Project Time Management Methodologies
What are Project Time management methodologies?
Project Managers and their teams use time management methodologies to ensure that time is used more productively. These methodologies ensure work tasks and resource allocation are planned efficiently (relative to available time) and that progress on a project is ordered and systematic.
Two common methodologies are the GTD (Getting Things Done) methodology and the ZTD (Zen to Done) methodology. The GTD works on the principles that one should:
- not delay decision-making
- not rely on memory when collecting/collating ideas, undertaking tasks and setting meetings
- do straight away any task that can be done in less than 2 minutes.
The ZTD has similar guiding principles. It also requires one to choose how they will react to any new development as soon as possible. Otherwise, events for which a decision is pending will accumulate.
Effective time management methodologies are results focused, not activity focused. Without time management, many people work according to the Pareto Principle: 80% of their time is spent on tasks that produce 20% of the results. Strategies to offset this way of working include:
- delegating wherever appropriate, particularly simpler tasks that are done effectively by another team member
- prioritising work to be done on a daily and longer term basis
- working towards pre-set immediate and long-term goals
- getting rid of waste (physical clutter and time-wasting procedures and habits)
- keeping a diary of appointments, meetings and upcoming milestones — and daily ‘to-do’ lists — and monitoring their achievement
- being judicious in responding personally to requests for assistance; if team members require extensive training or advice, this may be available through other means
- keeping timesheets, so that unproductive time is highlighted
- allocating a portion of time in a day for the unexpected (e.g. a client stays longer for a briefing than expected). If this does not happen, that time can be allocated to another task; if it does, this allocation helps to offset any time lost on other important activities planned for the day.
Some project managers codify time management methodologies during the planning phase of the project. Team members are required to adhere to these. All team members, including the Project Manager, should assess their own time management strategies at regular intervals to check that they are working as intended.
To find out more information about some other time management methodologies, view: