The project timeline is a visual representation of all the milestones and subtasks you and your team members need to achieve to meet your goal. Which is a successfully finished project (everything is done on time and in the best way possible).
In simple words, a project timeline helps the project manager and a whole team to see where they are, what else do they need to do. The entire project plan is transformed into easy to understand, simple visual overview.
Most people are visualizers, and that means that they focus on what they see mainly. It is much easier for them to understand reality if they have some visual representation.
These people will always make notes on the meetings if they really want to remember what was it about, and helps like infographics or mind maps are their best friends. They prefer to note all the tasks they need to do each week, and to check if they are on the same page with others, they use the help of graphs.
Trust me, there’s a 65% chance that you are a visualizer as well. If you work in marketing, even more.
A project timeline is formed usually as a horizontal bar chart, where each task has its name and, what’s crucial, a corresponding start and end date. There are few types of project management timelines, but the most common is Gantt Charts.
Project managers have a lot of work to do anyway. Creating a project timeline may not be easy if you’re not familiar with it. However, it is really worth doing this because, as in most cases… being well-prepared is a key to success. There is no sense in using a knife before sharpening it. Putting more force won’t make it work better. Instead of a nice, clean-cut, you’ll get a nasty smash.
Just make a simple experiment and try to cut a thin slice of tomato with a blunt blade. How much time did you need? Was it successful at all? And then repeat the experiment, but first, put some effort into sharpening your tool. Cut another tomato. Do you see the difference?
I’m sure you do.
A good project timeline gives you this sharpness. This is why I highly encourage you to create a project timeline each time you start a new project. Okay, but how to do this?
If you like the idea of creating a decent project timeline, there’s one more thing to consider. Should you use some project timeline template or choose some project management tool? Is a free project timeline template a good idea?
Here’s a project timeline example created with a help of the project timeline template. Great for people who prefer darker themes to let their eyes rest a little.
You also need to remember that project planning is just the first step. You need to track progress during the project, and an interactive timeline would be a much better idea. Project managers and all the team members engaged in this project should be able to see where they are at the moment and also inform others when they finish something. It should be as easy as possible.
I think that there is nothing more interactive than a timeline project created in a dedicated project timeline software. It can be something entirely focused on project management, or it can be a more complex tool, where project timeline is one of the key features.
Everybody knows that less is more. Why would you force your employees to use many different tools when you can limit them to just a few?
Using the right project management tool will let you take care of the entire project, also create project timelines.
HeySpace is a complex but simple-to-use collaboration software that all project managers should try out. It was developed by the TimeCamp team to make cooperation easy, even between remote workers. They couldn’t find the one tool that would meet all their needs, so they decided to create their own.
HeySpace turned out to be a huge success not just for TimeCamp but also for other companies who tried it. At this moment, we have our own team of developers, marketers, and so on.
What is our secret? Well, we wanted to really help our employees and project managers, not to complicate things. That is why HeySpace puts attention to communication. You can chat with your colleagues on group chats, individually or under a certain task. It helps to keep everyone on the same page.
You can also create a project timeline, similar to the Gantt charts, but that’s not everything. Everyone can decide if they want to see it this way or as a kanban board, for example.
This is really more than a simple project timeline software. It’s a fantastic collaboration tool that will help you not just in project management, but also in better communication.
The project timeline is a very useful tool for every project management manager. No matter if you decide to choose to create it with a project timeline template, or you prefer more complex project timeline software.
In both cases, you will see great results and improvement in your projects' workflow. Knowing resource availability, collecting historical data, determine dependencies, and more. All these thanks to the right project timelines will be a great help to you and other project managers.
Start from today and see how your organization grows.