Project/Time Management Research

So in order to manage this project I’ll need some useful project/time management methodology that’s relevant for this ‘negotiated client project’.

I’ll need something firstly to manage my time.

Gantt Chart

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The benefits of a gantt chart are that it’s a very visual display of time management. Which for my is great as I can print it off and have it to work against. Establishes time frames quite easily and it can be easy to refer to progress or how long certain tasks should/could take. Finally it can lead to efficient organisation lending weight to the tasks that would need more resources by being able to see it planned out in this way.

However it could very easily become overly complex. For larger projects gantt charts can get out of hand. The chart itself needs to be updated regularly. If it is not updated regularly you really will not have an accurate picture of progress and it can lead to poor resource management which leads to projects running over schedule. If is not updated on a regular basis then it won’t show the whole picture.

Precedence Diagram Method (PDM)

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“The precedence diagram method (PDM) is a tool for scheduling activities in a project plan. It is a method of constructing a project schedule network diagram that uses boxes, referred to as nodes, to represent activities and connects them with arrows that show the dependencies. It is also called the activity-on-node (AON) method.

  • Critical tasks, noncritical tasks, and slack time
  • Shows the relationship of the tasks to each other
  • Allows for what-if, worst-case, best-case and most likely scenario

Slack/Float: Determines the duration of activity delay that the project can tolerate before the project comes in late. The difference between the earliest and the latest start time. i.e. Slack = last start date – early start day or Slack = last finish time – early finish time.

Any activities which have a slack of 0, they are on the critical path.”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Precedence_diagram_method

I like the pathing idea to show what needs to be completed to lead onto the next task. The slacking numbers is a way to assign priority to certain tasks which is a sustainable form of project management that can help keep focus in a team environment. Though that’s not very necessary on a solo-project like this.

The critical path is a new concept to me I’ve not seen before in project/time management methodology which is a good way to assign resources to the most important tasks. Overall I think it’s a very good if not slightly over complicated form of time management for a team.

I also do not see exact dates for tasks to be finished instead it is done by days but I could amend it from days to dates which is a simple change. Or add the date in addition to days so I understand the exact deadline. I feel leaving it just days leaves it too open ended for my liking.

Then some correct Project Management Methodology.

Kanbann system (Kanban Board)

Kanban boards are perceived as a variation on traditional kanban cards. Instead of the signal cards that represent demand or capacity, the board utilizes magnets, plastic chips, colored washers or sticky notes to represent work items.

At its simplest, the board is usually divided into three sections: “awaiting production”, “work in progress” and “completed work”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanban_board

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Kanban boards as a project management tool are in my opinion fantastic. Especially for web design. A website is made up of a core foundation yes but it is also made up from modular parts that all come together to create a final product. Whether that is for this project the Spotify/iTunes integration or the Musical Scores section.

The system is also re-sizeable for large and small projects as it’s simply just divided into 3 sections (as noted above in Wiki excerpt). It simply just means more sticky notes or magnets (depending on how you create your Kanban board). For a solo-project like this it works too. So as you can probably I’m a big fan.

However due to it’s whoever’s available nature of project management it does not have much in the form of keeping track of time or deadlines. Using this methodology alone for project/time management would not work. I would have to coincide it with Gantt charts for example.

Conclusion

I feel a combination of using a Kanban board for developing the website and Gantt charts for time management would the best fit for this project. Though the Kanban method is very good for project management to be able to divide a product like this into several bite-size pieces it doesn’t allow for proper time management.

Gantt charts does allow for good time management though it will need to be updated regularly to keep it’s validity and to help assign resources properly. The combination of the two should compliment one another very well and it’s what I’m going to use to manage this ‘negotiated client project’ for assignment 3.

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