The management of a project is broken down into several steps:
- Preparation, in which the definition of the objectives, the list of the tasks, the human resources needed, the budget, and other components are gathered …
- Planning of the tasks
- Tracking of progress
In this article we will focus on planning, the activity that consists of determining and scheduling project tasks, estimating their costs, and determining the activities needed to complete them. The required tool is project planning software, which includes a task scheduling feature. This type of tool helps the project manager to plan and set dates to carry out project activity and identify the steps and milestones needed to achieve the objectives.
Why should you use a task scheduling software?
Among the different phases of project management, planning is undoubtedly one of the most important. The schedule will determine whether the objectives are achieved, track their progress, and allocate resources for the realization of different tasks. Rigorous and realistic planning of the tasks will therefore guarantee the progress and success of the project.
How to prepare for planning
The first step in a project plan is to cut the project into chronological pieces. For each phase, to the project manager must determine
- The list of the tasks that have to be completed
- The predicted expenses
- The resources needed for the task
- The expected results
- And plenty more…
Rank the tasks
Classify the list of tasks logically from the highest priority to the lowest.
Order the tasks
Scheduling a project’s tasks consists of first determining the sequencing or the possible parallel execution of the tasks. For this, it is important to ask yourself the following questions for each task:
- Does this task depend on one or more previous tasks? If so, can these prerequisites be executed in parallel or should they be completed one by one?
- Is there a margin of flexibility for this task? Is an overflow acceptable, and if so, at what level?
It is possible to develop several scenarios for the scheduling of tasks. Depending on the progress of the project, one or another particular scenario may be appropriate.
Establish the schedule
When the work of prioritization and scheduling is done, all that remains is to add the completion dates. Provide a beginning and an end date for each task, depending on the eventual margins of flexibility. At the end of this process, you will have a project plan, delineating all it takes to reach your objectives, as well as a realistic deadline for the project.
Succeed a project through planned tasks
Carefully planned tasks, based on a precise analysis of needs and expenses, can only lead the project towards its success and the fulfillment of the company.
To get a top-notch planning, it is imperative to fulfill the below conditions:
– Complet the list of tasks,
– Identify Critical paths and potential risks
– Check the objectives, particularly regarding deadlines,
The implementation of a project plan software makes it possible to ease the monitoring and the anticipation of any potential slippage that may occur if the deadlines are not respected.
It is therefore essential to make your schedule live and to revise it on day-to-day: you will understand in real time the implication of a change in a task and the final end date of the project. Besides, you will be able to catch up some of the activities that needs it.
On the same topic, discover how to handle incidents within a business project.