Project time management is an important part of being a project manager. According to statistics, only 65% of projects finish on time. That is nearly 40% of projects failing to complete at the right time, which leaves significant room for improvement. There are lots of reasons projects can fail to finish on time, including issues with communication, problems with team management, issues with risk management and plenty of other familiar time leaching occurrences well known to project managers. It can often feel like it is impossible to get a project to the end on time, but it is possible if you work on your time management skills and techniques.
7 Steps To Time Management Success
There are seven well known steps in project management that help to ensure time is effectively managed. Paying attention to this seven step process is helpful if you want useful guidance with your project time processes.
The beginning part of planning time management is to figure out exactly what you need to make the schedule, develop it and then control it as it is put into place. For this to happen, you could make a scheduled management plan. Alternatively, you could simply add a section on time management in your big project management plan.
2. Project Tasks
During this stage, you figure out exactly what the tasks of the project are in order to break everything down into smaller tasks.
3. Task Sequences
At this stage, you can place all of the tasks in order so that they are the most time efficient. This helps with the overall efficiency of the project as well.
4. Resource Identification
When you know what the tasks are, and when they are being done you can understand the resources you need such as people power, supplies and spaces and how much of those you will need.
5. Task Time Estimations
During this stage, you will figure out how long each task should take. So you look at each task and figure out how long it will take using the resources needed. You also have to consider things like holidays, scheduling and other factors. Be careful estimating how long things will take against a schedule. For example, a 6-hour long task may need to be completed over the course of a week, it won’t necessarily be completed in one day.
6. Schedule Creation
Now you can make an actual schedule. You have all the information you need so, you can easily create a really well considered schedule.
If you haven’t already got project management software in place, considering the differences in kanban vs scrum tools is useful when deciding how the software can work best in your business environment. Kanban is a popular choice for collaborative workforces and one of the most widely used lean management solutions, as it encourages continuous workflows and full visualisation throughout projects.
Creating a plan for time management will be extremely useful during your project, and you’ll be thankful you put the work in at the beginning. There are also other methods of managing time during a project to bear in mind so that your approach to time management doesn’t solely rely on mathematics.
Delegation, Delegation, Delegation
You shouldn’t try and do all the work to save time. You should be doing about a fifth of the work and delegating the rest effectively for the most efficient time management. You won’t actually get more done by taking everything on yourself.
Streamline Team Meetings
Try to streamline lengthy team meetings which can go on a bit when everybody has to discuss updates. Updates should be done on the communal app, as and when. The meeting should be about things like risks, problems and opportunities to save time or move the project forward.
Stay On Your Level
You are managing, not doing the jobs of your team members. Micromanaging is a waste of time, and it is unnecessary. Stick to steering the project to success and let your team members get on with what they are qualified to do.
At The End Of Each Day, Make A To Do List
Before you finish for the day, you should know exactly what needs doing the next day. Although a lot of people have different productive hours, most people are most productive in the morning. This time could get wasted while you spend time figuring out a plan, something that could have been done in 10 minutes the day before when tasks are fresh in your mind.
Use Useful Apps For Personal Time Management
As well as organisation apps, there are other apps that could help with time management. Apps that stop you going on social media, apps that help you work for a set time before having a break for a set time. Use technology to improve your time management for the benefit of the project.
Deal With Time Leeches ASAP
As soon as you figure out something sucking away at time, deal with it. It could be a person turning up late repeatedly, or handing their work in late repeatedly, it could be an unreliable delivery source, it could be a communication issue. Whatever the leech is, get rid of it ASAP, so it doesn’t continue to cause issues with the project time schedule.
“Either run the day, or the day runs you”- Jim Rohn
Of all the things you can and should do when it comes to project time management, being proactive about it is the number one priority. Choosing to make a plan, dealing with time issues quickly, communicating the plan effectively, researching the best online system to help you manage time. Being proactive about it and fully respecting the scary statistics around projects overrunning will stand you in good stead.