“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”
The famous words spoken by Benjamin Franklin should be those which all project managers live by. What’s the point of trying to exercise proper project management if you aren’t capable of finding the time needed to do so? This is where time management comes into play.
Start off by assessing yourself before you do anything else. This will give you a good sense of whether or not you will need to change your current time management methods and what you can do to improve. Ask yourself how often you complete tasks before deadlines? Are you normally punctual or late? Do you ever leave things to last minute or feel as though you are running out of time?
The truth of the matter is that time is an extremely valuable resource to all project managers and is a terrible thing to waste. You want to be able to develop a strong reputation for yourself and never let down clients. As a project manager you aren’t only required to manage your own time but also the time of the entire team. Start off by creating a schedule that everyone can follow on a day-to-day basis. A simple scribble on a paper won’t do. Implement a project management software, such as ITM Platform, into the business. Great tools such as those provided by ITM Platform will assist you creating calendars with important deadlines and setting time limits for tasks. Furthermore, you can set reminders and check on the progress of your co-workers. This will help everyone maintain their focus and complete work on time.
Time management is best done when each of the following things are completed:
Depending on the level of detail of a task, known as granularity, high-level tasks will first be broken down into different activities which will all be found in a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
Sequencing all of your Activities
The activities you just identified in the previous step will now be used to create an activity sequence. This is extremely important because it will allow you to execute tasks on time and in a specific order to stay organized and on time.
This is when you will need to estimate the amount of resources required for the completion of each task. This step probably sounds very familiar and that’s because it is frequently listed as being crucial for project managers to do. The reason why is because the duration of the task depends on how many resources will be allocated. You’ll need to know all of this to be able to accurately manage your time.
Many companies will follow the WBS mechanism previously mentioned in order to estimate how much time and effort will be needed to complete tasks. After you feel as though you have fairly educated predictions you should identify your projects critical path. This will allow you to calculate approximately how long the entire project should take to complete.
Create a Schedule
You can’t just skip to this step because you’ll need to input all of the information you previously received in order to create an accurate schedule. Trying to do this on your own or manually will be difficult and time consuming. Your best option would once again be to use a software like ITM Platform which can assist you in creating a reliable and effective project schedule.
Nothing can be perfectly planned. There is always the chance that something unexpected could occur and you will need to make changes to your original schedule. Don’t panic! To make sure you don’t fall behind, continuously update your schedule to reflect any project alterations. This will prevent you or your teammates from experiences shock if something unanticipated occurs.
Just like anything else, time management requires you to put in effort. The more you know, the better you’ll do. This is why you should familiarise yourself with other common project management tools and practices which can be found at http://www.itmplatform.com
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