To organize and complete your projects in a timely, quality and financially responsible manner, you need to schedule projects carefully. Effective project scheduling plays a crucial role in ensuring project success. To keep projects on track, set realistic time frames, assign resources appropriately and manage quality to decrease product errors. This typically results in reduced costs and increased customer satisfaction. Important factors include financial, documentation, management and quality assurance.
Project scheduling impacts the overall finances of a project. Time constraints require project managers to schedule resources effectively. This is particularly true when resources must have highly specialized skills and knowledge in order to complete a task or when costly materials are required. Completing a project in a short time frame typically costs more because additional resources or expedited materials are needed. With accurate project scheduling, realistic estimates and accurate projections prevent last-minute orders that drive up costs.
Creating a comprehensive work breakdown structure allows you to create a chart, such as a Gantt chart, that lists the project tasks, shows dependencies and defines milestones. Management consultant Henry Gantt designed this type of chart to show a graphic schedule of planned work. Its role in business projects is to record and report progress toward project completion. Your project schedule also allows you to assign human resources to the work and evaluate their allocation to ensure you have the appropriate levels of utilization. You may also develop a program evaluation and review technique chart, or PERT chart, to help you analyze project tasks.
Effective project managers conduct regular meetings to get status reports. They use project scheduling meetings to check in with their team members and prevent costly misunderstandings. These regular meetings ensure that work flows from one process to the next and that each team member knows that he needs to do to contribute the project’s overall success.
Project scheduling ensures one task gets completed in a quality manner before the next task in the process begins. By assuring that quality measures meet expectations at every step of the way, you ensure that managers and team members address problems as they arise and don't wait until the end. No major issues should appear upon completion because you’ve established quality controls from the very beginning of the scheduling process. Effective project managers understand that ensuring quality control involves managing risks and exploiting opportunities to speed up the schedule when possible to beat the competition and achieve or maintain a competitive edge with a more reliable product.