Project Timeline

Rajat Shukla
4 min readAug 17, 2023

What is the importance of Project Timeline ?

A project timeline is an essential tool for any project manager or team member. It can help to improve communication, increase accountability, and track progress. This can lead to more successful projects and a more efficient use of time and resources.

Helps to visualize the project: This can help to identify potential bottlenecks and overlaps, and to make sure that everything is coordinated. Guides team members through the different phases of the project.

Helps to track progress: This can help to identify problems early on and to take corrective action.

Increases accountability: It makes it clear who is responsible for each task and when it needs to be completed.

The different phases of a general project in a digital agency typically involve the following:

Define: This phase includes project initiation and planning. This is where the project team will gather requirements from the client, define the scope of the project, and create a project plan.

Craft: This phase includes user experience (UX) deliverables, content strategy development, and design asset development. This is where the team will create wireframes, prototypes, and mockups of the project’s user interface and user experience. They will also develop the content strategy and generate design assets such as logos, graphics, and illustrations.

Build: This phase includes technical development based on the output of the Craft phase. This is where the team will develop the project’s codebase, integrate content, and test the project.

Deploy: This phase involves quality assurance (QA), user acceptance testing (UAT), and deployment on the server. This is where the team will test the project for bugs and errors, get feedback from users, and deploy the project to the server.

Evaluate: This phase involves gathering results of web traffic on the platform in the form of analytics and observing areas of improvement. This is where the team will track the project’s performance, identify areas for improvement, and make recommendations for future changes.

Creating a Project Plan

Use the project lifecycle to create a workflow diagram. This will help to visualize the overall flow of the project, from initiation to completion. Identify the key milestones and their associated dates.

After this, map out the tasks and activities that need to be completed in order to reach each milestone.

All projects are subject to delays, whether caused by the client, such as asset delays or scope creep, or by internal factors, such as resource availability. It is important to be prepared to incorporate changes to the timeline. Plan in detail only for those phases of the project that you are confident about. Any educated guess in a project timeline should be accompanied by an assumption statement.

Breaking down a project into subtasks can help to estimate the time and resources needed for each task, which can make it easier to create a project timeline and budget. It can also help to communicate the project’s scope and deliverables to the client in a clear and concise way.

After making a rough plan, it is important to collaborate with the team to get their input on your approach, dependencies, and assumptions.

Three-point estimation involves estimating the task’s effort as optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely. Planning poker is a gamified technique where team members estimate the effort by playing cards with different values. When no one knows how long a task will take, it is helpful to look for similar tasks that have been completed in the past. This can help to ensure that the plan is realistic and achievable.

It is important to strike a balance between having enough time for client approval and amendment cycles, and not having too much time, which can lead to delays and cost overruns.

It is important to set aside time after the project is completed to review its performance, identify areas for improvement, and plan for future opportunities.

Using Smartsheet to create a Project Plan

If you have a project plan from a previous project, you can use it as a template in Google Sheets. Simply copy the template and make the necessary changes to fit your current project.

Project Plan Template in Google Sheet

Smartsheet allows you to import project plans from Google Sheets.

Import options of Smartsheet

To populate dependencies in the Gantt chart, you can use the ‘Predecessors’ and ‘Duration’ columns. To do this, click on the Project Settings option in Smartsheet.

Set dependencies on columns

Once you have imported the Google Sheet into Smartsheet and activated the Gantt View option, you can start adding dependencies between tasks.

Project Plan in Smartsheet

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Rajat Shukla

I am a highly skilled and experienced project manager, user experience designer, and programmer with a proven ability to manage projects of all sizes.