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  • Writer's picturemaria

Planning Activities in Projects: a simple and entertaining HOW-TO for Jr. Project Managers


This video aims (as always) for simple and easy project management. We have already covered topics like:

- understanding goals and non-goals,

- analysing the project environment, or

- setting milestones for your project.

These videos and even more tips are all put together in a playlist to watch or just listen to. You will find the link here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAQyXm3_s3wK7V3YnyEK_kKtV2bukcQIY


When planning activities in projects, you will break down the project into smaller, more manageable tasks. These tasks should be specific and actionable and should help you move closer to achieving your goals easily. Depending on the size and complexity of the project, you may need to assign tasks to different team members too. It's important to consider the skills and experience of each team member when assigning tasks, and to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of what is expected of them. Based on the skills and experience AND the complexity of the task, estimate how long you think it will take to complete it. We suggest to first write down just a simple list of activities related to your project without bothering to set deadlines or going into much detail. This will help you to create an overview of all ToDos before you start with the detailed timeline.


There are several approaches you can apply when naming activities - the key is to choose names that are clear, concise, and easy to understand.


UNDERSTAND DEPENDENCIES! Here's our suggestion to help you stay ahead of the game and keep things running smoothly.

  • Step 1. Examine the relationships between activities: Put on your detective hat and start investigating the potential dependencies between activities. Think of it as playing a game of "Connect the Dots," but instead of dots, you've got tasks on your plate. For example, you might need to consult with a friend before you can finalize the design of the cake, or (obviously) you will need to bake the cake layers before you can begin decorating the finished product.

  • Step 2. Consider the impact of dependencies on your schedule: Unravel the tangled web of dependencies and figure out which activities rely on others. It's like untangling a bunch of earphones, except way more exciting (well, kind of).

  • Step 3. Adjust your schedule as needed: Once you've cracked the code and uncovered those dependencies, it's time to factor them into your schedule. Based on your analysis of dependencies between activities, you may need to adjust your schedule to account for any potential impacts. For example, you may need to adjust the start and end for certain activities, or you may need to allocate additional resources to certain tasks. If one activity needs to be completed before another can begin, you will need to allow enough time for the first activity to be completed before starting the second. If two activities need to be completed concurrently, you will need to ensure that you have enough resources to handle both activities at the same time.

SET DUE DATES FOR YOUR PROJECT ACTIVITIES

Now that you have defined your activities and you know how they relate to each other, it is time to set deadlines for each task. Here it's important to be realistic when estimating the duration of each activity. Allow for some flexibility in case of unexpected delays or challenges. We enter the time-travel zone of project due dates! There are two magical ways to make those deadlines appear before your very eyes. You can choose your preferred method, depending on your needs:

  • Option 1: The Backwards Shuffle If your project has a fixed end date which must be strictly adhered to or you're just feeling a bit rebellious and want to work your way backwards from the final deadline, this one's for you.

  • Option 2: The Forwards Frenzy If you're more of a forward-thinking kind of person, this method will be right up your alley. You'll start from the beginning and leap forward with each step. Think of it as taking giant leaps towards your project's finish line. It's like a sprinter racing towards victory, but instead of medals, you're chasing project milestones.


Ready to dive deeper? Check our playlist on Project Management BASICS: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAQyXm3_s3wK7V3YnyEK_kKtV2bukcQIY


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Understanding project management basics is essential - whether you are a professional project manager or do projects as a hobby. The project management life cycle encompasses the stages and phases of a project. Project manager skills and their role - what a project manager does in driving project outcomes. We explore project management for beginners (some call it project management for dummies 😉), offer simple project management guides, provide valuable insights and practical tips to demystify project management concepts and help build a solid foundation for further growth. We touch upon basic project management principles for effective project execution. These principles emphasize the importance of clear communication, stakeholder engagement, risk management, and continuous monitoring and control. It's worth mentioning that project management is not limited to specific industries or domains. Project management principles and methodologies are applicable across various business sectors, as well as private projects for hobby project managers. Project management basics can be adapted to suit any unique requirements. Mastering project management basics is the first step towards becoming an effective project professional. By understanding the project management life cycle, developing key skills, and leveraging available resources, you can navigate the complexity of project delivery with confidence.


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