Scheduling a project

Schedule a project Select the most useful tool for creating a draft schedule—such as Gantt charts, PERT charts, and critical path diagrams. You can create these with paper and pencil or with project management software; use whatever approach you’re most comfortable with.

Know which deadlines are hard and fast and which have some flexibility.

Avoid including tasks that have a duration of more than four to six weeks on your schedule. Instead, break such tasks into smaller tasks that have shorter durations.

Don’t schedule more activities than you can personally oversee.

Record all time segments in the same increments, such as days or weeks.

Avoid creating a schedule that assumes overtime is needed to meet original target dates. You want to leave some flexibility for handling unexpected problems that might arise once you begin implementing the schedule.

Look for ways to make your schedule more accurate and streamlined. For example, ask whether your time estimates are accurate. Consider whether you’ve left any tasks out. Anticipate potential bottlenecks.

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