Hi, I’m Allison and I have a great tip to share with you on how you can improve your project scheduling. We all know how easy it is for projects to get delayed because, more often than not, tasks take longer to complete than initially expected.
Any number of issues could cause this problem, whether it’s bugs, underestimating how long a task will take, someone on the team got sick, or other unexpected delays. The result is that your project is late – and that isn’t good. Fortunately I have a very useful tip for making your project schedules more accurate and preventing your projects from being late: using buffers.
In the world of project scheduling, there are two types of buffers, the individual buffer and the global buffer. The individual buffer is the one you add at the end of each activity in your schedule, whereas the global buffer is the one you add at the very end of your activity chain.
At Elementool, we usually advise against using the individual buffer because people have a habit of just spending more time – even when they don’t need it – working on a task if they know that they have a buffer to give them extra time at the end of it. As Parkinson’s Law states, work tends to expand to fill the space of the time available for its completion. And that would pretty much defeat the purpose of having a buffer in the first place, wouldn’t it?
Global buffers, on the other hand, can be extremely helpful in improving you project schedule. Because it encompasses the entire project, your global buffer will be a much lengthier amount of time added to the end of your project than an individual buffer would be. And by adding this schedule contingency at the global level, you can ensure it won’t be wasted at the activity level. The project manager will need to monitor this global buffer, while making sure that the individual task estimates still remain achievable.
Now how do you calculate the amount of time to add for a buffer, you ask? To come up with that figure, you should take the risk factors for each task into consideration. Think about what could go wrong and how much additional time it would take to deal with those potential problems. Once you have estimated a buffer time for each individual task, add them up to get the amount of time needed to create one large buffer at the end of the project.
You’ll find that by adding a global buffer, you can significantly improve the overall accuracy of your project schedule, allowing you to complete your project by the expected deadline without a lot of unnecessary last-minute rushing to get everything done in time.
This is just one small tip that can help you create more accurate project schedules.
We explain how to do that in more detail in our book “The Project Management Formula – The 5 Steps to Complete Your Project on Time”, written by Elementool’s Founder & CEO Mr. Yaron Sinai.
The book is a result of years of project management experience and in-depth research. It will explain the different steps of project management and show you the five simple steps for running successful project management process from start to finish.
Get the book for free right now by simply clicking on the button below and I will send it to you by mail.