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Project Time Management: 5 Strategies for Staying on Schedule

Software Project Management   -  

May 20, 2024

Table of Contents

Let’s start an in-depth discussion of project time management which is an essential part of any project. Statistics from recent days show that 70% of all projects do not succeed; the poor management of time accounts as one of the leading causes of failure of projects.

Project time management aims at proper utilization of time and not just adhering to the scheduled completion date of the project. For example, workers spend 57% of their time on interaction which needs to be controlled so as not to become an additional inefficiency.

This article from Designveloper will answer this question based on evidence and practical examples and will outline five tactics to manage schedule challenges. We will speak about the tendencies in project time management, mistakes made in this area, possible solutions, and more.

Understanding Project Time Management

Now, let’s us first proceed to the very core of the given question which is project time management.

Definition and explanation of project time management

Project time management is one of the significant parts of efficient project management. It is the process of handling the planning and scheduling of events that must be done in a project and controlling them.

Let us look at some recent figures. Statistics show that more than two thirds of all projects do not meet their objectives and this is commonly attributed to ineffective project management. Furthermore, only 58% of companies recognize their full potential. However, projects are 2.5 times more successful when practices associated with project management are adopted.

For example, in the domain of scheduling time, employees allocate 57 percent of their time on communications. This includes opening email, joining meetings, and replying to messages. Oral interruptions by co-workers can account for up to 50% of employee time.

Understanding Project Time Management

These statistics are considered when emphasizing the criticality of project time management. For instance, try to imagine some software development project. If insufficient time management is used, the project may not be delivered on time, which translates to costly delays and lost market windows.

On the other hand, effective project time management enables the project team to manage time effectively and efficiently, ensuring more time is spent on the crucial activities in the projects, thus, ensuring that the occurrence of project failure is minimal. It may assist in keeping the project on schedule if a specific time administration system, for example, Gantt chart or project management application, is applied.

In summary, project time management does not end when the project meets the deadline; instead, it entails maximizing time used in projects for the benefit of successful projects. Project management as a rising industry is anticipated to increase to $15.08 billion by 2030, meaning the role of project time management will only become increasingly significant.

Why project time management is crucial for project success

One of the biggest components of project execution, project time management, has a significant influence on project performance. Time management is not just about completing tasks on time as it can also help to avoid fatigue, promote efficiency, concentration, and clarity of thought, and enhance decision-making.

Now, let’s look at some key figures that demonstrate the significance of time management for projects. A survey found that an overwhelming 91% of professionals are of the opinion that managing time more effectively will help in relieving stress in the workplace. In addition, 90% are of the view that it also leads to higher productivity. The above statistics demonstrate the significance of managing time effectively for achieving a more productive and healthier working environment.

However, project management statistics show that only 58% of organizations have an accurate grasp on the concept and usefulness of project management. This shows that there is a lot of room for growth for most companies. Thirdly, 77% of efficient projects reported using project management software, which also demonstrates the importance of technological solutions for managing project time.

Articles written on the subject of time management on projects also reinforce this significance. These reports also assist in learning how time is spent on projects as well as highlighting project issues that need to be addressed to complete projects timely and within budget.

Time management is a critical endeavor for project success not only in the sense of delivering on time but also in the sense of enhancing productivity and stress management. Given the current state of development of the project management area, the issue of time management as the key to success becomes only more critical.

Common Mistakes in Project Time Management

It is easy to get lost among the vast opportunities for implementing project time management. Recent studies show that an alarming number of 70% of projects are unsuccessful due to failure of the project to meet its scheduled time of completion. The aim of this section “Common Mistakes in Project Time Management” is to illustrate these pitfalls and present specific examples from data and reports in a concise and understandable manner.

Common Mistakes in Project Time Management

These are the most common mistakes that you need to avoid if you want to enhance the probability of your project being completed on time. Bear in mind that time management is not only about crossing out activities from the list: It also involves planning, goal establishment, and rational use of resources. Alright, let’s tackle some of these mistakes so that you can avoid them in your next project.

Identification of common mistakes made in project time management

Project time management is one of the core and important considerations in project performance. Unfortunately, some mistakes may cause project completion delay or even cost overrun. Now we will discuss these mistakes in detail.

  • Procrastination: This is procrastination which means that delaying a task results in the buildup of work. Those things need to be addressed immediately to ensure that the project does not fall behind.
  • Failing to Prioritize: Every minute is valuable and should not be wasted. Failure to focus on the importance of each activity leads to misuse of this resource. It is critical to focus on the key activities that are both critical and urgent for the project and its time management.
  • Managing Distractions: They are usually time wasting and can greatly interfere with efficiency. Another common aspect of project time management is ensuring that there is a proper working environment that is free from distractions.
  • Improper Planning: The reason could be that there were no clear objectives and expectations and that is why the project is considered a failure. Estimation of project time: Time management in projects begins with establishing the scope of work.
  • Overcommitting: It is also important to avoid taking more responsibilities than what you can manage as this may result in stress and eventually cause fatigue. People must learn how much they can handle and do things with their capabilities.
  • Underestimating Time and Resources Needed: This is a mistake that results in project completion beyond the scheduled time. Estimation is essential to time management for projects because of its role in resource management.

It is important to avoid these mistakes in order to enhance project time management which results in a successful overall execution of the project. Project time management is an important aspect to ensure that the project does not suffer delays.

Real-world examples of projects that suffered due to these mistakes.

Time management in projects is a vital factor for successful projects. Nevertheless, there are several examples of unsuccessful projects due to common time management mistakes. Here are a few examples: Let us discuss them briefly.

  • Sony Betamax: Betamax was a cassette recording device that was brought into the market by Sony in the mid 1970s. Betamax, which had a more superior design to that of VHS and was in the market earlier, lost to JVC’s VHS technology. The Betamax case vividly demonstrates several aspects of project time management including regular project evaluation and the need to modify projects to meet evolving market demands.
  • New Coke: In 1985 Coca-Cola Company launched New Coke which was a new flavor that underwent trial by two hundred thousand people. Even though Coca-Cola experienced a successful initial public reception New Coke was unable to gain market share and ended up costing the company $30 million in back-stocked products. In this example, project time management is demonstrated in the need to understand the motivation of consumers and collect extensive information about customers.
  • Ford Edsel: The Edsel project by Ford is also another example of a failed project. However, the Edsel did not capture the right customer despite market surveys and research conducted. This example can be used to illustrate the significance of integration of project goals with market needs in project time management.

All of these scenarios are useful cases that can be applied as references in project time management. Through reflecting on these mistakes, the project managers are able to be better time managers, which will enhance the success of the projects. In particular, do not forget that time management is one of the major components of project management that keeps projects on schedule.

5 Strategies for Project Time Management

Time Management of Projects is one of the key elements of project implementation. It’s the management of work stages involved in a project to ensure it is completed on time. Nevertheless, this is actually a tricky art to perfect. It involves knowledge of what the project is about, what resources are needed, and what are the limitations.

The following subsections will present five best practices for time management in projects. These strategies are not just theoretical but because they are field tested and they are effective. These are used to assist project managers or teams to remain on schedule despite situations that arise that were not in the original plan.

Strategy 1: Detailed Project Planning

The first approach to managing project time is the development of a comprehensive project plan. It includes identifying the scope of work, dividing the work into activities, estimating the cost and duration of activities, and creating a project plan.

  • Define Clear Objectives: The first way is connected with project planning and implies defining the objective of the project. This enables one to have an outline for the project and also facilitates project supervision.
  • Identify Tasks: The next step is to list every task necessary to accomplish the project goals. This includes identifying which tasks can be carried out simultaneously and which are sequential.
  • Estimate Time and Resources: After the tasks are determined, the next step should be to define how much time and resources should be allocated for each task. This helps in planning and budgeting especially in the allocation of resources.
  • Develop a Project Schedule: The last phase in project designing is to prepare of project schedule. This includes personal time management such as planning for task and milestone completion.  

Finally, it’s important to note that detailed project planning is one of the major mechanisms used to manage project times. It helps in on schedule and in completing project deliverables.

Strategy 2: Effective Communication

The second proposal for successful project time management is the communication strategy. It is characterized by precise, concise and on time communication amongst project members.

  • Clear Communication: Transparency fosters the clarity of both roles and responsibilities for all the people involved in the process. It is useful in controlling ambiguity and misinterpretation.
  • Concise Communication: Clarity of message entails that the message is given in the shortest and simplest way possible. It saves time and also it helps to ensure the message being delivered is the right one.
  • Timely Communication: This type of communication relays information when it is due. It helps in timely decision making and in ensuring that project schedule is not breached.

Note that communication is an important and effective means of project time management. It helps in the control of schedule of the project and achieving the project goals.

Strategy 3: Use of Project Management Tools

I have learned that project time management progresses with the use of project management tools. They reduce time for communication, involve one source for managing projects, share status, and enhance collaboration. They are the contemporary approach to workspace cluttering that enables teams to be concentrated on their outcomes.

Recent numbers show that 70% of projects are failed. But introducing a well-defined project management framework will cut this failure rate to 20% and below. This reveals the importance of using the project management tools for effective project time management.

In addition, 73% of organizations that employ the formalized approach to project management regularly achieve their objectives. They successfully complete their project in scope 63% and project on schedule 59% of the time. These figures indicate how project time management can be achieved with the help of project management tools.

Strategy 4: Regular Progress Tracking

Even status reporting is one of the most important techniques for project time management. It serves several purposes. One is early issue detection. Continuous auditing enables the auditor to make detection of deviations as soon as they occur. This approach is helpful because it anticipates future challenges instead of solving them once they have escalated.

5 Strategies for Project Time Management

Regular progress helps to make well-informed decisions. Timely information makes it easier for the project managers to make choices that will always ensure that the project is on course. It also helps to develop a culture of responsibility.

Take the example of a Jira tool being used for project tracking by a project manager. The manager can make important decisions based on accurate and up-to-date Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However, approximately half of the organizations state that they do not have the access to the real-time project KPIs. This lack can diminish the capacity to monitor project progress.

Strategy 5: Risk Management

Risk management is a vital component of project time management. It involves identifying potential threats and opportunities early on, allowing teams to prepare proactive responses. This strategic preparation helps to prevent minor issues from escalating into significant problems.

Consider the case of a project manager using a risk management tool like RiskyProject. With real-time access to risk indicators, the manager can make informed decisions. Yet, about 42% of companies report lacking understanding of the importance of project management. This lack can hinder the ability to manage project risks effectively.

Project Time Management at Designveloper

Here at Designveloper, we know just how valuable project time management can be. It is a major contributing element to our position as one of the top web and software development companies in Vietnam. We have established an explicit process that involves techniques, procedures, theories, and rationale to support project implementation. This is sometimes referred to as a ‘‘project management system’’ and helps us in terms of guiding us as to how we are to manage projects.

It is essential to note from our experience that a well-structured project management system must contain information that specifies the estimated cost of a particular project, including labor costs, equipment, materials, and overhead. Additionally, a good project management system assists us in allocating our budget on the project intelligently. It is also helpful for the budget monitoring for overall expenses within our project.

Here we have compiled valuable info from countless successful cases of software project management’s application. These experiences are key factors that define our management of time for projects associated with businesses that are seeking software solutions from the company.

The process and methodology for project time management at Designveloper

When it comes to project time management at Designveloper, there is a clear structure. Analogous Estimation is used for new projects. Our estimation team then collaborates with a client when reviewing their needs. Finally, we analyze these into a list of features.

Project Time Management at Designveloper

We have developed a library of features based on the historic data of similar projects. Based on this list of features, our estimation team then goes to the feature library and performs estimation of time, budget, and resources necessary for each feature. We then combine these into a preliminary estimate of time and cost for the client’s software project.

We usually use Planning Poker for time estimation for Agile/SCRUM projects. During planning all the participants of the project estimate every planned item for the sprint. Each of the team members submit a story point estimate which refers to the effort needed to complete the item. The team then estimates the number of items that can be done in the sprint which can last for two weeks. Planning Poker is an estimation technique which is commonly employed by SCRUM or XP teams.

Specific project time management techniques we use

At Designveloper, we apply technology to manage project time successfully. We use project management and time tracking tools such as Jira and Trello. These tools present the progress of work, assist in better planning, and are time-saving. They also eliminate repetitive tasks, which also saves time.

As for the time-management skills, we make sure that all people know and function according to priorities. High priority is always given to the most important tasks. If any alterations in the task priorities and client’s expectations occur then it is clearly explained within the team. This approach eliminates the wasteful effect of time associated with rework.

Another highly important factor is the ability to reassign tasks. In addition, while the team members are typically allowed to select the tasks that they wish to perform, in case when required, the project manager has the ultimate authority to allocate tasks. This helps in effective time management as resources are only directed towards important tasks.

Project time management successes

Regarding time management in projects, Designveloper has taken great steps. Among our major achievements is the adoption of continuous deployment. It enables one to offer value to the users effectively and in a timely manner. Rather than launching a full feature, we create the minimal viable product and implement new features based on customer feedback. It has the practical implication of delivering value to our clients as rapidly as possible and observing improvement rather than waiting for the ‘right’ feature.

We also have regular ‘sync-up’ sessions for all teams to ensure information flows for clarity from input (requirements) to output (product). Changes do not catch different teams unaware and so they can respond in a way that is best suited for the situation.

All of these have made our project time management at Designveloper considerably better. They all demonstrate our ability to provide quality software on schedule and within the prescribed costs. Thus, the method of project time management not only facilitates the internal work organization but also increases the quality of the products delivered to customers. This success helps us affirm our power as a top web and software development company in Vietnam.

Conclusion

Project scheduling is one of the most important areas of project management. We have refined our practices and approaches at Designveloper so that we can provide software solutions that meet our clients’ expectations. The project time management that comprises the project management tools, progress evaluation, and risk identification is also effective in our work.

We have personally witnessed changes in the waiting time, interaction among the team as well as the quality of products in the projects. These successes demonstrate our focus on clients and that we are one of the best web and software development companies in Vietnam.

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