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Beginner's Guide<br>to Project Scheduling
Beginner's Guide
to Project Scheduling
Chapter 2:

Most Common Scheduling Techniques in Project Management


Now that you know all the elements that belong in your project schedule, you can start to assess which of the different techniques for project management you will use. There are several ways to approach project scheduling based on your experience and the complexity of your project.

Choose your project scheduling technique:

Task List

Of all the project scheduling techniques, the task list is without a doubt, the simplest. This is a list of tasks per team member, documented in a spreadsheet or word processor. This method is simple and familiar to most people, and is especially useful for smaller projects; however, for large projects with multiple tasks, dependencies and resources, a task list is not feasible for having an overall view and tracking the project. If the spreadsheet is not web-based, there are extreme limitations when it comes to collaborating and commenting on the document. There is also no versioning offered, which leads to mistakes, loss of productivity results in duplicate copies and different versions of the same document. It’s also near impossible to track the progress of the project, since the spreadsheet is not part of a bigger system and everything needs to be updates manually.

You can also present your task as a gantt chart, with a technique called stacked bar chart.

Pros:

  • • Easy to create
  • • The only tool required is Microsoft Office
  • • Ability to assign tasks to resources


Cons:

  • • No global view of the project timeline

  • • Limited collaboration

  • • No versioning

  • • No progress tracking

 

Gantt Chart

The project schedule Gantt chart is a useful visualization technique for progress tracking and reporting purposes. It’s the go-to tool for most Project Managers when they want to get a quick estimate of the time it will take to complete all the project activities.

A project schedule Gantt chart is a bar chart that displays key activities in sequence on the left (first activity is at the top left and last activity ends in the bottom right corner) vs time (on the top or bottom). Each task is represented by a bar that reflects the start and date of the activity, and therefore its duration. The chart shows all the activities, when they’re set to start and end, how long each activity will last, where there are overlaps of activities, dependencies between activities, which are connected with arrows and the start/end date of the entire project.

If the Gantt chart is not part of a project management system, it is very flat and has similar limitations to the task list, such as little collaboration, no versioning or progress tracking.

Pros:

  • • Adaptable to all industries and projects
  • • Easy to view progress
  • • Ability to set accurate deadlines and define dependencies
  • • Easily modified
  • • Can be created in Microsoft Excel or in a project management system
  • • Ability to assign tasks to resources

 

Cons:

  • • If the Gantt chart is not part of a project management system, it is flat

  • • No versioning

  • • Limited collaboration

  • • No progress tracking

 


Find free stand alone tools for Gantt chart creation
 

Calendar

While scheduling tasks in a calendar may seem like a logical thing to do, many don’t consider it for their project scheduling needs - and they should! In most calendars, there’s an option to create different calendars with their own unique names. In this case, you can create one calendar per project and schedule events (which become the tasks) for that project. The calendar shows a timeline for the entire project. The other great thing is that calendars are shareable, so you can add your team members to them as well. While this is a great approach for viewing all the tasks and seeing where they may overlap, it does have certain limitations; you cannot assign tasks to certain people and you cannot see task dependencies.

Pros:

  • • Easy to view tasks
  • • Easily modified
  • • Easily shareable

 

Cons:

  • • Inability to assign tasks

  • • No representation of task dependencies


In this video you can learn how to create calendar as a project, how to create events (tasks), and how to share the calendar project withy our team members.
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