Management Tutor
A Project Management Blog

Time Management

In any project management, schedule or time management is very essential. This helps one complete the project on time and will serve following.
•  It helps meet the deadline of the project.
•  It keeps customer happy i.e. It helps meet the expectations of the stakeholders.
•  It saves the project cost.

In order to manage the time, project plan is essential. Following need to be carried out in the order to develop the schedule or project plan.
•  Define the activities
•  Sequence the activities
•  Estimate activity resources
•  Estimate activity durations
•  Develop the schedule

One can use project management software available or excel sheet for the same. As mentioned resources need to be assigned first to the activities and later durations need to be estimated based on 3 point estimate or can be obtained from the resources themselves. After which project manager can add some amount of buffer taking into consideration final delivery date.

Once the schedule has been developed the same can be managed or controlled using various techniques. The most common are based on feedback from the project team as a result of daily stand up meetings, emails, phone calls, weekly stand up meetings, reviews etc.

Often it is required to perform schedule compression or time compression to keep the activities on the track to meet the project end data.

Time Management

Schedule Compression

The project team or project manager can utilize schedule compression methods to compress or shorten the project schedules to meet schedule constraints, imposed dates or other schedule objectives. There are two techniques of schedule compression viz. crashing and fast tracking. These techniques are very useful in time management and most commonly employed and used.

Gantt chart will help a lot in analyzing whether project and its activites are running on track. The Gantt chart provide a standard format for displaying project schedule information by listing project activities and their corresponding start and finish dates in a calender format.

Crashing: In this technique more resources have been assigned to critical activity or activities. Though this increases the cost, it meets the deadline and assures on time completion of the project. Critical activity means the activity which is complex and will take more time to complete than planned.

Fast Tracking: In this schedule compression technique relationship of the activities will be changed. This means activities are allowed to execute in parallel or overlapping mode. In project management terminology, this can be achieved by changing Finish-to-Start(FS) to Start-to-Start(SS) mode for the time consuming activities. The fast tracking can also be done by adding lead time to downstream activities.

SPI(Schedule Performance Index) and SV(Schedule Variance) are the two parameters which indicates the progress of the project at any instant. If SPI is less than 1 and SV is negative means something is wrong as far as schedule is concerned. It indicates that project is running behind the schedule planned earlier.

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