As ladies who love organization, we live by a thorough and thoughtful workback calendar here at SPPR! 😉 As author Steven Covey once said, "Begin with the end in mind," which means we hone in on a clear vision of what we want to achieve, then figure out the best steps we can take to get there.
image via @mammas_little_tribe Wait, wait, what is a workback calendar?
A workback schedule is such a powerful tool that allows you to optimize your project management by helping you run your projects in a seamless, efficient way.
We like to use the term calendar, but you'll also find the term workback schedule used depending on who you work with. It's a tool to map out a project's cycle and the major milestones within it in reverse order -- from the date of execution back to the start date.
Odds are you may have utilized a workback calendar already if you've been given a project to manage with a due date! You've most likely pulled up your calendar, marked the date, and then started working backward to see when you need to have major moments accomplished in order to meet your goal by the due date. A workback calendar is a way of reverse engineering a project based on when it needs to be completed. There are plenty of software companies out there that help with calendars and team management, like Asana, but a good 'ole Google doc would also work wonders if you don't have access to management software. Start by knowing your deadline date extremely well, understanding how much time you have to complete the task and how you can break the project down into steps that can be broken up over time as well.
Why is it essential?
If you're managing a project with a high-priority deadline, it's important to work out whether meeting that deadline in the first place is feasible or not. If you're under a tight time crunch from a client and can't execute all the project elements within the timeframe that must be completed in order to execute your project goal, then you can use a workback calendar to demonstrate this to the client in order to help choose a more realistic goal date.
If you find yourself in a situation where you feel short on time but the deadline is non-negotiable, using a workback calendar will help you make those needed adjustments to hit that due date and cut out steps that might be taking up precious time. It will also help you list out tasks that need to be completed, which you could then possibly delegate out and keep track of.
Lastly, it's extremely beneficial for a team, especially if you're working with several team members or clients. It lets everyone know exactly what they need to do and when they need to have it done in order to meet that due date. You can also list notes here, explain tasks in further detail, and format out the calendar in a way that will benefit how your team works.
Do you have any tips on how you streamline or use a workback calendar? Let us know in the comments below!