Sunday 3 October 2021

Review Tools for Projects

 Each of us had to deal with this review tool. Lists of products to buy, things to take on vacation, books to read are all checklists that are one of the easiest and most effective review tools. The checklist allows you to quickly collect the necessary information and serves as an excellent tool for self-control.

It's important to remember that a checklist isn't a rigid plan or algorithm, it allows you to be more flexible and take into account any unexpected changes. For example, a telephone conversation plan, unlike a checklist, is a kind of algorithm that requires clear execution of steps: "Step i: ask questions 1, 2, h; then step 2 — questions 4, 5, 6,..." A checklist of questions compiled for a telephone conversation allows us to ask any of them anywhere in the conversation, depending on the appropriateness of the moment, but at the same time not to forget any of them.

Examples of the most commonly used checklists:

  • a list of questions for the telephone conversation;
  • questions to new customers;
  • list of topics and questions for the meeting;
  • questionnaires for collecting information (for example, a questionnaire of questions to visitors of the exhibition);
  • a list of necessary measures, actions;
  • to-do list
  • a daily to-do list is one of the most important checklists.

Rules for compiling a checklist:

  • all the wording of its paragraphs should be oriented;
  • the list is compiled in a free order, which allows you not to forget a single detail, not a single question or item;
  • in accordance with the structure of the person's attention, the list should be no more than the main items.

Using "To-do list" in telephone communication

One of the most convenient and simple time management tools is to create a "To-do list" – a list of what needs to be done. This is a list of tasks for a day, week or other clearly defined period of time. It is drawn up in a chaotic manner, and then priorities can be set.

A weekly or monthly "To-do list" will consist of tasks that require a number of daily actions to be solved. It is a list of short-term goals.

You can tie the "To-do list" to scheduled or unscheduled telephone conversations in several steps.

Step 1. 


Each item from the "To-do list" should be clearly formulated, and the verb should stand in perfect form, for example: "Register a branch of the enterprise N". Having such a list, it is not difficult to monitor the implementation of tasks.

Step 2. 


Make an additional short list of people with whom you most often communicate. They can be no more than, more often - from four to six people. Assign each of these people their own color.

Step 3. 


Now, next to each task from the "To-do list", enter the names of those people from the list with whom you intend to communicate when performing a particular task with a colored marker. It is most convenient to use such a "To-do list" for a week or a month (the tasks must be quite large-scale, otherwise it does not make sense). The list should be at hand if you mainly communicate on a mobile phone, or near a landline phone.

Step 4. 


Thus, looking at the list, you will not miss during the conversation and those questions that were not targeted when making the call, even if it was not initiated by you. Now you will have the opportunity to contact the right people not five or six, but only once or twice a day.


Handy checklist

People who like to cook delicious dishes at their leisure, sometimes come to mind unusual desires to concoct something like this at the most inopportune moment. And then, when there is time to cook, they do not always manage to remember, "what is so delicious I wanted to do then?". As a result, something else is being prepared, and the desire remains unrealized. At one of the TM seminars, its participant shared her experience:

"And I just made a small list, which I called the "List of delicacies". I always have it with me, and when I think of wishes for the next dish, I just write them down on this list. Sometimes there can be more than ten entries, and when I manage to find time for my favorite hobby - cooking - I just pull out this list and choose the most delicious. "

Two-dimensional charts as a tool for planning and control in time management

This review tool uses the principle of two-dimensional presentation. The two-dimensional chart in time management is a simplified version of the Gantt chart.

Henry Gant from 1901 worked as a consultant and developed a scientific theory of management. He has about 150 publications, including three books. He patented more than a dozen inventions. At the same time, Gant lectured at universities, remaining one of the most successful management consultants. As a teacher, Gantu was close to a system of knowledge transfer, focused on the presentation of data by graphical means.

One of his early examples of information visualization is graphical mapping with horizontal strips reflecting workers' progress towards production standards. The schedule controlled both managers and workers. Improvement in the work of the shop or department was expressed in an increase in the number of black lines in the diagram. Since this method of charting helped in increasing productivity, Gant extended his graphical manuals to the daily balance of production, control over the level of costs, the amount of work behind each machine, the amount of work per person compared to the initial estimates, etc.

However, the main achievement in the creation of schedules dates back to the period when during the First World War Gant served as a consultant in the Naval Corporation and the Department of the Navy. The first diagram he created depicted five military products, the planning of the required orders, their execution, as well as the availability of balances in the warehouse.

In the managerial thought of the period, Gantt's graphic aids were revolutionary for management planning and management itself. Management could see in graphical form how the plans were carried out and take the necessary actions to monitor the timing of their implementation in time and calculate the necessary budget. All subsequent boards and control charts concerning production were borrowed from Gantt.'

The use of a two-dimensional overview chart performs two main functions in time management and helps to carry out:

  • control over the execution of tasks;
  • flexible scheduling of tasks with a complex structure, having well-defined deadlines.

Types of two-dimensional charts:

  • to plan long-term objectives, goals and projects;
  • to plan medium- and short-term objectives;
  • to plan delegated tasks and monitor their implementation;
  • to monitor the implementation of regular tasks.


 Two-dimensional schedule of long-term cases, tasks and projects


Rules and steps for creating a two-dimensional overview chart.

  •  A large task or project is divided into sub tasks, which are written in the left column (Table 4.1a) in random order, as and to compile a checklist.
  • Enter the second dimension - time (calendar dates, days, weeks
  • etc.). The project we are considering is designed for a year, therefore, we will use months as a temporary meter (Table 4.16).
  • If we need to build a two-dimensional schedule for a short-term project, for example, for two weeks, then days or weeks will be used as temporary meters.
  • With the help of horizontal strips or hatching of cells along the time axis, we bind sub tasks to periods and deadlines (table of lengths). The greatest visibility can be achieved by using different colors for different tasks.

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