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Project Deliverables and Effective Time Management

Time is an independent resource that can never be retrieved after being spent—project managers and team members can only try to compensate for the same presently or in the times to come. Hence, time serves as a critical constraint in producing deliverables and achieving project objectives, towards which all human resources must be sensitive. When project teams are appraised by customers, sponsors or stakeholders, they are often adjudged on the basis of their ability to influence constraints of cost, scope, time, and quality. 
 
Dynamic project managers as well as PMI-RMP®, CAPM®, PMP® and other credential holders transfer and apply the knowledge attained from the PMBOK® Guide and attempt to enhance the likelihood of overall project success. They strive to retain the disparity between actual work durations and the planned project time at minimal levels, and demonstrate adequate knowledge of the workflow. Instead of overruling the responsibility of verifying the completion of work packages, effective time management fosters the probability of time spent in actualizing project deliverables, that too at relative parity with the schedule baseline and pre-planned durations.
 
To ascertain effective time management, it is important to painstakingly perform the processes of:
  • Definition and sequencing of activities
  • Estimation of durations and resources
  • Scheduling of development procedures
  • Monitoring and control of schedules, and so forth.
Moreover, it becomes important to ensure that a project does not run unendingly or forever before producing final deliverables; rather timely deliverables relevant to each phase should be achieved in line with available project resources. The defined time frames should be flexible enough to integrate unforeseeable occurrences as well.
 
The role of time management includes a recap of the ways in which project phases succeed in accruing to a project’s life cycle. During the initiation stage of the project, enough time should be allocated in developing a charter and identifying initial stakeholders. The project manager is assigned by the senior management and all initial project development tasks are performed within given time frames. The planning phase requires reasonable time inputs and all the tasks spanning across nine knowledge areas related to project management are carried out in the same. In subsequent phases, time is collectively spent in executing project plans and performing control /monitoring activities. The ultimate process group happens to be the closing phase wherein time is allocated for performing those activities that signify the completion of the project.
 
Numerous tools are put to use for hastening and enhancing the scheduling jobs of a project manager. From various techniques available in the PMBOK® Guide to the application of scheduling software and programs, the tools for developing and controlling schedule baselines are many. Time management tools have to be chosen after extrapolating the effects of uncertain and unforeseeable factors and anticipating the potential requirements for creating workarounds in the project’s future. For instance, the option of a body of professionals or members of a national labor union going on a strike may result in strong negative influences on the duration of a project. Therefore, while planning project schedules, project managers need to be optimistic, pessimistic as well as moderate. In certain cases, it may become important to factor in the ‘lost time injury frequency rate’ that depicts the assumed man-hours lost because of any illness or work-related injury experienced by a human resource in the project.
 
Seasoned schedule management professionals and project managers need to know that paper work is very different from the pragmatic factors of time management; they usually vary in line with the overall efficiency of teams members. Hence, to ensure productive project deliverables, it becomes essential to keep track of the time management abilities of all individuals and monitor grouped human resources on the basis of scheduled work packages. It is also important to make each team member understand the role of his/ her work package and receive a clear outline of overall work activities. This in turn goes a long way in reinforcing all coordinative efforts and bridging the influences of the communication gaps existing between project units and the central office. In a nutshell, if the project team succeeds in being open to novel ideas, along with being entirely time-conscious, the likelihood of performing well in all project schedule management plans augments accordingly.
 
All the best!
 

Author : Uma Daga

 

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