A project gets higher efficiency when it is well planned out. Project Planning Tool gives you this efficiency. It allows you to decompose the entire work into smaller parts, define dependencies between tasks, assign priorities, set deadlines, develop a project schedule, set automatic reminders and create a burndown chart.
Project Planning Tool in Details
The key to successful project management is in right planning. The first thing you should do when undertaking your project is creating a detailed plan. Sometimes project planning is insufficient or even ignored in favor of getting on with the actual work. However, this approach has never been good. You should dedicate enough time and effort to the planning process.
Decompose Entire Work into Tasks
Your project represents a relatively larger amount of work that must be done. Because this work is hard to observe and manage you need to decompose it into smaller pieces or tasks. Work decomposition lets create individual assignments for team members as well as define activities for further scheduling. CentriQS software allows you to break down your project into multiple tasks. A larger task can be further split into smaller sub-tasks. All tasks and sub-tasks can be assigned to your team members.
Set Dependencies between Tasks
After tasks are created for your project, they need to be linked to each other. This linking shows task relationships and helps develop activity schedules. By linking tasks you create dependencies. Even tasks from different yet inter-dependent projects need to be linked to each other in order to show your teams how they need to collaborate on their projects.
Setting dependency lets define predecessor-successor relationships between tasks. One task precedes another one, so its finish time determines the second task's start time. CentriQS Project Planning Tool solution lets you set task predecessors and successors in your project. It keeps successors blocked (users can't change such tasks) until their predecessors are in progress. This functionality makes it clear for your team what current assignments they need to focus on and what tasks come up.
Add Deadlines and Priorities
Your project is represented as a series of small tasks which are organized by dependencies. Now you need to specify when each task must be delivered. By setting desired delivery dates or deadlines you schedule your tasks. Note that the deadlines shouldn't be longer than the project's completion date.
Also there is a need to assign priority per task in order to show your team the preferred order of execution. Prioritization can be done by using two criteria: Urgency and Importance (U/I). A task which has a tight deadline is considered urgent. A task which relates to a significant milestone or acts as a large preceding activity to other multiple tasks can be considered important.¬† You can use this approach to prioritize all of your tasks. And Project Planning Tool will help you set right priorities and share them among your team members. In CentriQS you can add task due dates, assign U/I ranks and set priority levels.
Project Schedule Development
The schedule of your project determines the amount of effort (working hours or days) required to complete all planned tasks and the resources that will carry out the tasks. And though at the previous steps you have set deadlines for your tasks, at the current step you need to define exact time frames (start and finish) per project activity and then allocate this effort to your team members. Scheduling gives a time management tool that helps understand work progress and track employee time.
Schedule Task Time Frames
A time frame defines a task's duration. It is set by start time and finish time. CentriQS works exactly this way. You can use this Project Planning Tool application to plan and manage job durations. Each task can be split into multiple schedule items which are displayed on the Scheduler. You can drag'n'drop and resize schedule items on the Scheduler to change their start/finish dates. The Scheduler lets display several users' calendars on one screen. Additionally, you can schedule appointments and add recurring series.
Set Automatic Reminding Alerts
Planning is great when it clearly and comprehensively defines what activities will look like. However, if there are too many activities in your project plan, it becomes harder for your team to remember about everything they need to take care of. Individual to-do lists are filled in with multiple items. Without automatic reminders it is a real challenge to do things on time.
This challenge is handled with help of CentriQS. You can schedule reminding alerts that pop up at your desktop automatically. Additionally, you receive messages right to your incoming mail. The powerful system of subscriptions helps fight against delays and procrastination at work. Also the system sends automatic notifications to assigned users when tasks are changed, created or deleted.
Develop Project Burndown
One of the last steps in the planning process is to develop a burndown chart that will help you track and monitor your project throughout its life-cycle. Project burndown visualizes the comparison between scheduled time and actual time. As your project develops and more activities get completed the burndown shows how accurately your project schedule is developed.
Ideally, the time added to your schedule should equal the time your team actually spends on the project. In case of a positive or negative deviation you can consider the schedule overestimated or underestimated. The Remain trend on the burndown lets you calculate this deviation. In CentriQS Project Planning Tool database you can develop your burndown and keep track of the project schedule.