The scope of project management involves controlling and supervising multiple variables involved in a task. Therefore, the entire function can be broken into five distinct parts:
- Project planning.
- Work assignment and break-up.
- Work authorisation.
The technical aspect of management comes into play during the scheduling stage. A substantial part of an entire project is therefore based on this stage. Nevertheless, using specific tools becomes vital to ensure maximum efficiency during scheduling.
One might ask: What does schedule planning involve?
Scheduling or schedule planning involves following actions:
- Developing master routines for the project.
- Devising subordinate routines.
- Ensuring timely delivery of all task elements.
In other words, organisations need schedules to work methodically on a project. Therefore, scheduling becomes an utterly methodical stage in project management. Following certain techniques makes it easier for professionals to devise proper schedules.
Basic techniques that help in scheduling are:
PERT (Project Evaluation and Review Technique)/CPM (Critical Path Method)
What does PERT mean?
PERT involves demonstration of all necessary activities for project completion. It also indicates the interrelationship between different activities, and their dependence on each other.
It also includes preparation of networks from the time estimates of various activities. These networks, in turn, define the start and end points in each event and the time required therein.
Line of Balance
What does line of balance involve?
This is a methodical charting tool that involves the following sub-tasks:
- Measurement, and
- Presentation of time and accomplishment-related information.
When is this technique used?
The line of balance finds its use in the production process beginning with the arrival of raw materials. The use of this technique continues until finished products are shipped.
Therefore, a line of balance focuses on supervising the flow of material throughout the manufacturing process. Plus, it also ensures that production time remains in sync with delivery time.
Further, this technique also compares actual performance with a pre-set standard. Therefore, managers get an idea of the critical areas where projects might fall behind schedule.
These charts are the most fundamental techniques used to manage a project. GANTT charts are bar graphs that reflect planned and actual performances for various resources. Thus, it gives managers an idea of the areas that they must control.
A project management fundamentals course emphasises on these techniques to a considerable extent. This is because scheduling and monitoring together constitute 25% of the total PMP course.
Following these basic techniques lays down a strong foundation for the subsequent stages in project management. Also, managers must use these techniques keeping a few critical points in mind:
- The magnitude of risks involved in a project.
- The ability of the management to complete projects within the stipulated time frame.
- Interrelation of the different tasks in a project.
Thus, using these techniques also involves evaluation of specific factors that are relevant to the organisation as a whole. Efficiency in project management involves the prudent use of these essential tools. This is because an organisation’s reputation is entirely dependent on this task.