Last time we talked about how you could plan at a larger scale for something like yearly marketing plan. Today, we are going a bit further and more practical about how you should manage your schedules for each sub-plan in the big picture.
Remember, execution of the plan is the most important thing in business. It’s not just about drawing a dream castle with a lot of dates and fancy event/roadshows on the way; it’s making things happen. So, except for what, why, when, who, and how, this kind of cure-all tool that we could almost apply to challenge, you need something more specific than principles.
1. Scope, Cost, and Schedule
This three form the golden rule for project management in general. Identify your co-workers/team member list, scope and the deliverables expected. By doing this, you’d know what to exclude to keep even though they sound fantastic, and you’d know where to go to when you need something. Finding the right people at the right time to ask for the right thing according to the expected deliverables, so you can keep things happening on schedule and under budget.
2. Exclude Bank Holidays for Everyone
If you are running projects that work with foreign companies or people from different parts of the world, this is a must do you need to check before drafting or updating the schedule for the whole team. For example, people from astern and western world celebrate their new years like 2 months apart, and you definitely don’t want to let your task drown in other people’s holidays just because you forget to count that part in.
3. Always Leave Buffer Time for Each Mile Stone
Milestone could be anything that matters to your projects. It could be one official report or an overall deadline for various deliverables. One of the most commonly seen mistakes that project managers would make is too cut off all the buffers just to make the project schedule look nice, but well, in that case, any delay on critical milestone would just delay the schedule. We absolutely do not want a schedule that raises bosses’/customers’ hope high up there and then let them down all the way since kickoff. Providing a more reasonable and feasible schedule would make everybody happy in the long run.
Nowadays there are so more alternatives about project scheduling tools other than Microsoft Project, and a lot of them are for free. It doesn’t matter which tool you are going with, remember the golden rules above, everybody could be a great project manager.