Time management in the project management world focuses on dividing time between project deliverables and tasks to best meet deadlines.
Managing projects successfully requires a good grasp of effective time management and the ability to 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 as it relates to project management. It also provides suggestions for tools to consider, including some time and project management templates on monday.com.
What is time management in project management, and why is it important?
Time management in project management is about allocating resources to complete tasks on time while staying within the approved budget. Successful time management requires a developed schedule or timeline for the project and an account of obstacles that could interfere with progress.
Time management in project management is essential to dividing resources effectively to ensure teams produce high-quality work within the agreed-upon deadline.
Improving time management is easy when developing a management style that focuses on delegation and open communication channels is intentional — read on for our five top tips to perfect this
5 tips for time management for project managers
Use these five time management techniques to mitigate wasted time and ensure the team meets due dates while protecting morale and reducing the chance of burnout.
1. Communicate effectively
The key to project management success is ensuring constant communication with team members and project stakeholders. After all, communication delays can slow progress, mainly within the project team. Implementing project management tools and file-sharing apps helps increase a team’s efficiency. For the best results, streamline communications and file sharing across a single platform when possible.
Once a project schedule is created, frequent communication and updates between team members help ensure the project stays on track. However, 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 tasks are concerning the deadline.
2. Break down and delegate tasks
A successful project manager understands time management requires delegating responsibilities among team members. Divide important tasks among project members to break the overall project into manageable components that can be completed by smaller deadlines or milestones within the general project timeline.
Effective time management that “buckets” the job into smaller tasks helps reduce intimidation the team experiences based on the project goals and due date. Set individual deadlines for each team member so there is time to review the elements before the official due date of all deliverables.
3. Prioritize work using the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule — also called the Pareto Analysis — is based on the notion that 20% of efforts result in 80% of outcomes. In time management for project management, this means that 20% of the inputs/factors in the project produce 80% of profits/results.
Applying the 80/20 rule requires assessing what clients or areas of a project are most essential and yield the best results. This is where the most amount of time should be focused — and resources delegated — to increase productivity.
4. Meet with intention
Meeting with purpose and intention helps avoid wasted time and maximizes how a team’s time is best used.Always set an intention when calling a meeting, whether it’s in-person or via video conferencing tools like Zoom.
Once a meeting is called with a distinct purpose, follow these 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. Instead, send an email or other type of update
- 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 their project time.
5. Remain flexible
Having a specific plan for how the project progresses is important, but as a project manager, obstacles will be encountered that require a reassessment.
Remaining rigid in the project schedule can slow teams down; being flexible and adapting to the situation as it evolves allows for maximized productivity and making the best use of everyone’s time.
Putting these best practices into action is easier when working with a tool designed with some of these tips in mind. For example, 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
Time Tracker Column allows an individual to track precisely how much time they spend on an assigned task. As a manager, it’s easy to 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 makes it simple to integrate your favorite tools in one centralized location. Avoid working on excess tabs or wasting time waiting for applications to load by streamlining the team’s work onto one platform.
Templates for time management
monday.com templates help monitor the team’s activity 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 every project team member spends 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 concise overview of what tasks the 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 of the task list.
Putting tools like monday.com to use is a great way to gain an edge in project management and time management.
Here are a few frequently asked questions (and their answers) 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
- 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 a project team is essential to keeping everyone on schedule and meeting deadlines.
Implementing monday.com’s templates — precisely the time log template and team task management template — early on in the process allows every team member to understand what portion of the project they are responsible for completing and by what date.