You are driving on the road and notice the new project starting for a fly-over that will be built to accommodate and manage the traffic on the road to avoid the frequent traffic jams. Every day you pass by the site and notice the work entering into a new stage and you can easily predict how fast or slow the project is going. This is the view an outsider gets of the project but the person managing the project is actually dealing with the ins and outs of the project. He’s the one making it possible and it is dependent on his planning to complete the project before or on the deadline.
Looking at the machinery, raw material, workforce and other things required, it doesn’t seem quite like an easy task. There are thousands of things to take care of and hundreds of them are interrelated i.e. tasks that are tied together and the starting date of one depends on the completion date of another. In an ideal situation, everything will happen unimpeded and unhampered but practically it does not happen that way. Things delay and delay a lot: the project manager needs to have a plan ready beforehand to tackle with all of those delays. How could he locate all the bottlenecks and hindering factors? Being a human mind, he can’t remember all of those and even if he’s able to remember most of them, he won’t be able to track the progress of all.
There has to be a tool that gives an inside out comprehension of the project along with all the tasks that are involved within the project. Only when he has the awareness of all the tasks, their completion and starting dates and their interrelations will he be able to reach the completion of the project within the specified time. Remember, a project manager is already working with a deadline, what he really needs to manage is the starting date of the project to be able to finish in time.
Now when you are managing a project there are several processes that need to be streamlined and managed together in order to meet the deadline of the project. Here’s how CPM and PND play allow a manager to manage the project without risking too much delay:
- First, you must have a representation of your project in a graphical form: it could be pictures, graphs or charts. Once you have an idea of a chart, you will know what information to collect to build it.
- You must get a list ready of all the tasks what will be involved in the project. This information will be used to incorporate in your chart so you can have a clear picture of the project in front of you.
- Once you have these pieces of information, you are easily able to identify the interrelation between them and based on the sequence of tasks and their correlation, you can have the chart built.
- Whether you have to manage the resources, dates or other things in the project, you need to have individual information about each task. You can’t manage the project by looking at it as one giant picture: it has to be a shape made out from further constituting smaller shapes.
- When you have drawn the chart and all of the tasks have been put on it, you will know the total time that will be taken in completing the project. By knowing how long it will take for the project to end, you can easily decide when it would be safest to start it.
- While working if you notice that one of the tasks is lacking behind others and many other tasks depend on its progress, you can relocate your resources to work on this mission-critical task.
- An easy representation of the entire project gives you a good understanding of everything and allows you to improvise on occasions where it is necessary without going through too much guesswork.
Remember, being a project manager you are least expected to delay it and give excuses for the delay. When you have everything in your hand and you know you will be held responsible for the delay in a task at the end, it is better to make use of all the tools and techniques that take you towards completion without putting too much on the line.