Project Time Management

Project time management session

Time, above all else, is our most valuable and finite resource. From a project management perspective, an effective project time management plan can revolutionize your team’s processes and make a substantial impact on your project’s scope, cost, and quality.

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What is project time management?

Project time management involves analyzing and developing a schedule and timeline for project completion. Formalized time management processes provide a buffer for things like unexpected roadblocks and misestimated project timelines.

These time management plans determine what tasks to adjust, and how to allocate and manage resources throughout the project.

Why is project time management important?

Project time management directly impacts the quality, scope, and cost of a project, making it one of the most important project management knowledge areas. Managing time helps to secure project completion time and budget. It also clarifies how much time a project requires, what stakeholders (internal and external) to involve, and at what point to include their expertise.

This process provides a framework for developing a sequence of activities, activity durations, resource estimations and how these fit into the overall project management plan.

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Benefits of project time management

One of the primary benefits of project time management is that it creates more time for teams and other stakeholders to deliver on projects. Effective time management positively impacts the careers and personal lives of everyone involved. Additional benefits of project time management include:

Less stress

Project completion plans reduce stress levels associated with meeting deadlines.

Increased productivity

Knowing what to prioritize increases productivity and focuses on the most beneficial and strategic needs.

Fewer mistakes

Focusing on only one aspect of a project helps get the right work done and prevents mistakes overall.

Improved proficiency

Having a timeline in place for projects provides a view into what teams need to work on and when; making them and their organization more proficient in all work.

More opportunities

Project time management helps teams or departments become more efficient at managing projects and getting them completed on time and on budget. This opens more opportunities to manage additional projects in the future.

Stay on budget

Everyone knows the phrase, “Time is money.” Keeping a project on target not only maintains budget but keeps stakeholders happy that their dollars are working in the most efficient, valuable way.

Meet goals

Time management plans help to achieve project goals as well as impact other personal and professional goals. All of these benefits lead to increased efficacy and satisfaction across the board.

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Project time management best practices

Pareto Principle

The Pareto Principle is also known as the 80/20 rule. This means that 20% of your time should produce 80% of your results.  From the beginning, identify and highlight the tasks that provide the most value. If at any time value and time fall out of balance, review the task priority and, if necessary, submit a formal change request.

Keep it simple

It’s easy to overcomplicate tasks.  Take a step back, evaluate the real “why”, and think of more focused ways to accomplish a task. Concentrate efforts on the most effective means of accomplishing each given task while always keeping the end project goals in mind.

Observe and analyze how time expenditure

Regularly review time allocation across the board. Efficient use of all resources, especially human capital, maintains project timelines and budgets.

Act instead of worry

It’s easy to spend time worrying if something is “good enough” or if the team will really hit that deadline. Drop the worry and take action. Do more research. Ask for an extension if needed and make the necessary adjustments to get something done right.

Break larger goals into smaller steps and tackle one at a time

At first, any large project seems daunting and difficult to figure out where to start. Take larger projects and break them into smaller pieces and smaller tasks, providing a simpler way to start and prioritize a project.

Set daily, weekly, and monthly goals

Setting goals helps to instill a sense of urgency. Set a monthly goal and work backward.  Weekly and daily goals should roll into each other so by the time teams and departments hit their daily, then weekly goals, they meet the entire month’s targets.

Take short breaks

When breaking large tasks down into manageable pieces, make sure to take breaks. Providing much-needed, scheduled breaks keeps the mind fresh and the body energized.

Work when you have the most energy

Work on the most important tasks during the most productive, energetic hours of the day, and save other tasks for less-motivated portions of the day.

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