A Project Manager’s Guide to Scheduling Tools & Techniques

Scheduling Software

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Successful project managers identify task dependencies to facilitate work execution. Tasks must also be identified in the proper sequence for completion. Dependencies may include physical limitations, stakeholder priorities or supplier constraints. To calculate work estimates, project managers calculate the number of hours, days or weeks required to complete a task. Experienced project managers rely on their own expertise. New project managers need to consult with peers, superiors and people actually completing the work to estimate accurately. Time overruns adversely affect the project.

Successful project managers use tools, such as Microsoft Project, to create project schedules and automate scheduling processes. Using these sophisticated tools, project managers resolve issues that cause delays and impact product or service quality. These articles share tips on creating a project schedule and ensuring its accuracy. Learn to how to use scheduling software to make your job easier.

Using Scheduling Functions

Project managers conduct resource leveling activities to ensure that people and materials are used optimally throughout the entire project. The goal is to ensure that the staff, supplies and infrastructure are neither overused nor underused. PMs learn how to recognize the benefits of using different types of scheduling tools. They can identify the pros and cons of popular project management applications.

Project managers adjust their schedules by delaying or rescheduling tasks, allocating an alternate resource, modifying the task dependencies or eliminating redundant or unnecessary tasks that add no value to the customer. Find out how to use PERT and Gantt charts to document your project's schedule more accurately.

Scheduling Techniques

Scheduling

An effective project manager monitors tasks to determine if their completion is ahead or behind schedule. If he determines that the project’s finish date is in jeopardy due to incomplete tasks on the critical path, he remedies the situation by performing tasks in parallel or assigning additional resources.

Have you ever realized your project will miss a key milestone? Find out how to deliver your product or service on time by adjusting your schedule and resource allocation. Learn how to crash or compress the schedule.

Scheduling Tips

Effective project managers use scheduling tools and techniques to fragment the work into smaller tasks. They assign qualified resources to complete the work in the most optimal way. Because projects frequently have tight deadlines for completion, successful project managers may need to schedule tasks concurrently rather than sequentially.

Resource leveling allows a project manager to use the people, machines and materials needed to complete the project in the most efficient manner. Effective project managers analyze the entire project first. Then, they break up the project into tasks that the allocated resources can execute to attain the required outcomes and achieve the project’s strategic objective. Scheduling effectively involves estimating costs, monitoring progress and evaluating efficiency and quality. Find out what details you need to include in a schedule to make it useful for team members.

Mobile Scheduling Applications

For busy project managers, accessing scheduling information on mobile devices has become a necessity. Learn about the best calendar applications for your mobile phone that allow you to remain connected with your project team, no matter where you work.

Need advice about the best iPhone applications for project management? Use these applications to collaborate, share files and communicate essential information.

Project Management Fundamentals for Schedulers

Project Management Knowledge Areas

Successful project managers schedule tasks and resources to enable positive project outcomes. Need more information about project management fundamentals? Learn more about essential project management skills to become a more effective scheduler.

Get details about project management software with scheduling functions both online and on the desktop. Learn how to manage projects more effectively by allocating resources in an optimal manner.

Got a question or comment about obtaining scheduling? We'd love to hear your ideas about scheduling tools and techniques. By leaving a comment on any of the above articles you can begin a discussion.

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