Time often with projects success criteria being measured on

 

Time management is
a key factor in project management, often with projects success criteria being
measured on time and budget. It is the ability to plan and organise the time
spent on activities for a project ensuring it stays on track and doesn’t fall
behind. The result of good time management is increased effectiveness and
productivity. It involves skills such as planning, setting goals and
prioritising. Our project didn’t have a budget; however, we did have a deadline,
with meeting it being one of our success criteria.  At the beginning of the project I set a
personal goal in the form of a ACE: avoid, consider, ensure. I decided to link
mine to my personal time management aiming to avoid being late, by considering
leaving earlier, ensuring I’m always on time. This was a key area of focus for
me as previously I have been prone to being late. I applied this effort to
every project meeting, wanting to be on time for my team. I used different
approaches to manage my time effectively such as planning, prioritising and
delegating ensuring I could stick to my ACE.

Firstly, Planning. Shenhar defines planning as “what comes
before action”. This applies to many aspects of my project as we used many
planning tools such as a work breakdown structure before beginning our project
to ensure we completed every deliverable and understood an order in which they
needed to be complete. Effective planning often leads to success. Another
planning tool we used was creating an ongoing Gantt Chart. The Gantt chart was
a really useful approach to planning the project as it broke up each section into
the four project life cycles. Following our project proposal, pitching to APM,
it became clear that we were basing our project on the ‘Importance of project
life cycle’, but not actually incorporating that into our project, as Russel said,
“not following our own advice”. Therefore, with the Gantt chart, we used the four
stages of PLC (initiation, planning, execution and closure) and arranged each deliverable
into the right stage allocating realistic time of completion. This allowed me
to plan out the whole project while working logically from task to task and
staying focused on my deadline to succeed. However, Bart argues that too much
planning can limit creativity. This I would argue could be true depending on
the planning tools used and how rigid they are. I believe the Gantt chart is a
great planning tool as it is ongoing and you can follow it but if an aspect
didn’t perform as expected, I can make changes and devise a new plan.

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Secondly, it was important to prioritise my time
effectively. “Prioritising allows you to identify the most important tasks at
any moment and give those tasks more attention, energy and time. It ensures all
deadlines are met and aims to minimise stress”. We were only given one deadline
to submit all our work to, but it was important to set many deadlines for tasks
to be complete as often one task couldn’t happen without another one being
complete; such as a critical path analysis (CPA) which couldn’t be complete
without a work breakdown structure (WBS). Once the WBS was complete I created a
critical path analysis. This method
is a “step by step technique to define critical and non-critical tasks with the
aim of finishing all tasks within a time frame as not all tasks are of equal
importance”. Initially, I found
this tool difficult to understand and create, making it challenging to incorporate
it within the project, but once I practised and got to grips with it, I quickly
understood that it was effective in indicating what I needed to focus more of
my time on.

Lastly, it was essential that we delegated tasks and
responsibilities between members of the group. It is important that as a group
we all contributed equally not only as we are being graded as a team, but
because it is crucial for my learning and personal development that I
challenged myself and took part in tasks that I’ve never done before such as, a
risk assessment. It was also important that we all had individual work to
complete for the project to protect us again social loafing, Ringlemann’s
theory that refers to the concept that “people exert less effort on a group
task compared to working alone creating a tendency for some members to
contribute less”, potentially causing conflict and unfair workloads. As a group
we wanted to prevent this, so I ensured I did my fair share of the work,
promoting group cohesion. With having individual tasks delegated, I understood
the importance of each deadline and was able to work within the timeframe I had
set myself. In future projects, I will ensure to always delegate work fairly
and ensure deadlines are set, as I like having a time frame to work in.