Do you like shortcuts? As in every other area in our life, getting things done faster and smarter is always a good deal. Today, I want to share with you 6 hacks on how to make your project scheduling faster and smarter. Working with clients in the past period, I’ve noticed a pattern. When project teams are not focusing on the project scheduling, they are losing their path and the results are not making the client happy. So, lets dive in:
Build a templates library
I am pretty sure that you have done this already. But look, we do a lot of things right and not putting them into system, so we can do that all of the time. Usually, this is a sample template or fill in the blanks framework that you can edit. Of course, changing the templates means that they need to be stored in the library for future use. Having a ready-to-use templates, can save you a lot of time and make you more efficient.
Create task lists
When you are starting from scratch, a possible way to get it going quickly is to prepare task list, where you are going to describe the main process of the project puzzle. Based on this, later on you can get the scheduling done quickly. The best part is that you can use lists from previous projects. So, again, a good idea will be to create a template lists – which can be borrowed for same/similar projects.
Lock in the availability of the project team members.
To have a great scheduling system and skills is one thing and the availability of your team members is another. Believe me when I say that wanting to accomplish too much, often creates problems with the execution. The main question is: who will be working on the project? Are those members stretched too much and is there a risk associated with their involvement? This is really important to be done at the beginning of the project and when you are not allowed to add members additionally i.e. you have a tight budget.
Involve the team members in resources allocation
You can even make your team execute the scheduling faster by using PM tools to assign tasks to them and enable them to assign tasks between themselves. I promise you that when you deploy this, the long meetings will be history since everyone will pick up their tasks online. In a situation where you don’t know who should be working on which tasks, hand it out to your team. It is always better when they take responsibility and feel the ownership of doing the tasks.
Deploy regular tracking
I’ve covered pretty much from this subject in past blog posts. The biggest time consuming issue with project scheduling is related to the fact that most of the project management’s lose control over it. In projects that are big or fast paced, updating the project schedule can be a huge challenge. I say this because of the fact that there is significant manual work related to it and the PMs are pushing it aside. The easiest way is to assign the regular tracking to someone and you devote 1hr per week to look over it. This is your obligation, since, you will be on top of it and the other stakeholders will notice it and find it useful.
If I make you look around you at this very moment, chances are that you have your mobile phone in your pocket or arm reach. Probably, your tablet is also nearby…let’s say 5m. You can guess where I am getting at with this one. Applications are the fastest way to optimize your work. When it comes to the scheduling part, they make the work more visual and entertaining. No more boring numbers or excel tables. Now you can use visual and dynamic charts, see what your team members are doing right now, get notified for changes…all with a click of a button.