How to Create a Project Schedule? – Simply put, a project timeline follows the chronological order of events. These calendars allow teams to understand a project at a glance, keeping everyone informed and aligned at every project stage.
The calendar comprises a series of tasks, each of which has a due date and duration. You can also create the link between those tasks, which helps to reveal dependencies and to anticipate possible crashes.
Having an accurate project schedule is essential. It shapes the entire project, stating which tasks need to be completed in each phase and which essential milestones need to be met along the way.
Project managers must develop their skills once it comes to creating a successful project calendar. They must understand the data they need, how it should be viewed, and the tool that will be used to share it with the rest of the team.
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Steps to Create a Project
Now that we have a superior understanding of what is at stake let’s make a project timeline. This is everything you require to know for creating a project schedule.
1. Recognize the Scope of your Project
As a marketing project superior, your project will start with a report. To make sure your project timeline flourishes healthily, you need to take good care of this foundation.
It would help if you had a strong understanding of the assignment and everything essential. This can take some time and need close consultation with your client. However, the scope of the project must be as precise and detailed as possible.
You should create a project scope statement that everyone understands. It will be a statement that succinctly and precisely summarizes the objective of the project.
2. Start Dividing the Project into Smaller Parts
Now that you know the bigger picture, it’s time to zoom in and see what smaller pieces make up that big statement.
In our example, the project manager will coordinate a new blog’s design, development, and content. There are many moving parts and many components. The project will need, for example, the following features:
- A topic for the blog
- Visual guidelines
- The tone of Voice Guidelines
- A content plan
- Contents for the blog
This will always vary based on the project scope statement you have defined, but it is essential to think about each by-product you need to provide to deliver the package.
3. Explore Those Pieces to Create Tasks
Now that you have your by-products, it’s time to dig deeper. Let’s take the topic, for example. Your team will need to complete the following work to create that sub-deliverable:
- Conduct a competitor research
- Brainstorming and feasibility testing
- Attention to UI and UX
- Wireframe design
- Development of the topic
- Quality tests
Of course, this can vary depending on the project specifications. But this gives you knowledge of how to start thinking about the constitutive tasks that make up the sub-deliverables. This will provide you with a good view of the iceberg that rests below the surface, helping you plan your next steps accurately.
4. Think About Dependencies
Some tasks cannot start until others have been finished. The strategy of the wireframes, for example, might not take place until a critical section of the visual guidelines have been created.
These dependencies make your project have a defined natural order. However, depending on the difficulty of your task, this can become a significant headache. (There are a few tools that can help, though, and we’ll see about them soon.)
Once you have organized the tasks that should go first, you will find that your calendar begins to take on a more conventional form.
5. Calculate the Time Needed for each Task
The tasks are now well ordered, but how far apart should they be?
You must draw on your marketing expertise to create accurate estimates for each of your project tasks. For example, you may have to spend three weeks developing your schematics, but only a few days for quality testing.
By spacing the tasks on a horizontal line, you will begin to see that you naturally develop an estimate of how long a project can take. Producing an accurate forecast is not an easy task, and many marketing project managers consult various professionals to get a better idea.
6. Evaluate your Resources
Now that you know what you need and how long it will take, it’s time to fill in the gaps. The best marketing project managers end up being able to consider the capabilities and preferences of their team. This can help create more accurate schedules.
Balancing responsibilities is difficult. Although a given task may take four hours, for example, unforeseen events can derail the process, affecting other areas of the project.
Project management requires you to think on your feet and take full advantage of the project management tools at your disposal.
7. Summarize Important Milestones
The project schedule is almost ready, but now you have to think about monitoring the project’s progress at regular intervals. This is a significant step, as it means your team can get the feedback and approval they need long before the deadline.
This means that, if essential, you can take the initiative to adjust plans to make sure everything stays on track. Milestones should be set regularly and based on certain key moments, such as completing an important task.
8. Choose the Right Software to Build your Timeline
You’ve already planned your calendar, but now it’s all about organizing it in a logical, accessible, and adaptable way. Until now, it was easier said than done. But now, there are many quality project management applications at your disposal.