The Project Timeline refers to the list of tasks and activities that lets the project managers look at the entire project in one place. It gives an overview of the project from beginning to end. It defines the timeline for each task, i.e., when a particular activity will start and when it is expected to be complete, whether it depends on other tasks. The project timeline is usually defined in the early stages of a project’s life cycle and can be created manually or by using some tool.
The Project Timeline is a parameter that determines when a project should start and when it is expected to end. It is essential because it determines a project’s path. If it is not defined, it will never end. It establishes a roadmap for your project by breaking down the project into milestones.
It determines what needs to be completed before a particular task is done. Typically, the stakeholders define the timelines, and the project team can have an overview of the project at a glance. It helps them determine the project’s roadmap, i.e., the key milestones, the individual tasks, dependencies, and the delivery dates.
Benefits of Project Timeline
The benefits of the project timeline are:
- Clear path: When the timelines for a project are defined, the entire project team gets a clear path that leads to the completion of the project. It specifies which step has to be taken earlier and which actions can be taken later.
- Shows the Big Picture: As mentioned earlier, the project timeline provides an overview of the project. It helps you visualize the entire project in one place.
- Ensures that everyone has Shared Goals: It becomes easier for the project team to understand the importance of a project so that they all work on making it successful.
- Better Communication: The communication among the project team improves when there are pre-defined project timelines. They help in keeping everyone involved in tracking the progress of the project.
- Track of Events: The project timeline determines what happens when. Simply put, it defines what feature will be implemented at what time.
- Prevent the Delays: They help avoid the bottlenecks that cause delays in the completion of the project.
How to Create a Project Timeline?
Now that we know what a project timeline is and how much important it is for a project to be successful, let’s get into how it is created:
Determine the Project’s Scope
Define the Deliverables
The project manager defines the project deliverables (i.e., products, services, or results) in this step. The project manager must ensure that the deliverables of the project provide some value to the clients’ lives.
Define the Tasks and Milestones
Now that we know the project scope and the deliverable, we’ll begin to determine the tasks needed to be performed to achieve those deliverables in the easiest way possible.
Define Project Dependencies
Now that you have identified what tasks need to be completed to achieve a particular deliverable, it is time to define the dependencies. In this step, the project manager determines what jobs depend on other tasks.
Building the project timeline means specifying the dates and deadlines for completing a specific project or milestone.