One of the most important factors to the continued success for a company, no matter what your size or industry, is figuring out how projects will get done on time. With any project, the result is very important, but the timing matters too. When you are attempting to hit sales targets, and you are trying to ensure your company is maximizing profits, the efficiency of a project matters in a big way. Even the smallest hiccup along the way can have a huge impact. But what you can ensure is that something of the sort is not going to happen with your project.
What you are going to do is use the critical path definition to your advantage. This definition applies to a scheduling technique that is going to show you the best way to complete a project. Let us say that you have 28 days to get a project done, and you know that you can only allow for one or two days where you are off schedule, then you need to get things done accurately. Whether you are debugging, documenting, prototyping, reviewing code, testing or user testing, you will need a timeline for how long each process takes.
When you are able to get such a timeline, you are going to know how long the entire process will take. And this is so vital, because you cannot just put a vague timeline on a project without knowing the processes that lie beneath it. For instance, someone may tell you that you need to get this done in 20 days. But they will not know the steps involved, and when you show them those steps in a clearly defined timeline, they will understand why you need 28 days and not 20 days to get things done.
The best way to get things done is to use a program that can show you the critical path scheduling and management for your project. This is an automated program that is going to incorporate your feedback and all of the tasks involved within your project, and it is going to tell you how long everything is going to take. You can always make tweaks to the program’s conclusions, but we feel as though this gives you an excellent benchmark so you can figure out what you need to get done, and how much time you have to do it.
Some managers may think they do not need such timelines or charts to help them out. We disagree. Even if you are only managing a team of five people, you still need them on task and within a schedule. When everyone knows the steps involved in a project, and they clearly see how long they have to get every step done, the entire process is a lot more straightforward and comfortably. You will find there are less hiccups, and even if there is some sluggishness with the work, you can just add in an extra day or two within your chart without compromising the entire project’s timeframe.