How to Plan Tasks and Milestones in a Project?

May 5 2022

How to Plan Tasks and Milestones in a Project?

Work is like everyday life – it’s sometimes difficult to take care of all responsibilities with due diligence without a checklist and detailed plan. You’re bound to face a real disaster if you forget about only one matter that all subsequent tasks depend on. 

There are many techniques of efficient planning. Maybe you are one of the people who, against the digital evolution, prefer to make notes on papers and in notebooks. There is nothing wrong about this! Such notes may be a perfect opportunity to create your own mind map that would allow you to expand your lists of ideas and inspirations.

If you are sharing a project with other persons, e.g. cooperating in a large team, applications that enable you to create, assign and categorize tasks, such as Asana, will be helpful tools for work organization. If you need, you can easily connect it to your digital calendar, through which you will organize online meetings, and attach links and appendices. Despite being seemingly complex, these applications are supposed to facilitate your work and only make it more efficient.

Read also: 5 Best Project Management Apps

What to start the task planning with?

At the very beginning of the work on a project, analyzing our needs and goals we strive to achieve will be the most helpful. The next necessary operation will be dividing them into stages and establishing a completion schedule in accordance with realistic expectations.

Perhaps you wonder if all these efforts and time for planning are necessary right after you start working on the project. Wouldn’t it be better to feel the flow and face future tasks and surprises spontaneously? 

Planning is not only about listing the tasks, but also about initial draft and foreseeing possible issues. When your excessive optimism and excitement related to the launch of a new project are behind your decisions, you may very easily miss the elements that would really lead you to achieve the desired goal. I’m talking about, e.g., emergencies and ways to deal with them, budget analysis, finding the target group or time necessary to complete the project.

So what elements need to be included in perfectly planned project?

Most importantly, consider its duration – do you have to meet a top-down deadline or can you complete it in your own pace?

Think about what you strive for and what will be the effect of completed work – both if the result of your operations is the creation of a specific product, and the process involves designing and improving the prototype before marketing, or the opening of a restaurant when indirect tasks include renovations, personnel training and marketing.

These might also interest you: Work in an Interdisciplinary Team: The Greatest Benefits 

When the scope of tasks is ready, establish a schedule for the performance of individual operations. However, remember that it should be objectively realistic. When working in a larger team, assign the right persons to perform given operations. Think about whether the tasks may be completed independently from each other, or maybe the completion of one task requires another one to be finished.

Determine the milestones of project

Meaning important stages summarizing a specific set of tasks. They not only indicate the end of work, but will also help you analyze previous actions, and then facilitate and improve them.

Milestones will clearly show you how (fast, efficiently) the work progresses – whether it is properly distributed in time and compliant with your expectations. How do you check that? It’s very easy – when you reach a specific stage, write the date next to it and compare it to the previous estimations. This will allow you to see if work on the project proceeds as planned, and most importantly, if achieving the predefined goal is still possible.

An important event in your project may be, e.g. signing an agreement, client approval or sending a completed book for correction. These important items in the project plan are supposed to facilitate its completion and make you realize the actual progress.

Plan sensibly!

Now that you know what to take into consideration for the initial plan of work, try to track your previous actions – have you acted according to a schedule? Have you determined subsequent stages of work? Use this knowledge when you undertake the next tasks – once you try it, for sure you won’t be able to imagine any other way to complete them!

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Three Ways to Organize and Plan Your Work Schedule

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