As logical as it is to have a schedule for every project, having a solid scheduling process can make an even more significant difference. Rather than being a routine matter of blocking off weeks with tasks to complete, the benefits of getting project scheduling right will be far-reaching.
Your project management office (PMO) is responsible for providing the right process for project scheduling to your project managers. You may have worked with different project scheduling tools like cloud-based systems or internally designed spreadsheets and a range of different processes. There will have been a reason for your organization to use the systems that were in place.
It’s worthwhile understanding the benefits of a good scheduling process to help you decide what your own PMO design process will be. If you can’t achieve these benefits with your new process, you need to rework how you’ll do scheduling so you can realise these benefits.
To that end, we’re going to look at:
- How project scheduling can help achieve KPIs
- The effect of a good scheduling system across the wider business
- Project scheduling and how it improves partnerships
How can project scheduling help with project budgets?
A good project schedule tells you exactly what resources each project needs and when. The project manager should know how long they will need to pay for a piece of software, second a member of staff, or occupy rented office space.
Planning and scheduling accurately will help all your projects project costs accurately.
What other KPIs can a project schedule help with?
A good project schedule will define when the project will be delivered to the client. This will act as the deadline, which is more than likely an important KPI of a project and for your PMO as well.
Downtime and SLAs with contractors and freelancers can also be reduced. When there is a clear schedule that all stakeholders can see, people can be brought in on time, and resources can be booked only when needed.
How can project scheduling help with KPI tracking?
Since on-time delivery is usually a significant factor in project and PMO success, it needs to be tracked accurately. Simply working towards a few basic milestones or a general outline means your team won’t know if it’s on track.
A detailed project schedule will indicate early on if a project isn’t performing. This should allow for solutions before the whole project gets off schedule.
Is reporting affected by project scheduling?
As well as your PMO and project managers knowing where a project is up to, stakeholders want to get regular updates. You won’t share the day-to-day schedule with the client or your PMO sponsor, but you will want a way to demonstrate project progress.
A clear and accessible schedule will help all the project stakeholders visualise how a project is doing. This will build strong relationships because projects and your PMO will be transparent and can show the value of the work you do.
Can project scheduling improve efficiency?
It’s not just budgeting that can be more efficient with robust project scheduling. Every element of a project can become more efficient when everyone knows what is needed and when.
If items have to be ordered, contractors booked, or tools procured, having a date for that will make work more efficient. In terms of your PMO, you will be able to compare project schedules and see where there may be synergies.
You may need to have a software developer with the same skill set for two different projects. Having schedules for all projects will help you identify such instances and help you decide if bringing in the developer for an extra week between projects may prevent an off-boarding followed by another onboarding, for example.
What are the benefits of project scheduling
Having the right schedules created that follow the principles of time management will help your PMO know what’s going on in every project. You can be sure that targets are on track and your projects are being run in the best way possible.
The wider business can plan better when it’s easy to see what resources will be needed and when. The benefits of getting project scheduling right include better budget management, closer KPI adherence, more trusting stakeholder relationships, and overall better project efficiency.