The most common challenges that teams and project managers face with schedule control. The tips will empower you to succeed in gaining greater visibility of your project plan, improving productivity, managing resources effectively and reducing risks.
1- Control production pace by allocating resources efficiently
The first step to keeping a tight grip on the project schedule is to allocate your resources efficiently. Ensure that all available team members stay busy throughout the execution phase (they should have too much work than not enough). You can do this by creating 2 lists: top tasks & bottom tasks, then ensure that high priority / high-value tasks are always given to top list team members while low priority / low-value tasks go to bottom list team members.
2- Provide regular, frequent feedback to team members
Keeping your team aligned with the project schedule is an important part of successful project management. Share information about the scope, milestones and critical path as well as progress reports promptly so that they can manage their tasks accordingly. This way you’ll have them actively working on the right things at the right time.
3- Review, analyze & re-prioritize regularly
Every project manager should review his/her tasks daily to ensure that their work is progressing as per plan. Project progress depends a lot on keeping priorities in mind – it’s always better to focus on high value / high priority tasks than on low value / low priority ones. If you notice some tasks not reaching completion as per schedule, then quickly analyze the issue and make appropriate changes to your plan to recover lost time.
4- Establish correct communications with all stakeholders
Good stakeholder management is a must for any project manager looking to maintain a tight grip over his/her project schedule. Don’t forget that stakeholders have expectations regarding their deliverables so if they see that those deliverables are being delayed, they might become anxious and lose faith in you – which can be detrimental to the overall success of the project (unless managed well). To proactively keep all stakeholders informed about progress reports, delay reasons or risks occurring on the project (if any) and the corrective actions being taken to overcome them.
5- Don’t be afraid to make tough decisions
Making a timely decision is important for project managers who want to maintain control over their projects – especially in situations when they are facing challenges and risks that could harm the overall project schedule. You should always seek expert advice from different stakeholders like team members, customers, suppliers etc before making your final decision.