If you are managing a department at work, it is very likely that you are going to get assigned specific projects each month or quarter. These projects are a major part of moving the company forward. Why? Because when you finish a project, it means that you have helped the company achieve its goals in a small or significant way. But how can you get projects done in the most efficient way? And how can you ensure that you are not taking too long with one of them? And how you will you manage resources efficiently?
These are very good questions, and you will need to figure them out if you want to manage your team in the right way. But the first thing that you will want to learn about is called critical path definition. It is the key to the successful completion of any project.
What is Critical Path Definition?
The critical path that we are talking about is the set of tasks or mini-projects that are involved in the completion of a major project. These are very important, because they are going to help you figure out how many people you need to put on each task, and how long it will take them to get that task done. When you have added up the days for each task, you will have a much better understanding of how the entire project will get finished, and how much time it is going to take. Without this setup, you cannot have a proper idea for how you are going to get things done. Your team may think they are organized, but you will be flying blind for a lot of the process. And we do not want something of the sort to happen to you.
In terms of managing resources, it is all about figuring out what tasks are taking the most time, and whether adding more employees to certain tasks can shorten the time frame. For instance, there are parts to a project that will take 5 days to complete, whether you have 5 or 50 employees on the job. So you have already set aside employees for those tasks. But then you have the ones where you can make a difference if you add one or two people to the team. And you will want to do that so long as it does not mean you are slowing down any other tasks.
When you have appropriately created your teams for all the mini-projects or tasks, your team is ready to go. They will have deadlines for each task. This makes everything a lot easier to manage. And it also gives you a timeline. You know that step two cannot get done until step one is completed properly. It is also better if you have this timeline, as you can show it to your bosses when they ask you what is going on with the project. They will be impressed by your organization and how you manage resources.