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Managing the TBT projectpixel.gif (807 bytes)

pixel.gif (807 bytes) Coming over all logical
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HAVING AGREED ON what the project is setting out to achieve, your next task is to develop a logical plan for doing the work. This process can be carried out with pen and paper, but is made a whole lot easier if you use project management software. These are the steps:

List tasks
The first step in establishing the logical flow of your project is to list all the tasks. Tasks are concrete steps required to meet project objectives. If your tasks are too large, they might mask smaller tasks that actually need to be completed and tracked separately. If your tasks are too small, they might be trivial and clutter your project plan.

Some tasks, such as project review meetings might be recurring.

Establish dependencies
A dependency is a logical relationship between tasks in a project plan. The most common form of dependency is where one task must be completed before another task can commence.

Note that tasks do not have to lead directly from one to another. Sometimes an overlap will be required (‘lead time’) or a gap (‘lag time’).

Other forms of dependency are:

  • where two tasks must start at the same time
  • where two tasks must finish at the same time

A good way to start off the process is to determine the task that must come first. Then ask what other tasks can commence given the output from the first.

Group tasks into phases
Long lists of tasks may be difficult to manage, in which case you can group tasks into phases. A phase is a logical grouping of tasks that represents a major step in the plan.

Establish milestones
TBT projects are typically lengthy and complex, so it is helpful to establish interim goals or ‘milestones’ to help you to track the progress. A milestone may indicate the end of a phase or a requirement for deliverables.

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                                                     Fastrak Consulting Ltd, 1999. All rights reserved.                                Last revised 21/2/99