Best Practices: Turning Uncertainty into a Predictable Process via Tasks in a Project Schedule

As the holidays approach, you know you need to plan for what to cook, what to buy, and timing everything so that your holiday feast is ready on time for your family and guests. For example, if you need to serve a turkey with a selection of side dishes at 3 P.M., what time do you have to start cooking each dish? With anything (whether work or home projects), it’s good to have a plan so you can take uncertainty out of the equation.

When planning, you want to list the following:

  • What are the individual tasks/activities, and how long will they take to complete?
  • Who are the resources to whom you can assign tasks?
  • Are there dependencies between the tasks, or can they be done at the same time?
  • Are any of these tasks on the critical path where, if they’re not done on time, the entire project schedule will be delayed?

A project schedule can help you as follows:

  • Identify which tasks are critical and which can be delayed without impacting the whole project.
  • If there is a change, you’ll be able to plug in the change to see what the impact to the whole project will be.
  • You can monitor the progress of all the tasks in one place
  • You can manage your resources more efficiently, such as if John is working on Task A, and Task A has the same start date and due date as Task B, you might want to assign someone with the same skillset on Task B rather than using John for Task B also.

There are tools such as Microsoft Project that you can use to manage your project schedule and tasks. If you’re using SharePoint, however, we have just the tool for you: Task Master

Task Master allows you to:

Create tasks with work breakdown structure (WBS):

Set dependencies between tasks:

Assign resources to tasks and track their work:

 

Monitor tasks that are on the critical path and the total slack:

 

See the overlay of the tasks in the Gantt view:

Task Master version 3.0 is now available for both SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010. We invite you to download a 30-day free trial, or test it out on the fly in your very own free sandbox environment.

 

 


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