Proper planning is often one of the most important aspects of a well-organized team. Knowing what tasks need to be completed and by when helps you finish your job on time. Also, having the right tools, like a project management calendar, ensures you meet important deadlines.
This document will bring much-needed order into your project management chaos. It contains all your tasks, milestones, deadlines, and people involved while giving team members 24/7 access to their project management timeline.
Let’s check out how a project calendar works and help you create one.
What Is a Project Calendar?
A project calendar is a simple yet efficient tool companies use to plan tasks, set deadlines, plan project milestones, and allocate workloads for different projects.
It offers many more possibilities than a traditional desk calendar. A project calendar helps you and your team track progress and stay on top of things. This tool can be straightforward or complex, depending on your requirements.
You might use pen and paper for simple projects, but if you are dealing with complex matters, you need something that will correspond to project demands and ensure everything is completed on time.
How Many Types of Calendars Are in the Project?
As a project manager, you will mostly work with four types of calendars: base calendar, project calendar, resource calendar, and task calendar. They all have their pros and cons and are designed for different purposes.
As we previously mentioned, a project calendar offers you a schedule for your project; it shows tasks, deadlines, and people responsible for particular tasks. Project managers must consider stakeholders’ constraints, priorities, and needs when designing a project calendar.
For instance, some of your clients may require a project finished by a specific date, and they might be willing to prioritize certain needs over other to meet deadlines. In that case, you are risking not having enough resources available. Therefore, you need to consider all the aspects that could affect the project schedule and put them into a project calendar.
A project calendar offers a clear overview of tasks, meaning you can see responsibilities, dependencies, and deadlines. At the same time, a calendar view allows you to see what needs to be done on what day.
Additionally, a timeline calendar is pretty straightforward, and you will have a clear idea of which tasks are crucial and can’t be postponed.
A task calendar is a calendar designed for a specific task, and it captures tasks and required resources outside the project calendar.
For example, you are working on an app development project, and you are required to install servers in a client’s building. This is one of those tasks that can be completed quickly and efficiently, but it still needs scheduling and resources.
You don’t want to burden your regular team with this; instead, you hire outside resources. For this purpose, you will use a task calendar.
The resource calendar displays dates, days, and times a specific resource is planned to be employed. The resource can be a machine or a person. However, remember that PMI only considers human resources when it comes to resource calendars.
With the help of this tool, you will be able to see when someone is or isn’t available to work on a project. If some of your team members are scheduled to take a vacation in the following weeks, the resource calendar will record such change.
Also, if one of your team members works on multiple projects, which is common nowadays, the project calendar will reflect this change as well. We believe this is a crucial tool for creative project managers. When you are dealing with several projects at the same time, you need a central place to figure out who works where and who is available.
You could combine the project calendar with the resource calendar to have a clear overview of what each team member is working on and when.
Calendar for Project Planning
You will find that behind every great project, there is a great project calendar. There is a reason why project managers use a calendar for project planning. Aside from their great responsibility towards stakeholders, they need to plan projects from start to finish, on time, and within budget.
The only way they can accomplish that is with the help of a project calendar. This is the only way you and your team can get a high-level view of your project schedule. In fact, a project calendar ensures you stay on track and within deadlines.
How Do You Create a Project Management Calendar?
If you are looking for ways to plan projects collaboratively and complete your tasks on time, then ActiveCollab’s calendar is the best way to do it. We will walk you through simple steps to create a project management calendar using ActiveCollab.
- Create a custom calendar
- Add event
Once you add an event, you can edit or add new information, reschedule by dragging and dropping it to the desired date, or even delete an event. You can also decide which events to hide and which to show.
ActiveCollab allows you to synchronize your calendar and project dates to Outlook, OS X Calendar, Google Calendar, and other similar apps. If you are working on multiple projects, keep in mind that you will have to import each project separately.
Why Is a Project Calendar Important?
- Tracking: A project calendar allows you to monitor your team members, track their progress and detect if any of them are having any issues before it gets too late.
- Deadlines: Deadlines give us a lot of headaches. However, a well-organized calendar helps you manage deadlines in the short, medium, and long term. This is a great way to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- Debate: An interactive project calendar can provoke a debate. You and your team members have access to the same calendar, so you can discuss appointments, meetings, and deadlines.
- Organize personal time: When you work in a large group, it can be challenging to organize holidays and days off. However, a project calendar allows you to mark a team member who isn't available and find the appropriate substitute.