One of the biggest benefits of business management software is that you can view the work in a timeline instead of a spreadsheet or to-do list. But without the right technology, creating a project timeline can be difficult. Here is a step by step gui...read more
One of the biggest benefits of business management software is that you can view the work in a timeline instead of a spreadsheet or to-do list. But without the right technology, creating a project timeline can be difficult. Here is a step by step guideline to create a project timeline:
Outline the Project Brief, Include Goals, Timeframe & Dependencies
Every project should begin with a project brief. It will act as a roadmap and a way to explain the goals, milestones, and vision of the project. Answer the following questions in the brief:
What are your goals for the project, both internal and external?
Which internal and external stakeholders will be a part of the project and what are their roles?
What is the project timeline?
What are the key milestones?
List Down the Steps to Complete Your Project
To prepare a successful timeline, create a list of everything that needs to be done throughout the project. Think of the big and small steps. Any task that will help complete the project will go on the list. Right now, the order and the time of those steps is not important. If there are longer or complex steps then break them into small and easy to digest sub tasks.
Estimate Time for Each Step
After you have a detailed list of every step in the project, allocate time to each of the tasks for completing them. While allocating time, make sure that the team gets enough time to complete the tasks as well as it remains within the overall timeline of the project.
Map Out Dependencies & Sequence of Steps
Some steps in a project overlap while some can be done only after the previous one is completed. Keeping a track of how steps overlap and how much time each step needs will keep on the pre-decided timeline. Also, assigning people to each step early on, will help you spot and adjust resource or timing conflicts.
Draw the Timeline
It is not practical to keep the image of the project timeline in your head. A more realistic approach is getting it on paper or screen. Choose a business management tool that will save time in drawing the timeline. A dedicated tool will allow you to easily adapt the timeline as well as update the stakeholders on the progress.
Share it with Stakeholders
Now that the timeline is created, share it with all the parties involved. A business management tool makes it easy to share the timeline. The stakeholders will get updates in real-time.
Manage & Adapt
In any project, things don’t always go as per planning. But if you are prepared to adapt, then the changes will not seem too difficult. Timelines are not only great for planning, but they also help to adjust to unexpected changes or delays. For instance, one part of the project is delayed; you will know its impact on the rest of the project.
Knowing how to create a timeline is the first step towards creating a perfect timeline. Therefore, gather all the information in advance and then start preparing the project timeline.