REALISTIC TIMELINES, OBJECTIVES,
Recognizing the life cycle of a project enables a manager to develop a project timeline, where the beginning and end are clearly defined. In between, the manager must marshall resources to create project deliverables on time and within budget. Project steps and workflow must be characterized, and the several Web sources listed at the end of this section provide useful information that may be adapted to your particular circumstances.
Timeline development is facilitated if the institution has experience with similar efforts or can undertake a pilot phase where time and resources associated with project steps can be quantified. Creating a base level timeline using a software program capable of generating a Gantt chart such as Microsoft Project enables the manager to note process sequences and dependencies that will be affected by unanticipated delays in production. A common mistake is to overestimate production capabilities, especially in the early phases of a project. These tools facilitate project monitoring, enabling managers to respond more effectively to bottlenecks, competing requirements, and the like.
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