PM Dashboard -Time Management

Folks, welcome back to my Project Management Dashboard blog series, where I’m walking you through Project Management Institute’s 9 knowledge areas (Scope, Time, Cost, Quality, Human Resources, Communications, Risk, Procurement, and Integration), to help you identify which metrics you should be actively monitoring. In the end, after collecting the relevant metrics for each knowledge area, I’ll show you how to aggregate this information into a dashboard that you can use to quickly communicate the health of your project.  Last time we talked about Scope, now let’s discuss Time.

Work Breakdown Structure
This goes without saying, but when you’re developing your schedule you should first create a work breakdown to sufficiently split large work items (or deliverables) into smaller items so you can more effectively estimate the time and resources need to complete the task.  For example, estimating the time and cost to develop an F-22 Raptor Fighter is much more difficult than estimating the time and cost to develop the F-22’s landing gear.

Network Diagram
After you’ve broken down your project’s workload, you can then create a network diagram.  The network diagram is used to identify the critical path of your project by incorporating optimistic and pessimistic estimations.  The significance of the critical path is that if any work item on your critical path is delayed, then your overall project is delayed.  The second diagram illustrates a work breakdown structure for an aerospace project. 

Gantt Chart and Resource Diagram
Next it’s time to create a Gantt chart and resource diagram.  There are a handful of software packages out there available for you to use.  In the second diagram I used Microsoft Project for the same aerospace project as the first illustration.  The software you use will likely depend on the organizational or PMO (project management office) standard.  Like I mentioned before, all the metrics you need, to create a project management dashboard, are probably already being recorded by your underlying business processes.. which makes this process easier than most people think.  Join me on Thursday as we discuss Cost Management.

About Brandon Beemer PhD PMP

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