Time management in project management focuses on how you divide your time between deliverables and tasks related to the project in order to meet deadlines. Managing projects successfully requires that you have a good grasp of effective time management and can recognize productivity and efficiency compared to actions that might lead to wasted time.
This article takes an in-depth look at the role of time management in project management. It also provides some suggestions for tools to consider, including some templates you can use for time and project management on monday.com.
What is time management in project management and why is it important?
Time management in project management is about how you allocate your resources to complete tasks on time while staying within your budget. Successful time management requires you to develop a schedule or timeline for your project and account for obstacles that could interfere with your progress.
Time management in project management is essential to dividing resources effectively to ensure your team produces high-quality work by the deadline.
Improving time management is easy when you intentionally develop a management style that focuses on delegation and open channels of communication. Starting with some best practices is a good way to do that.
4 tips for time management for project managers
Use these time management techniques to reduce time wasted and ensure your team meets due dates while protecting morale and reducing the chance of burnout.
The key to success in project management is to ensure you are constantly in communication with your team members and project stakeholders. Communication delays can slow progress, especially when they occur within the project team. Time spent implementing the use of project management tools and file sharing apps helps increase your team’s efficiency. For the best results, streamline communications and file sharing across a single platform when possible.
Once you create a project schedule, frequent communication and updates between team members can help ensure you’re staying on track. It’s also necessary for project managers to maintain an open line of communication with stakeholders to ensure they remain invested in the project until its completion. One effective way to do this is to send periodic updates about project activities and where you’re at with the task list in relation to the deadline.
Breakdown and delegate tasks
A successful project manager understands that time management requires delegating responsibilities among team members. Divide important tasks among project members in a way that breaks the overall project down into manageable components that can be completed by smaller deadlines — or milestones — within the overall project timeline.
Effective time management that breaks down the job into smaller tasks can help reduce any intimidation the team experiences based on the overall project goals and due date. Set individual deadlines for each team member so you have time to review the elements before the official due date of your deliverables. 4
Prioritize work using the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule — also called the Pareto Analysis — is based on the notion that 20% of your efforts result in 80% of your outcomes. In time management for project management, this means that 20% of the inputs or factors in the project produce 80% of profits or results. Applying the 80/20 rule requires you to assess what clients or areas of a project are most important and yield the best results. This is where you should focus the most amount of time and resources to increase productivity.
Meet with intention
Meeting with purpose and intention helps you avoid wasted time and maximize the way you use the team’s time.Always set an intention when calling a meeting, whether it’s in-person or over via conferencing tools like Zoom.
Once you call a meeting with a distinct purpose, follow other meeting best practices:
- Keep the meeting as short as possible
- Stay on topic and follow an agenda
- Include people who can or need to contribute
- Don’t invite people who simply need to know the outcome — you can send an email or other type of update for that purpose
- End the meeting on time
In larger project teams, it’s often more efficient for the project manager to hold specific, shorter meetings with a few individuals rather than one big meeting that includes everyone for every topic. This ensures the people in the meeting know what they are discussing and can add value. It also keeps meetings short and allows people to get back to work as soon as possible to make the most of your project time.
Having a distinct plan for how your project progresses is important, but as a project manager, you may encounter obstacles that require you to reassess and problem solve.
Remaining rigid in your project schedule can actually slow you down, whereas being flexible and adapting to the situation as it evolves allows you to maximize productivity and make the best use of everyone’s time.
Putting these best practices into action is easier when you’re working with a tool that was designed with some of these tips in mind. Project management software like monday.com features time management tools that connect teams and help them achieve efficiencies.
monday.com’s time management tools
Project managers can improve their team’s productivity with the help of time management tools from monday.com. Using these templates and layouts for monitoring and controlling project progress helps you meet your deadlines and keep your team focused.
Precise time frames
The timer feature on monday.com allows an individual to track exactly how much time they spend on an assigned task. As a manager, you can review the times saved on these clocks to assess whether the allocation of time by each team member to their work is efficient.
monday.com lets you easily integrate all of your tools in one centralized location. Avoid working on excess tabs or wasting time waiting for applications to load by streamlining your team’s work onto one platform.
Templates for time management
Templates from monday.com help you monitor your team’s activities durations and inform your management strategies to maximize productivity. Some options to consider include:
- Time log template: Our free time log template is ideal for breaking down how everyone on your project team is spending their working hours. It can also be used for tracking overtime or preparing invoices.
- Team task management template: Our team task management template provides a succinct overview of what tasks your team needs to complete in a week, month, or quarter. Eliminate the inconvenience of email threads and excessive meetings by starting each week strong with a clean layout for your task list. Assign individuals to specific tasks, update their status, and indicate the priority level of various tasks.
Putting tools like monday.com to use is a great way to gain an edge in project management and time management. Educating yourself about project and time management is another way to ensure you or your business is more competitive. We’ve started you off with some frequently asked questions on these topics.
What are the 7 processes of project management?
The PRINCE2 methodology defines seven processes for project management. PRINCE2 stands for Projects IN Controlled Environments and stresses the division of projects into more manageable stages:
- Starting up a project
- Directing a project
- Initiating a project
- Controlling a stage
- Managing product delivery
- Managing a stage boundary
- Closing a project
What are some proven time management techniques
Applying these popular techniques can help you manage your team’s time more effectively:
- Pomodoro technique
- Advance planning
- The 80/20 rule
- Time blocking
- The eat-the-frog method
- Delegating tasks
- Goal setting
Any team can improve time management with monday.com’s tools
Choosing the right time management software, tools, and techniques for your project team is essential to keeping everyone on schedule and ensuring you meet your deadlines. Implementing monday.com’s time log template and team task management template early on in your process allows everyone on your team to understand what portion of the project they are responsible for completing and by what date.
Less than 18% of people have a proper system in place for managing their time effectively. Provide your team with tools like monday.com to ensure they do.