7 Project Management Scheduling Tips
When it comes to project management or event planning, the sheer amount of detail it takes can be overwhelming. Projects can be complex with multiple streams, budgets, resources, contingencies, and more. Planning is critical and over -planning can be detrimental.
The following 7 Project Management Scheduling Tips will go a long way in making your life easier.
1. Make Sure You Have All the Details
A detailed project plan with approval/buy-in from everyone you are working for is a must. Make sure you have all the details from major project milestones and deliverables. You must understand time frames, budgets and resource availability. Getting everything in writing ensures that there is no confusion later. Failing to do this will create problems in the management of the scope for the project. Managing expectation of the project can only be effectively done when the initial assumptions are put in writing and agreed.
To help with this make sure you have a really good project management scheduling template, a timeline template or make one for yourself. There are plenty of you can find online that are either free or very affordable.
Project management scheduling tools such as graphing templates, resource, and financial planning can help the team quickly assess the critical path, resource and financial issues as the details are entered into the system. Often the details need to be reviewed multiple times before a viable plan is determined.
2. Select A Great Team
Project Management should be a sport because teamwork is the key to success. When you are assigning tasks make sure the team member getting the work has a skill-set to match. Also, set a clear project management scheduling goals so that you and the assigned team members know that they are on track. Often the project management scheduling tools also have chat functions and project notes to manage issues as and when they arise.
3 . Lead Your Team
Much too often, people working on projects are reporting to both a project manager and another line manager. This can make the project management more difficult as these team members have a conflict of interest in the importance of the various projects and activities they are working on. The project manager has to help the team identify challenges and find solutions to the obstacles as they arise. A good project management scheduling software can help to manage the various aspects of the project and provide alternatives solutions and scenarios when one path gets blocked. No project management scheduling software, however, can address the communication skills that the project manager needs to coordinate between project team members, project owners, line managers and other important stakeholders.
Corporate training programs for project managers must include presentation skills, negotiation, conflict management and other communication skills. Project Management training often falls short of building these important skills.
4. Plan For The Worst
In all aspects of project management, it is important to plan for the worst case scenario. Do this with every part of your project: Time frame, budget, and Project goals. You can actually do this in your project management software. Project management templates are available for Risk management and scenario planning. This is a proactive way to assess risk, anticipate challenges and create flexibility.
5. Communicate Effectively
This is an especially important aspect of project management. Proper communication ensures that your projects stay on track. And remember, it goes both ways. Project managers need to be able to communicate at all levels of the organization. Each level within the organization wants to hear different levels of details and highlight different parts of the project.
As I said earlier, project managers need proficient presentation skills, negotiation and conflict management. These are all related to the face to face communication. Although we live in a digital society, email and electronic communications are important but nothing beats a face-to -face conversation in terms of authenticity, clarity and building relationships.
6. Test it
This tip is not always possible but one that if you can do it, you SHOULD. Test the environment, product, event or dynamics to help you foresee any problems that you may have missed before. I used to develop applications to run important business In the case of computer hardware set up a test environment before rolling out live to test performance, function, and usability.
7. Evaluate Your Project
Evaluating your project is an important part of the process that a lot of project management professionals ignore. What have you learned from the project? What did you do well? How can you improve? Asking these questions ensures that you grow as a project management professional, helps you use your project management scheduling tools more effectiveness and may impact future use of project management software. You need to learn from the project and apply what you learned for future projects.
Client surveys are a good way to get feedback that you would not get otherwise. Adding it to your project management schedule ensure you do not forget later.
Managing projects are not easy, training is required to build the necessary skills and to understand the best software to support you.