How To Create A Project Timeline

Saturday, December 17th 2022. | Sample Templates

How To Create A Project Timeline – Creating a project timeline template usually involves a Google Doc and mediocre formatting skills. Then comes assigning tasks to colleagues and promising to reach the agreed delivery date. But a few weeks pass, and the timeline falls apart. Higher priorities appear and deadlines pass without much progress. Projects can fail for many reasons: lack of leadership support, unforeseen budget cuts, or over-promising results. In fact, poor project management is more common than you think: only 55% of projects are completed on time. But creating a timeline where everyone involved knows what they’re working on and when it’s due can help ensure your project doesn’t go over the original deadline. Keeping projects (and the people who complete them) on track is essential. To make sure your next project stays on schedule, we’ll explain how to set up a project timeline, the best templates to use, and a handful of examples to inspire your future planning. Why create a project timeline? Time management is one of the main skills that employers look for in candidates. Missed deadlines and rushed projects can delay entire teams (and companies). A structured project timeline offers more than brownie points from your boss. You can also: Bring leadership and structure to a project Outline what will be delivered, by when Share who is responsible for each task and set expectations for the scope, quality and delivery of work Show how the project contributes to the results of business objectives. Reduce risk. accounting for any changes in project scope, budget, deliverables or deadlines. Finally, a project schedule makes managing a project easier and more efficient. But it is important to adapt the temporary structure to the scope of the project. Planning an editorial calendar for the quarter can take more time and effort than creating a marketing video for an upcoming product launch. That’s where the right template comes in. Featured Resource 8 Free Timeline Templates Fill out the form to get your free templates. Project Timeline Example Without the right project schedule template, organizing a project can be a lot of manual work, not to mention the design mess once multiple people get their hands on it. The ideal timeline gives direction to a project, but is nevertheless easily adaptable when changes occur. Here’s a look at the project schedule for opening a new corporate office. Download this template for free. You can create a project timeline for any process that depends on a schedule (almost everything these days), such as onboarding employees, managing a crisis, or planning social media campaigns. All you need to know is how to outline the steps of a project and the tasks required to complete each phase. Let’s get into the details. How to Create a Project Schedule Creating the perfect project schedule requires strategy, organizational skills, and a lot of collaboration. You need follower buy-in and clear guidelines for everyone involved. To get started, follow this step-by-step guide to setting up a structured timeline, no matter your job, industry, or management level. 1. Write a project letter. A project brief communicates how you will approach a project. It includes details about the goals, deliverables, schedule, tasks, process, people involved, and resources needed to take a project from start to finish. Asana has outlined the steps to create a simple yet effective project. You can use this free project plan template to outline project goals, roles and responsibilities, schedule, deliverables, budget, and more. It’s a great starting point for any planning process. Or if you need a more comprehensive overview that includes key messaging and distribution processes, a creative brief may be right for your project. 2. List all tasks and action items. Every task involved in achieving the goals of a project must be within the project schedule. After creating the summary, make a list of these tasks. You can start with big tasks and break them down into smaller tasks. Let’s say you’re responsible for creating a marketing video to launch your company’s newest product. Your list might include the following: Set project managers for each department Set project budget Find a video production company Format the video storyboard Choose key features for the video Write a video script Record video content Add sound and music background Add animations and graphics Edit video Write ad copy Craft marketing campaign Create clips to share on social media Get approved for videos and marketing resources Once you have the big milestones, break each task down into smaller chunks. For example, choosing a video production company includes: Researching video production companies Prepare a list of production companies Get quotes from each production company Compare quotes and narrow down options Meet with selected companies Choose a production company Finalize the contract 3. Connect dependencies. In a project, certain tasks cannot begin until another task is completed. These tasks are called dependencies. For example, a video cannot be shot until the storyboard is finished. And the storyboard cannot be finalized until the video topic is chosen. Dependency mapping helps you consolidate the sequence of each task and decide who is responsible for what. Everyone will know what part of the project they are working on, what tasks need to be done on their own, and who to contact to get the materials they need. Here’s a look at how dependencies might play out in a project’s timeline. Image Source In the example, you can see that hiring a caterer must be done before finalizing the lunch menu. But other tasks, such as finding a DJ and deciding on an event theme, can happen at the same time. So when you map out each task, you need to see which steps can overlap and which should wait for others. 4. Estimate how long it will take to complete each task. Once you figure out the order of the tasks, you need to figure out how long each one will take. Estimate as best you can. This will make it easier to create the project roadmap and understand the overall project timeline. As you go, be sure to consider the other projects and priorities your team has going on. A designer might be able to rough draft video animations in a week, but if they’re creating another project, they might not be able to start yours for another two weeks. Considering your team’s time will make it easier to come up with a reasonable and reliable schedule. 5. Create the project timeline. Create your timeline by organizing your tasks from the first to the last step. Make the necessary adjustments to task times, add milestones and adjust the deadline. If your team works with a schedule builder or project management software, organize the timeline and tasks so it’s ready to share after the project kick-off meeting. You can save time during this step by using one of the project schedule templates below. It’s easy to customize each one and avoid the extra work of creating your own from scratch. 6. Share the timeline with the project team. Wow, your timeline is complete! Now you need to share it with stakeholders. This includes everyone involved in the project. You’ve already mentioned these people in your brief (in the first step), so it’s time to share your clear path for the project with them. It’s a good idea to hold a project kickoff meeting with both stakeholders and individual contributors so that everyone starts on the same page. You can communicate project goals, deliverables, roles and deadlines without going into an overwhelming amount of detail. From there, you’ll want to schedule time with direct project collaborators to discuss specifics and answer any questions before work begins. Need help visualizing the entire project? It may help to include a timeline like the one below to give everyone an idea of ​​the general time frame. You can add or remove steps, depending on the complexity of your project. Download this template for free 7. Customize it as you go. Do you remember that slightly more than half of the projects are completed on time? Obstacles and setbacks are inevitable in any project. Therefore, if your team is delayed, you need to understand the impact and adjust the schedule if necessary. While it is possible to make up for delays without changing the deadline, it is your job as the project owner to keep stakeholders informed of the project’s progress. Reporting a minor problem (such as an employee being sick for a few days) is not always necessary to superiors. But if it’s a major obstacle that requires extreme adjustment to the timeline (like a key employee leaving the team), you need to communicate a new timeline to stakeholders. Change is part of every business, so don’t panic if you need to adjust your timeline. It’s better to be transparent about the scope of work and the timeline than to keep people in the dark until

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