Exploring the Advantages of Project Scheduling
Well-thought-out project scheduling allows businesses to establish when a team should begin and finish working on a deliverable, with resources and objectives in mind. Typically, a complete schedule will outline a variety of parameters like durations, dependencies, resource availability, and deadlines. As a result, this will allow the team and stakeholders to have a better understanding of the amount of work that has to be done, in what sequence, and at what time.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits of project scheduling and why your team should consider reaping the benefits of this practice.
Let’s jump into it.
So, what is project scheduling?
Basically, a project schedule is an essential project management tool that helps teams navigate a project by defining the scope of work that has to be performed and the timeframes associated with it. Similarly, it outlines the necessary skills and the resources required for every task, the order in which they occur, project milestones and interdependencies, as well as the overall project timeline.
Along with that, an important part of project scheduling is analyzing resource availability—this enables project managers to understand the spectrum of resources that are available to their team, when they’re available, and under what conditions. Failing to take these aspects into account may often result in delays and discrepancies in the deliverables.
It’s also important to mention that project schedules come with a fair share of flexibility, allowing you to adapt to the people and organizations that use them. Here are a few common formats:
- Master project schedule — a surface-level roadmap that outlines the essential tasks and the time allocated to each of them. These schedules are typically used to provide a high-level overview for senior management or external stakeholders that don’t really need an in-depth breakdown of a project.
- Milestone schedule — these documents outline the major milestones of a project but don’t necessarily feature every task or deliverable. It’s a helpful reference point when reporting status and helping teams provide context for the progress made so far.
- Detailed project schedule — this document typically offers an in-depth understanding of the milestones and their subtasks and activities. It’s especially useful for the team and managers and allows them to keep track of every detail of the project.
What are the benefits of project scheduling?
Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail,” is probably one of the most concise and insightful answers to this question—but it would be a shame if we didn’t explore this topic in more depth. So here goes:
Enables detailed analysis and planning
This is probably one of the most important benefits scheduling has to offer. By brainstorming and analyzing a project’s needs, deadlines, and deliverables, you’ll be able to foresee a wide array of potential issues and bottlenecks, as well as plan milestones in a more thoughtful manner.
It’s actually easier to outline the benefits of scheduling by thinking about how a project would proceed without this process in place.
Obviously, there would be a lot of guesswork in place that would result in a significant lack of sync between team members. As a result, this leads to missed deadlines and extra expenses for business owners, along with a variety of other issues that project managers would prefer to avoid.
Allows for better management and communication
Fundamentally, a project schedule is more than just an action plan; it’s a roadmap designed to make a project efficient and streamlined by aligning dependencies, resources, personnel, activities, deliverables, and a host of other crucial elements.
Aside from streamlining the project itself, a detailed schedule allows project leaders or project managers to communicate a team’s progress, performance, and success to stakeholders based on KPIs.
Helps keep close track of progress
Fundamentally, scheduling provides teams with a detailed framework that allows them to track the progress of a project. This ensures that the people on a team receive regular and valuable feedback about the quality of work and overall performance.
With schedules, project leaders can keep track of slipping tasks and potential delays, ensuring that these problems can be addressed and communicated as soon as they arise.
Enables efficient resource management
Scheduling is critical when it comes to planning, managing, and keeping track of the efficiency of the resources involved in a project that range from people to software and finances. Appropriately resourced plans help optimize the sequence and duration of activities and make sure that they alternate smoothly.
We’ve published quite a few articles on accountability on the Teamly blog—we believe that it’s one of the most important components of a successful and efficient workplace. Schedules are absolutely critical when it comes to stimulating accountability because they provide people with a crystal-clear understanding of their responsibilities and the deadlines associated with them.
Furthermore, this provides people with a fair amount of context in regards to what their colleagues are working on and how a person’s work is codependent on the work of others on the team. Unfortunately, this is an often overlooked benefit of scheduling. This broader understanding of how your work ties into the work of others helps eliminate a whole array of issues and misunderstandings during a project, ensuring better focus and coordination.
Ensures better financial performance
Scheduling will have a massive impact on the financial side of a project. This is especially relevant when a project is under serious time constraints.
Developing products is a fairly costly affair and keeping things within schedule is extremely important for business owners and investors.
Furthermore, a disorganized development process also invariably leads to a wide array of bugs that will have to be addressed at a certain point, and, unfortunately, the further a project is into the process, the more costly it is to address these issues.
Adequate estimating and scheduling will help teams keep their costs low as well as prevent unexpected expenses.
Enables better quality control
Schedules are critical when it comes to ensuring and maintaining quality due to the fact that they enable teams to outline the project needs and stakeholder or client expectations. As a result, teams can strategize projects to allow for extensive product testing, avoiding last-minute changes and delays that will end up increasing the bottom line. So by ensuring that a project’s timeline and resources are well-thought-out ahead of time, there are plenty of opportunities to accelerate work and mitigate unwanted expenses.
The bottom line
There is a wide array of factors that make project schedules an extremely valuable part of any project and project management in general.
By taking the time to strategize over a project’s schedule, a team will be able to:
- Thoroughly analyze a project’s requirements and available resources and, as a result, establish critical codependencies, which will significantly boost delivery time and eliminate a wide array of bugs and issues.
- Communicate progress across the entire company structure.
- Stimulate accountability and provide the whole team with essential context to help eliminate a vast amount of bottlenecks and misunderstandings.
- Ensure higher product quality and less wasted resources.