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Planning on a schedule? MeisterTask’s calendar-based Timeline is perfectly suited to projects where time is on the line. In this best practices article, we’ll go over 6 simple steps to schedule and coordinate even the most complicated project.
6 Steps to Plan Your Next Project Using Timeline:
- Step 1: List your to-dos
- Step 2: Convert your to-do list into tasks in MeisterTask
- Step 3: Compile your team's resources in tasks
- Step 4: Schedule your tasks on Timeline
- Step 5: Assign tasks to your colleagues
- Step 6: Be flexible! Adjust your schedule as needed
Before beginning to tackle your project, be sure to take some time to define the goals and scope of the whole venture. Even if you don’t take the formal step of creating a project brief, make sure you and your team have a clear understanding of what successful project completion will look like.
Step 1: List your to-dos
Once you've defined the goals and scope of your project, your first step should be to break down your project into a series of smaller to-dos. Take some time to brainstorm each step involved in completing your project, then turn them into a to-do list using your favorite documentation tool.
To-Do Lists in MeisterNote
You can list your to-dos in any modern documentation tool, but we recommend using MeisterNote. With our direct integration, you can instantly change your to-do list into a MeisterTask project without ever leaving the tool.
Step 2: Convert your to-do list into tasks in MeisterTask
After compiling a list of all your project to-dos, it’s time to turn them into tasks in a MeisterTask project. If you created your to-do list in MeisterNote, you can easily convert each item into a task in MeisterTask using our direct integration. Find out more here.
Otherwise, you can convert your text into tasks via copy/paste.
How should I organize my project sections in a Timeline-based project?
Projects using Timeline work best when formatted as static boards.
Instead of using kanban-style sections (e.g. Open, In progress, Done) try grouping your projects by category. Tasks in your Timeline will be be color-coded by section.
Step 3: Compile your team's resources in tasks
Now that your tasks are organized into a single MeisterTask project, you can begin to add relevant resources and information to each task window.
Keeping your project resources in MeisterTask helps centralize communication and ensures that everyone can access the information needed to work together effectively.
During this step, be sure to:
- Attach all relevant resources (pdfs, screenshots, website links) to your task.
- Add checklists to any tasks which require multiple actions.
- Mention other users to alert them to tasks which need their attention.
- Add task dependencies to keep track of blockages and potential bottlenecks.
MeisterTask Business users can use Custom Fields to more easily streamline information across teams. Find out more here.
Step 4: Schedule your tasks on Timeline
Once you’ve created and added details to all the tasks involved in your project, you can begin to visualize them on your Timeline. For this step, simply drag and drop your tasks onto the MeisterTask Timeline and click and drag to adjust task start and end dates.
When scheduling tasks on Timeline:
- Be mindful of task dependencies.
Take care to reference the dependencies you laid out in step three. “Blocking” tasks should always be scheduled before their “blocked by” counterparts!
- Schedule enough time for each task.
It's better to allocate too much time than not enough. Give your team some breathing room now, then make adjustments later.
- Be flexible.
Agile project management requires rapid response to feedback and adjustments made on the fly, so don't spend too much time pre-planning your schedule. Once work has started, you’ll have complete freedom to make adjustments and edit your schedule.
Step 5: Assign tasks to your colleagues
Now that your project is displayed in a visual format, you can begin to assign specific tasks to your collaborators. Assigned users’ avatars will be displayed on each task in your Timeline, allowing you and your team to quickly visualize your upcoming workload and make adjustments to avoid bottlenecks.
Try filtering your Timeline by project member to get a better overview of each collaborators’ workload.
Resource Management in MeisterTask
Learn more about assessing your team's workload using MeisterTask's Reports feature here.
Step 6: Reassess and Adjust Your Schedule as Needed
Even the best laid plans of Meister and men can quickly go awry. As work on your project progresses, be sure to schedule regular assessments of your team’s progress and make adjustments to your Timeline as needed.
Rapid responses to feedback and flexibility in planning are an essential part of Agile Project Management. Find out more about the agile method here.
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Or check out more best practices:
- Reports Best Practices: Measuring Success
- Reports Best Practices: Assessing Your Team’s Workload
- MindMeister Best Practices: Collaborating Effectively