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5 Essential Steps to Manage a Project!

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This tutorial will teach you so concretely how to prepare a project, plan A to Z and follow to achieve your goals. Following this tutorial will be posted TP.

1. Cut the project and define the list of tasks: we only eat a baguette in the slicing!

The first step is to realize that to make a list of tasks to perform. It is this step that is the most difficult because it lays the foundation of the project. If you forget one task at that time, the project will be distorted, and the management will be also.

List all conceivable tasks, and be very critical in relation to this list: for each task, always ask yourself What do I need first to be able to do this? What this means for the rest of the project? . Proceeding in this manner, you will find by deduction and induction of new tasks you might have forgotten.

Another tip: distinguish well the fact of accomplishing a task, and the fact of validating the result of the validation and the fact of communicating. As we teach the laws of time , most of wasted time is that prior to carry out the action: people lose a lot of time to decide to perform an action, take it into account and cut your project in details !

Last thing: you do not necessarily have to list the tasks perfectly chronological order, it’s just more convenient to read.

2. Define the logical sequence of tasks

2.1. Predecessors and successors

Now that you have established the task list, you have the “link” between them, order them. That is to say, it must be defined for each task, all tasks predecessor , that is to say, all tasks must be realized upstream, before they can perform a given task: it s is called scheduling. Small vocabulary point: if we call predecessor upstream task, calledsuccessor downstream task. For example, a project to “make a cake”, the task buy ingredients will predecessor toprepare the cake : yes, you can not prepare it as you do not have the necessary ingredients (conversely, prepare the cake will successor to buy ingredients )!
2.2. Types of links

We call connection or dependency or dependency link the connection between a predecessor to a successor.Moreover, in this regard, there are 4 types of bonds: FD (beginning to end), FF (end to end), DD (beginning at the start), DF (beginning to end). Also, set the time between tasks.

FD – End-to-Start: The task B can not begin until the job A is completed. This is the type most common links.Represents approximately 95% of links between two tasks. For example, the distribution of the report can not begin until the writing of the report is not complete.

FF – End to End: The task B can not complete as the task A is completed. Task B terminate at any time once the task A is itself complete, and it is not obliged to complete at the same time. For example, control of electrical systems of a building site can not complete until all facilities have not been completed. In this case, task B is conducted as and when the facilities are made: there is no need to wait until all facilities are made to start the control of the first installation.

DD – Beginning to Beginning: The task B can not begin until the job A has not started. Small precision: the task B can start at any time once the task A has started, it is not obliged to start simultaneously. For example, writing the report can not begin until the creation of the blueprint of the report has not begun.

DF – Beginning to End: The task B can not complete as the task A has not started. This is the type of the rarest link.For example, you can not complete the assembly of the roofs of a housing estate as the structure has not begun.
2.3. time
On some routes, time constraints can be applied. For example, if I paint a wall, the first layer takes me 1 hour.Nevertheless, to attack the second layer, I’ll have to wait until the first coat has dried 6am. My “first layer” task therefore will not last 7am (because in reality I’m free for 6 hours), but it will last 1 hour, with a link FD 6am to “second layer” task. Under Open Workbench, this is called “gap” in the properties of tasks.

3- Add the times and constraints on certain tasks and integrate external tasks

3.1. Duration or workload
Now it will depend on whether you are working with Microsoft Project or Open Workbench .. Indeed in the case of Microsoft Project, you will directly enter task durations, it will therefore be an input from you in software. However, in the case of Open Workbench, you will enter the “Stay-at-Making” at the same time as resources. This is not a period, but a workload (for example, to write a report, it will take 3 hours of work). From this workload and the availability of resources, a final term will be obtained. The duration is therefore a release of the software (for example, a report that would take only 3 hours of work combined with an availability of 30 minutes per day will take 6 days). In short, workload or length, enter it at this time.

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3.2. constraints
Some tasks have constraints dates. It’s time to return them. For example, the tax return has a constraint end no later than 31 May. This task has therefore a type constraint “end at the latest”, which is set to May 31 If this constraint is violated, your “tax” project may have problems. There are also other constraints:

  • earliest start
  • beginning no later
  • should begin
  • must finish
  • end at the earliest
  • end no later

3.3. external tasks
Your project also depends on external tasks. In this case, you can either choose to go directly as a standard task or return them only as “milestone” that is to say a zero duration task, a simple point to be validated before can move on. It’s up to you. For my part, as the projects I manage are fairly simple, I prefer to return them as normal tasks with external resources. However, if you go up in complexity, the problem will arise if you do it this way: in fact, to calculate the costs of the project, the software will also take into account the cost of these external resources that you normally do not have to include in this form in your project.

4. Identify and allocate resources

4.1. Compile a list of resources

Here the problem is simple: you simply draw the list of resources. Remember the equipment resources involve not only human.

4.2. Define constraints for resources

Each resource has availability constraints or maximum load that will own it. Do not forget to set the number of hours available per day, days off (and unlike their working days if they are available during weekends) and the proportion of their time that they can devote maximum on a task. For example, imagine someone who will work every day, even on weekends, but that will only be available 2 hours per day, which can pass only half of his time (50%) on a task . This example combines the three constraints.

4.3. Assign Resources
Once you have your list of resources, you can assign to your tasks. Remember to specify that time remains to make it if you are using Open Workbench (Rest to make depends on the resources and tasks, it is not a simple workload divisible task between resources).

5- Planning and monitoring the project

5.1. Plan
Now it remains for you to plan the project. This will allow you then to compare the projected and actual, to see where you fished, and thus improve yourself continuously. There are features provided for this purpose, regardless of the software you use (or Project Workbench).

5.2. Monitoring
Here starts the project management itself. What we have done so far rather fell within the project management, since you participated in the definition of tasks and objectives. The main point is to live your schedule and revise the daily: in this way, you will understand that a direct change in a job implies about the end date of the project, and you can take the necessary remedial measures. I insist: the schedule should live to the rhythm of the project, otherwise it becomes useless.

Here ends this article that tried to introduce you to the project management in five large steps. Of course, nothing beats a full and detailed training on this subject. But if you have neither the time nor the means to offer training of this type, easily exceeding € 2,000, at least I hope that through this article, you learned a little more about how to manage your projects. Thank you for reading so far. If you have any feedback, comments, feel free to make us enjoy!

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