity and offers some of your members a sense of belonging. You should. try enough to delegate tasks to your team according to their particular abilities and capabilities. Get to know their strengths and use them for the benefits of the project. And also their weaknesses so that you know how to address and approach them in the rightful manner.

7.    Document Everything

In each and every field it is important to minimize much risks as documentation is a good tool more so, when protecting against loss of information. It tells the narratives for a decision made. One may be having a good memory about something that is of so much importance, but again you still need to write it down on paper from beginning till end so that you may not miss out on anything. They are called details at large.

Anytime you need to make adjustments to your project plan, or rather to include new requirements in your project execution, you should always keep a record of these. It will help you in reviewing your project before getting to the final section of it.

Documentation also encourages knowledge sharing, which empowers your team to understand how the processes work.

8.    Monitor The Project Process Closely

Project monitoring refers to the process of keeping track of all the project related items including team performance and task duration, identifying problems that are concerned with the abilities and potentials of the stakeholders and also taking corrective measures necessary that ensures the project is within scope, on the budget and meets the specified deadlines.

Once your project has started, you should monitor the progress of your project tasks, deliveries, team and everything that affects the project. By doing this, the work and results of your team would not be disappointing at all. By doing this, you are also ensuring that your team is effective and that the defined projects are achieved.

Project monitoring also makes it possible to calculate the budget at any time based on the time that has been set.

Try to set planned goals so that it becomes much easier for you during your monitoring, to be able to

match the actual results to the planned results.

9.    Use Project And Task Management Software

It has become increasingly easy to collect data and run a project using the necessary technology. For instance, you can use the N-task project and task management software to manage your project schedule from the beginning to the end. It enables one to create tasks, to do list items, collaborate, create giant charts, manage issues and take risks, and not forgetting, helps to manage project budgets all in the same management software.

10. Follow Up And Appreciate

Following up on what your team has been up to in any particular field is important. Why? A regular follow up always gives your team a chance to be heard and engage effectively. It has been said that existing stakeholders, a team that intends towards a particular achievement, is more likely to be successful. This is because these follow ups makes them feel special and therefore it increases the reliability process. You should be meeting often with your team, vendors and other stakeholders so as to be informed and updated.

You should learn to develop the people skills to become an effective leader.

In case someone from the team is far behind the timeline of the project, you need to back them up so that they can get onto the right track. You need to be more receptive, willing to listen or consider suggestions.

Appreciation is the act of noticing and recognizing the people around you in a nice positive way.

Gratitude also matters, or rather we can call it appreciation. It makes us look nicer, more social, more trusting and more appreciative. It helps us make more friends and deepens our relationship with those around us or those whom we work with. Those who express how much they appreciate others are more committed to them and more likely to be able to prolong the relationship they have amongst themselves. Be it business wise or family.

Furthermore, you must appreciate the efforts of your team, however little it may seem, all in all it still appreciated saying even the lesser efforts? Because you could help them gain enough strength to press on a lot more to your expectations. This makes them develop different skills that are needed in different tasks and situations. Appreciating them motivates them hard enough, just like buying a kid candy If she finishes all her food.

We all need someone or rather something to push us because our strengths alone are not enough to get there, it is a team work thing, moreover, eels appreciated will always be motivated to do more than expected.

The Bottom Line

Project management helps in giving details on what tasks will be accomplished, the person that will be involved in completing the different tasks for the project and the particular time that the task should start and end.

All projects must have deadlines. With deadlines you are always looking forward to working with time based resources. Such like situations are not in your own control. All you need to do is adapt and improvise so that it doesn’t lead to any failures.

To finalize your project plan, always  finalize and transfer the project variables to whoever is  supposed to get them, be it the clients or others, second confirm your project completion, go ahead and review all the contracts that you have signed and  the documentations you have on the project, release the needed  resources for the smooth management of the project, conduct a postmortem, that is a review of the successes, failures and challenges of the project and identify chances or rather opportunities for improvement. Do not forget to conduct a performance review of the project as you begin your postmortem.

As long as you have completed your project postmortem, you can now finalize all the documentation, the contracts, the project plans, the scope outline, the costs, the schedule, and later on index them in the company’s archives. make sure you keep clear notes on the performance of the project. For easier reference and easier implementation.

Finally, the end of a project done by a team is always more like an achievement, it is so much fulfilling and exciting. That is why an end of year party is the best way to acknowledge your team for hard work.