Use These Five Ideas to Deliver Projects Faster

Efficient delivery of projects is a key objective for all development teams. Careful planning and consideration is undertaken to ensure successful delivery of the business objective both on time and within budget. Below are some ideas that might be helpful to you.

“Here's the TenStep guest blog post "Use These Five Ideas to Deliver Projects Faster":

I don't know of anyone that wants to deliver projects slower. So, speed things up using these ideas.

Tip 1: Find shortcuts in your schedule

When you start the project you create the best schedule you can given the information you know at the time. However, as the project progresses you know more. Use this enhanced knowledge to find shortcuts in your remaining work. Each week when you update the schedule take time to evaluate the remaining work. It is likely you can find ways to get things done with less effort.

Tip 2: Automate manual tasks

See if you can automate your manual tasks to help you do things faster. For example:

  • Summarizing data for your weekly status reports
  • Collating timesheets and expense forms
  • Updating the schedule with timesheet data
  • Deciding if you are on-schedule
  • Reporting on risks, changes and issues

You don't need to perform these tasks manually. You can invest in project software to do all this for you. Your team will enter the data you need and the software will group and summarize it all for you. All you need to do is run reports and view the current status of your schedule to ensure it remains on track.

Tips 3: Manage execution carefully

When your project gets underway, manage your schedule vigilantly. You should make sure the team only works on activities that are assigned, and not other one-off activities that pop up along the way.

Tip 4: Double up on resources on the critical path

Usually, the easiest way to shorten the length of the project is to assign more resources to it. However, this isn’t possible for many projects because they have a limited budget and a limited pool of resource. But that's not to say that you can't double up on resources for the right activities. It just means that if you do this, then other activities will be under-resourced. So why would you do this?

There are activities on the “critical path” that must be completed to deliver the project on time. If you assign more resources to these activities than are necessary, you can usually complete them earlier than expected. And it makes sense that if every critical path task is completed faster, then the entire project will be delivered quicker than expected.

Tips 5: Get the complex activities done first (when possible)

In many projects the last 10% of activities take 20% of the length of the project. This is because the team has left difficult activities until the end, which happens to be when they are tired. Instead, identify the activities in your schedule that are the most complex and challenging to complete. And if possible, tackle those activities at the start of the project, when people are fresh and enthusiastic. You’ll find that they can complete those activities in less time and to a higher standard of quality than if they were left until the end of the project. And with those difficult activities completed, the rest of the project should be easier to deliver.

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