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Project Management – Scheduling Projects Made Easy
By Liz Cassidy

Complex projects require sophisticated software and scheduling tools, however simpler and more straightforward projects involving only a few people over a relatively short period of time require a much simpler approach.

Usually, a simple project will have a few steps which are dependent on other steps taking place first, and will be relatively straightforward to coordinate. An example might be creating and implementing a marketing plan for a one person business, painting a single room, baking a cake, planning a weekend away for two, building a garden shed etc.

With simple projects, a tool such as a Gantt chart may make over complicate the project scheduling. Unless all team members are trained in the tool then the use of the tool may itself lead to poor communication and an unsatisfactory result.

A simple project such as those identified above may only require a timetable and/or an action plan. All those in the project team should be communicated with as to their tasks content and timing. Timetables can then be negotiated and agreed, actions lists or diaries/calendars can be used for recording and planning purposes.

All projects have control points and required deadlines, where progress is monitored and measured. In the event that a deadline is missed then the overall impact on project completion time can be assessed, and if necessary new timetables drawn up, re-negotiated and agreed.

Action Plans are lists of tasks/individual actions that are carried out to achieve a single and objective or outcome – in this case, the specific project. Action Plans focus on the achievement of a single goal, the action may then be translated in to a to-do list/diary cum calendar which cover many goals.

Liz Cassidy, founder of Third Sigma International is an author, Speaker, Trainer and Executive Coach dedicated to facilitating results in the businesses, professional and personal lives of her clients. For more information http://www.thirdsigma.com.au

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