The role of time management in project management is to help you plan every stage of your project from planning to launching and tracking. This way, your projects are on pace to meet deadlines before you even start.
In this guide, we’ll explore the importance of time management and how you can use it to get the most from every project.
Why is time management important in project management?
It’s no secret that project management comes at a considerable cost. For example, PMI found that companies waste 11.4 percent of their investment because of poor project performance. They equate a lot of this project failure to a rushed, short-term approach to project management.
Many projects are large and complex, with many elements to consider and not a lot of resources to handle them. When you consider that companies spend an average of 15-30% of their operating costs on people, it’s natural to rush to save money. Especially when contractors, freelancers, and overtime come into play.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but take the extra time to establish a culture of healthy time management. Let’s get started.
Main processes in project time management
There are several core processes in project time management to consider throughout your project timeline. Here’s a list of those processes and how they work.
Creating a project plan
Before getting started, you’ll need a solid project plan. You’ll need to consider:
- Project scope – Assess the feasibility of the project with your team. If it’s unrealistic, practice good time management habits by shutting it down from the start. If you can make it work, build a project scope to set goals and create a schedule.
- People and training costs – Projects don’t get done without people. Factor in employee salaries, training, and overtime costs.
- Budgeting – Create a budget for resources, labor, travel, and other associated costs. Organize these items into fixed and variable costs. Identifying time-sensitive costs will help you improve time management.
- Risk issues and management – You can’t control when emergencies arise, but you can plan for them. Allocate part of your budget towards a project contingency fund. You may not use it, but better safe than sorry, right?
Determine task relationships and dependencies
After you build out a project plan, you’ll need to identify task relationships and dependencies. This will help you develop task batches and a sequence of activities to follow for the full duration of your project.
Create a project timeline
Once you determine all dependencies, you can start to group and prioritize tasks. You can use a project timeline tool to develop a sequence of tasks. Of course, you’ll also need to oversee this schedule and keep your team on task.
Project schedule management process
The next step is creating a schedule and deadlines for each task. Once you have this project schedule in place, consider how you’ll manage each task, who you’ll assign, and what tools you’ll need.
Helpful project time management features
You can use various tools to ensure good time management in project management. Some of these tools could include:
The best project management tools offer helpful features for better time management. If you’re looking to take the next step towards better project management, look for a tool with features like:
Timesheets are still a staple of most organizations with hourly employees. They’re also helpful for tracking the time each team member spends on a task. You can get a better handle on project progress based on the insights your timesheets provide — and automate approvals to save time.
GPS tracking can also help with time management across the project life cycle. If you manage distributed teams, you’ll have clear visibility into the locations of your assets and employees.
Some apps even offer geofencing features to automate employee clock-ins and clock-outs. In conjunction with timesheets, GPS tracking is a great way to see how long employees spend on each task.
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Another feature to consider is activity monitoring. High-level time management tools will let you see keyboard and mouse activity for each employee. Some even show you website and app usage for each employee. You can use these features to gauge your spending on future projects for people and resources.
Detailed reports will further assist with project and task management. Reports should include plenty of data to indicate project progress and performance. You can see time tracking data, expenses, invoices, and other helpful information for planning future projects.
With the help of a collaboration tool for time management in project management, you can keep all of your team members on the same page throughout the project. You’ll no longer need to keep track of all channels individually. By using a tool that offers a centralized comment system, you can keep a running log of open communication.
Use Hubstaff to facilitate good time management
With the right time management strategies and tools, you can keep your projects on track consistently. This will help you save time, money, and resources that could play a large role in the success of your project.
If you want to get the best results from time management in project management, Hubstaff can help. Try Hubstaff for automated timesheet approvals, activity, GPS tracking, invoicing, and reporting features. Or master project management with Hubstaff Tasks.
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Combine powerful time and project management features with Hubstaff and Hubstaff Tasks