There are several steps to create a project management timeline for high-priority work. Organized project management (PM) timelines help structure business responsibilities from inception to completion. Nowadays, many businesses simply input these deliverables into project management software – then hope for the best. However, proactive companies still take a forward-looking approach to prepare, design, implement, and utilize powerful PM timeline templates. As a business owner yourself, you should know how these unique tools can impact your workflow and day-to-day processes. Read on to learn about creating a project management timeline for high-priority work.
Prepare A Work Breakdown Structure (WBS)
Start the process off by preparing a thorough, in-depth work breakdown structure. A WBS breaks high-priority work deliverables into much smaller, manageable chunks. These pieces can then be comfortable evaluated, planned, and strategized before the actual workflow begins. Generally speaking, a work breakdown structure is highly-focused on achieving concrete, measurable, and trackable milestones. To further organize your WBS, classify it further into pending tasks, sub-tasks, and top-priority assignments. From a management perspective, this can help simplify role delegation, streamline project tracking, and identify risks early-on. Certainly, start off the project management timeline creation process with a clear work breakdown structure.
Jot Down Milestones
Now, it’s time to start jotting down some important milestones on your project management timeline. Milestones are standardized benchmarks, which assure that your project is progressing along with your expectations. Achieving milestones helps you predict completion dates, identify bottlenecks, and modify deadlines. With strong milestones in-place, you’ll immediately know if you start to fall behind. Then, you can implement smart strategies to steer things back on track. Plus, your team can then be motivated to reach the next milestone. Surely, milestones are an essential component of your project management timeline structure.
At this point in project management timeline creation, you are ready to start estimating the time. Ultimately, think of how much time is needed to achieve every milestone. This is why it is so important to set clear, inclusive milestones early-on. Otherwise, you risk neglecting time-consuming work in your timeline estimation. Once you assign a time value to each milestone, add them all together. This should be the total timeframe for the entire project. To be safe, it usually helps to give yourself some extra breathing room. After all, stakeholders will be happy when projects are consistently delivered early. Indeed, estimate the needed time when creating a project management timeline.
Identify Task Dependencies
With a rough timeline forecast in-place, you can next start to identify task dependencies. Think of specific steps – that are reliant on the completion of other responsibilities. This will certainly impact how you delegate and assign different responsibilities. Proper dependency planning goes a long way in helping you avoid a backlog. If team members are waiting for a dependency to be completed, there should also be a policy in place. You could encourage team members to help others—so that no dead time exists. Absolutely, identify task dependencies while designing your project management timeline.
Analyze Resource Availability
Of course, give yourself plenty of time to analyze the availability of your resources. Even if you have a well-organized project management timeline in-place, you need the resources to help you complete it. In most cases, we are referring to small business human resources in this sense. Keep employee resources high by strategically managing schedules and calculating wage increase expectations. Other resources revolve around the type of equipment, processes, software, and machinery that you use. Definitely, analyze resource availability while creating a solid project management timeline.
There are several key steps to create a project management timeline for high-priority work. First and foremost, prepare a clear, organized, and in-depth work breakdown structure. Next, jot down some key tasks, deliverables, and milestones, From here, you can start attaching a timeframe estimate to each responsibility. Then, factor in any task dependencies that you may encounter. You should also give yourself plenty of time to analyze the availability of your human, employee resources. Follow the points above to learn about creating a project management timeline for high-priority work.