The desire to launch and execute projects quickly is nothing new. But the pace of business continues to accelerate, and organizations are under growing pressure to swiftly identify and act on market trends, emerging risks, and new opportunities.
For project teams, this means they’re increasingly expected to compress initiative timelines and shrink planning cycles. At the same time, most are being asked to execute projects with smaller budgets and fewer people. It’s a combination that makes it even more difficult to deliver good results in less time.
How can project managers meet tighter scheduling requirements without sacrificing quality?
A proven project management methodology with the right planning and control structure helps take advantage of time-saving strategies so you can keep your initiatives moving while managing risks, tracking task dependencies, and monitoring key milestones.
Identify opportunities to consolidate resources
In some instances, task coordination may consume more time than is necessary. A robust project management strategy provides insight into areas where you might be able to streamline the orchestration of certain resource-focused activities.
- Is a vendor scheduled to work on your project multiple times?
- Have you assigned tasks to various vendors that could instead be executed by a single provider?
- Is it possible to turn several trips into one onsite visit to eliminate time lost in between?
Optimizing your existing resource-based workflows helps eliminate downtime and provides openings to potentially trim your schedule.
Reduce downtime with highly accurate task duration estimates
The right project management methodology enables you to utilize very accurate duration estimates for each task within your project flow. This removes the risk of using questionable data from guesstimates or durations for similar tasks conducted during previous initiatives that may not be applicable to your current project.
With detailed, reliable task duration information to drive your schedule, you’ll know the minimum time required to complete each task. This ensures you have good awareness around task transitions and you can avoid time wasted by surprise gaps before or after key activities.
Assign tasks more efficiently
Project teams lose time when they must scramble to reassign tasks that weren’t delegated properly the first time around. By following a well-tested methodology, your planning efforts will be directly informed by the people carrying out each activity. Going straight to the source during the project’s early phases results in task assignments that are efficient and correct, and you’ll know that each expert is prepared to begin their activities time.
Trim transition gaps using task dependencies
The ability to efficiently link (and potentially unlink) activities can be a crucial advantage when pulling together the tightest project timeline possible.
- Review existing dependencies and evaluate if they can be decoupled or resequenced
- Look for opportunities to reduce transition times between parent and dependent tasks
- Consider if parent tasks include interim milestones that could signal an earlier initiation point for dependent tasks
Deep insight into task dependencies also allows you to more closely monitor the progress within each sequence and quickly address potential delays or conflicts.
Eliminate time lost to reactive risk mitigation
Responding to unanticipated risks mid-project and dealing with problems at the eleventh hour wastes valuable time. A solid project management methodology enables your team to use a more schedule-savvy approach to risk identification and mitigation.
Maintaining tight timelines requires that you have the right tools and techniques to uncover potential liabilities earlier in the planning process. You can then assess risks and develop mitigation plans before problems disrupt your team’s progress. And by implementing proactive solutions as part of your planned workflows, you’ll minimize time loss and keep your project on the right forward track.