What is a Project timeline
The Project timeline is the second stage of project management, Planning. The Project timeline is what captures
its whole essence: what, how, under what conditions and until when it will be accomplished. In a Project
timeline are represented all the tasks, activities, and events that are already accomplished, the ones that are
currently being worked on, and also the ones that have to be done in the future.
Regardless of how it is structured, a Project timeline will include the following key elements:
- All the tasks related to the project
- The deadline for each of the tasks
- Start and end date of tasks
- Dependencies between tasks - the relationship between tasks when are interconnected. This helps to
organize the work and to approach the tasks in the proper order
- Relevant milestones - marks the end of an important stage of the project. These may be related to
concepts, design, development, testing, and, eventually, launch.
How to create a Project timeline
Transposing all the tasks and events in an efficient Project timeline is a procedure that ensures total
transparency regarding the stage of execution. At a glance, you can see the deadlines and the progress and this
makes it possible to react promptly to any inconsistencies that may appear.
To create an effective project timeline, you need to complete the following 8 steps:
- Understanding and defining the purpose of the project.
The project's purpose must be clearly defined, accurate and detailed. The harmonious development of the
entire Project timeline depends on this step.
- Creating a work breakdown structure (WBS).
All that was defined at the previous step must now be broken down into smaller deliverables that will later
be used to define tasks and task dependencies.
- Creating the tasks necessary for the WBS
The smaller deliverables defined at the previous step will now be used to define the tasks. All of those
tasks will help you plan accurately
- Determination of project dependencies
Determines which tasks are interconnected and which are the relationships between them. This must be
precisely established to ensure the natural order of the Project timeline
- Evaluation of the necessary and available resources
Determine who, when and what they do. Balance responsibilities and allocate them accordingly so that the
result is as expected
- Establishing important milestones
Track the progress of the project through intermediate assessments at predetermined time intervals. This
will allow the right measures to be taken on time
- Determination of the necessary time for each task
Create accurate estimations for each of the tasks. Consider from the beginning the time limit available for
the whole project, so that you fit properly in the Project timeline.
- Establishing the Project timeline
Put together all the threads obtained in the above steps and build the Project timeline
How to visualize the Project timeline
For added efficiency, all the above data can be transposed into a visual layout. There are several methods
available and should be chosen one that best suits the characteristics of the project and the way of working.
Some of these methods are:
, an efficient visual approach that illustrates a project timeline. Includes the start and end time
of each task, it shows the dependencies between tasks and also the milestones. Depending on the time length of
the project, the Gantt Project timeline can be drawn up for longer or shorter periods, including from several
months to several hours.
The PERT chart
especially highlights in particular, the completion time of each task to identify the shortest
period in which the project can be completed. It illustrates very well the critical path and which tasks are
are usually used to visualize quality control issues and to prioritize problem areas. The method
highlights the most important or critical elements in a set
or Fishbone diagrams
properly identify the true causes of problems. The diagram looks like a fish and
“the head” is the problem that has arisen and the various causes are displayed into the spine.
Simple Project timeline
, in a horizontal or vertical visual layout. All the tasks, milestones, intermediate and