Project timeline is one of the very important stages in Project management. It is the stage in which the project is shaped in time. Creating an efficient Project timeline offers the possibility to see at a glance the “big-picture” of the project, with all its tasks, milestones and deadlines.
A project represents the sum of the activities and tasks that are carried out to reach a specific result. For the fact that it is a temporary endeavor, it requires the development of distinct technical skills and management strategies.
The essential parameters of any project are scope, budget, quality, and schedule. The last parameter is the project timeline. The interrelationship between all four parameters determines that any change in one of them influences the others and even the outcome of the entire project.
To avoid such problems, project management is what deals with the process of planning, organization, and
management of resources to complete the specific goals and objectives of the project.
There are different approaches to project management but they all include the same basic stages:
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:
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:
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:
Gantt chart, 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 less important.
Pareto charts 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
Ishikawa 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 final deadlines.