Wedding party timeline template, A project timeline is a central element in any fantastic project management strategy. However, as many management consultants have discovered the hard way, creating and sticking to a deadline isn’t as easy as it sounds. Based on the type of consulting participation, many project elements – from individuals to technology to operational and market variables — can create unexpected complications and delays, quickly throwing a job off-track.
To start, talk to your customer to define the major project milestones that must be achieved during the course of the job. Take advantage of these landmarks as the building blocks of your project timeline. Then, think about the measures that must occur to get from point A to point B, C, D etc – and also the logical sequence in which every step must be performed. Think of what task must be accomplished in order to start the following. If multiple jobs can be accomplished in the same time, chart them . If completing a single job entails multiple sub-tasks, it may need a small timeline of its own.
The more experience you gain from working with timelines, the easier it will become to create them. Make sure you continually track your progress from the timelines, and notice the cause of any project delays. You can examine the consequent historical project management data when estimating time for prospective marketing consulting projects, making your job management system more accurate and efficient with each project.
One approach to help ensure that you stick to your timeline would be to build in a little extra wiggle room. For instance, you might decide to create two timelines: one for your own use, with more optimistic deadlines, and yet another, together with later deadlines that you discuss with your customer. Afterward, when you reach your own internal deadlines, you actually come out ahead of schedule at the customer’s eyes. This job direction method helps compensate for less-than-perfect quotes and unexpected events.
No matter how hard you try to keep a project on track, the fact is, there are situations when you will want to adapt your project deadline. It usually occurs when you or other group members run into something you did not anticipate, such as an insurmountable technical glitch, budget reductions, operational restructuring or personnel turnover. It can also occur when client priorities shift mid-stream due to changing market conditions, or when the client realizes that what they’ve requested for represents only a small portion of a larger goal. By creating a realistic project timeline, and tracking progress against it within an overall project management plan, you’re more likely to keep your management consulting project and on-budget. Even in the event that you fall behind, a deadline provides you a convenient and impressive tool for keeping your customer informed of progress as well as the reasons for any flaws. And an educated and informed client is more likely to be a loyal customer.