How to build a successful project schedule in 7 steps


how to set up project schedule


Every successful project starts with a schedule that’s established by the manager and agreed upon by the whole team. But, do you know how to set up a project schedule? Here you will find out how this problem is solved!

The document, generated by a management platform or made on a simple Google Sheets spreadsheet, should describe all the deliverables, deadlines and resources of a project.

What about the details? Who will perform each task? What are the goals and objectives? Is the budget available? What’s the estimated time to complete the project, etc.?

There is so much information that the use of the schedule is vital during the entire life cycle of management of the project.

How about a step-by-step guide on how to build a project schedule for your company?

See the 7 essential steps, so that you can assertively monitor projects and make preparations for the whole team to achieve excellence!

What is a project schedule?

The project schedule can be defined as a document that describes all the tasks to be fulfilled within a certain plan. The schedule contains start and finishing dates for each task, the resources required for production and the degree of importance of each stage.

How to create a project schedule in 7 steps

1. Define the project tasks

The first step to set up a project schedule is to identify all the tasks to fulfill. It would be like the general scope of the work, setting up what needs to be accomplished.

You don’t need to stick to a specific order or details at this first stage.

Just write down everything you believe is going to be necessary to achieve the project’s results and the ideal deadline for delivery.

An article that can help you in this production is our free e-book “The complete guide to Project Management”. With it, you will be able to build a plan so that the final result is the way you intended!

2. Make a PAS

The PAS is the Project Analytical Structure, and to make it you should create a list of tasks that need to be performed for each deliverable. This structure acts as the breakdown of the works. It’s important to list all the procedures and deliverables in a more detailed manageable way.

Also identify the liabilities between tasks, which will help you in the next step to determine the order in which to carry them out. These liabilities can focus on:

That task “A” must be completed before starting task “B”

That task “A” must begin before task “B” begins

By better analyzing these liabilities between each one, you are better prepared to avoid and eventually deal with future scheduling problems.

3. Set the priorities

Now that you have all the activities listed, start establishing the procedural priorities. As well as considering the most important activities, at this stage, it is wise to evaluate which are those tasks that, in order to start, need to wait for the completion of a previous one.

Taking care of this sequencing of activities is a way to prepare everyone to deliver the project on time, on schedule and without any confusion.

The idea is to avoid reworking and wasting time fixing mistakes that could be avoided just by paying attention to the schedule.

4. Identify required resources

The next step in how to put together a project schedule is to assign resources to each task.

This planning is essential since a resource may be assigned to another project in parallel and you need to prepare for the unforeseen.

Ask yourself what resources will be needed to execute the proposed actions, available budget, etc.

You also need to know exactly who will be doing what, set out a clear outline of work and thus ensure that all tasks have the proper monitoring and, consequently, excellence in their execution.

5. Estimate the time to complete the tasks

How long does each task listed in your schedule take?

Even if they are organized and in order of priority, you need to estimate task duration to make the schedule complete. This is perhaps the most important step in scheduling, as it can impact the costs of the project.

Duration would be the period required to complete a task, be it days, weeks or months. Do not underestimate the time required for each task and always focus on the time required to deliver quality work.

Consider holidays, vacations, absence periods and your company’s productivity levels.

A tip to make estimates efficiently is to analyze historical data from previous projects with similar characteristics.

And of course, naturally talking to the team and the professionals who would be involved in the tasks.

6. Analyze clients and suppliers involved

To help better understand the deadlines according to the personnel involved in the project, also try to identify and analyze which clients and suppliers will be linked to the established tasks.

7. Keep the schedule updated

The project has already started, is the schedule working? Great. But that does not mean that your estimates will not be subject to change. For this reason, it is necessary to always keep the schedule updated.

Any and all data can be relevant to ensure accuracy in the schedule and help all personnel to locate themselves in their tasks.

By no means leave the schedule aside, because it will be the main tool to visualize the project status and assist in ensuring quality delivery.

Now that you know how to create a complete project schedule, let’s put it into practice.

STRATWs One is a corporate performance management software. It allows you to track the KPIs in real-time. Therefore, it is the ideal tool for monitoring projects.

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