Project scheduling is one of the basic skills any project manager should have. It is the mechanism we use to shine in front of our stakeholders by showing how we’ll approach a new project.
It starts at a high level when we create the master schedule and give the client a rough idea of what to expect. After guiding the first couple of conversations, we then use the result to inform our detailed project schedule. Finally, having gathered internal feedback, we present the final version which can be resource loaded, and it becomes the baseline against which you’ll be measuring project progress.
That’s a lot of pressure and the reason why it’s important to have software that properly supports your scheduling, from tasks to resources. Your job as project manager is to ensure everything runs smoothly—from putting a team together, allocating those resources, running meetings, budget planning, and forecasting.
How I Picked The Best Project Scheduling Software
When selecting software, I research and analyze certain categories which are relevant to the project management app. In this case, I weighed different factors and used the following criteria to shortlist the best software.
- User Interface (UI): I look at the distribution of elements on screen as well as how attractive the design is. Having ‘pretty’ software is important if you see it every day, in my opinion.
- Usability: I experience the tool as a new user and try to analyze how intuitive it is. Also, I approach it as someone who would need to teach others how to use this tool to other people. Is it easy to learn?
- Integrations: At a minimum, most project management software will have pre-built integrations with Google Suite, Dropbox, and Box. Something to watch for is integrations with or the ability to sync with calendar apps—while it may seem like a no-brainer, not all tools have pre-built integrations with calendar apps that you’re already using (or you have to upgrade your plan to access that functionality).
- Pricing: How does this tool’s price compare to other tools with similar feature sets? I also search for free trials or free versions of the software that allow you to test their functionality for yourself. Small teams with simple project scheduling needs might be able to get by with free project scheduling software.
The Digital Project Manager is reader-supported. We may earn a commission when you click through links on our site — learn more about how we aim to stay transparent.
monday.com is a project management platform with intuitive collaboration features that are easy to learn and quickly understand. It’s a highly customizable tool that helps you clarify the sequence of work and see the progress and status of your projects at a glance.
Why I picked monday.com: Most of the project scheduling features in monday.com are in the “timeline” feature—this is where you can plan projects, set deadlines, assign team members, break down tasks, and set dependencies. You can reassign tasks by simply clicking and dragging, and you can view your timelines as spreadsheets, as lists, on a map, on a Kanban board, and other views.
With monday.com you can create summary charts and export and share project plans in a variety of formats (XML, PDF, etc). Apart from that, the platform enables big-picture views using reporting dashboards that collect data from multiple boards, allowing better progress tracking.
All said and done, monday.com technically doesn’t enable you to make Gantt charts in the very traditional sense (nor can you import or export MPP files). However, it’s a flexible, intuitive schedule management software tool that helps you see where tasks are bottlenecking, understand who’s currently working on what, etc. What’s more, the customizable fields and the drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to quickly set up and start using.
monday.com Standout Features & Integrations
Features include automations, shared documents for real-time collaboration, file management, dashboards, Gantt charts, and 5+ views so you can see your project information the way you want to.
Integrations include apps like Slack, Excel, Google Drive, Gmail, Google Calendar, Jira, GitHub, Trello, Dropbox, Typeform, and thousands more accessible via Zapier.
monday.com Plans & Pricing
Pricing starts at $10 /user/month and comes with a free 14-day trial. They offer a free plan for up to 2 users.
- Resource scheduling tools included
- Easy to use calendar and task scheduling
- Colorful, graphically pleasant schedule interface
- Complicated pricing structure
- Steep learning curve for beginners
Wrike is an award-winning, easy-to-use project scheduling software trusted by 20,000+ organizations worldwide. It's suitable for teams with anywhere from five members to an unlimited number of team members. The tool is highly configurable and allows users to customize workflows, dashboards, reports, request forms, and more.
Wrike’s simple project scheduling software enables users to plan and schedule projects on Kanban boards, interactive drag-and-drop Gantt charts, or traditional workload views, as well as switch between them. Wrike also features task lists, subtasks, calendars, and real-time collaboration. Unlock advanced insights with performance reporting tools, time tracking, and more.
Wrike has an easy-to-use, intuitive interface and navigation with distinct spaces, folders, and tasks. Toggle quickly between the home screen and timesheets, dashboards, calendars, reports, and the activity stream. Wrike has a dedicated help center with interactive training, videos, a ‘Getting Started’ guide, and a thriving community.
Wrike offers 400+ pre-built native integrations, including integrations with the most popular file management software from Microsoft, Google, and Dropbox, along with sales and marketing software from Salesforce and Marketo.
Pricing starts at $9.80 per user per month. There are four different price points, including a free version and plans which offer the ability to invite free external collaborators to a paid account.
- Plenty of collaboration features, from proofing tools to @-tagging
- User-friendly, visually appealing Gantt chart schedules
- The free plan is good for basic task list scheduling
- Time tracking only included in Business and Enterprise plans
- Full scheduling capabilities have a bit of a learning curve
- Subtask management and scheduling is limited to paid plans
Kantata is a resource management & PSA software with modules for project scheduling and management, accounting, resource management, business intelligence, and team collaboration.
Why I picked Kantata: It offers a system of dashboards, live time and expense tracking features, and a great document management system. All of these best-in-class features are delivered through straightforward and minimalistic design.
For project scheduling specifically, Kantata offers a complete set of useful features. As you make detailed project plans, the tool support a multi-level work breakdown structure that lets you define the project by a series of granular tasks and subtasks. Other scheduling features include: Gantt chart-based project plan capabilities, schedule management, multi-level WBS, workflow planning, task assignment and scheduling, and critical path and variance analysis.
It also has some good contextual collaboration features to communicate around tasks, projects, and many other project objects. It’s a full suite that takes time to truly master, but the simple, streamlined UI shortens the learning curve significantly.
Kantata Standout Features & Integrations
Features include resource management features (real-time utilization, resource forecasting, capacity management), analytics (built-in reports, custom reporting, trend analysis) and accounting tools (project costing, budget management, invoicing).
Integrations include pre-built integrations with tools like Expensify, G Suite, Xero, Salesforce, Netsuite, Jira, Hubspot, Slack, Concur, Dynamics 365, Qualtrics, and Quickbooks. They also provide an integration platform called M-Bridge to help you build your own integrations.
Kantata Plans & Pricing
Kantata offers plans to meet your needs. Choose from resource management to complete PSA with advanced BI. To receive accurate pricing information, contact Kantata directly.
- Improved task tracking since older versions of the software
- Drag-and-drop Gantt chart timeline
- Various scheduling data views
- Aesthetic, simplistic calendaring
- Pricing form does not display pricing information
- No schedule sharing without log-in
- Lack of global search function
Resource Management by Smartsheet is a high-level resource management and scheduling software that helps modern teams make confident decisions about project planning, team capacity, budget forecasting, team utilization, and hiring needs in real time.
Why I picked Resource Management by Smartsheet: Built-in timesheets, mobile time tracking, and expense tracking, enables you to create rich project reports by filtering project data with just a few clicks. Reports can give insight into historical data or offer a forecasted view of team utilization, actual vs. planned time reports, budget tracking, expense reports, and projects in the pipeline.
Over 1,000 of the most innovative companies in the world rely on Resource Management by Smartsheet, from 10-person shops and 100-person teams within global brands to 1,000+ person professional services firms. Resource Management by Smartsheet has been recognized for its design excellence with awards from FastCo, SXSW, IxDA + IDSA.
RM by Smartsheet Standout Features & Integrations
Features include project and resource matching, dynamic reporting, time tracking, a resource management panel, and a resource timeline for projects.
Integrations include apps like Slack, Brandfolder, Workplace, Microsoft Teams, and Facebook Ads. It additionally has a flexible API you can use to build custom integrations with the tools you use and automation through Zapier where you can connect to 1000+ apps.
RM by Smartsheet Plans & Pricing
Pricing starts at $9/user/month and offers a 14-day free trial. Resource management is a premium add-on that you need to purchase on top of your Smartsheet plan. Pricing is available upon request.
- Intuitive for keeping timesheets and assigning hours
- Skills database helps resource allocation
- Able to forecast resource utilization
- Combines time tracking and resourcing
- Bulk project edits don’t apply to resource field
- Could use better data visualization
- Initial resource set-up takes time
Runn is a real-time project scheduling and resource planning tool with integrated time tracking and powerful forecasting capabilities.
Why I picked Runn: Scheduling is easy and intuitive in Runn–simply drag-and-drop to create project phases and allocations. Create project milestones, project notes and add project budgets. Flick between monthly, quarterly and half-yearly views to plan for the short and long term. If you don’t have the right person at the right time, use placeholders to define the requirements for the project.
Runn makes planning dynamic and visual. Watch the charts and reports update as you plan your projects. You can see visualisations of capacity, workload, availability, and billable and non-billable utilization. Plan out tentative projects to see how your resourcing plans might change if the work gets confirmed.
Track projects, view forecasts, and get relevant metrics within Runn. You’ll have up-to-date data in one place to keep tabs on insights like utilization, project variance, and overall financial performance. Use Runn’s built-in timesheets to understand how much time was worked on your projects compared to what was planned.
Runn Standout Features & Integrations
Features include resource scheduling, project planning, capacity management, project forecasting, timesheets, and reporting.
Integrations include apps like Harvest, WorkflowMax, and Clockify for importing project, client, and people data and syncing time entries. With Runn’s API, you can build your own integration to send data across your favorite tools.
Runn Plans & Pricing
Pricing starts at $10/user/month and has a 14-day free trial. There is also a free plan for up to 5 people.
- Native integrations & API available
- Free version available for 5 users
- Clean UI that’s easy to use & navigate
- Colors are not customisable
- Cant keep notes on projects
- No time tracking built in
Resource Guru is a dedicated resource management software. The tool allows team members to visualize tasks on calendars, shows what everyone is working on, and clearly displays availability so project managers can maximize utilization.
Why I picked Resource Guru: Project managers can make resource bookings simultaneously while ensuring they aren’t overbooking resources.
Resource and project clashes are automatically prevented. Bookings can be added to a waiting list and used for capacity planning later. Each staff member gets their own resource dashboard so they can log in and know exactly what they should be working on. Powerful reporting features allow users to monitor utilization and business performance, as well as help with capacity planning.
Resource Guru Standout Features & Integrations
Features include resource scheduling, resource management, leave management, project scheduling, capacity planning, and forecasting reports.
Integrations include calendar apps like Outlook calendar, Calendly, and Google calendar. Thousands of additional apps are accessible through Zapier.
Resource Guru Plans & Pricing
Pricing starts at $3 /user/month.
- Powerful resource filters
- Clash management capabilities to prevent overbooking
- Availability bar feature for capacity planning
- No copy-paste of resource tasks
- Integrations are mainly via Zapier, rather than as native integrations
ClickUp works as a scheduling software thanks to its many templates, features, and colorful project spaces. Gantt is the traditional view for task management and seeing the project schedule. Resource management features like workload or time tracking will help you optimize resource utilization. Finally, meeting templates complement your scheduling by giving you a place where you can keep track of your interactions with the team.
The best part of this last item is that ClickUp can be integrated with apps like Google Calendar. Therefore, you can sync your calendar with ClickUp and let the platform automatically create tasks for you when an update occurs on the Google side of things, and vice versa. No more jumping between apps!
Note: Calendar integration also works with Apple’s Calendar and Outlook.
ClickUp offers native integrations with Slack, G Suite, Dropbox, and many more tools, as well as over 1,000+ integrations through Zapier.
ClickUp is free with limited storage for an unlimited number of users. Paid plans start at $5/user/month and offer a free-trial.
PROS: Calendar synchronization with popular apps, Centralized control over scheduling, Affordable plans for small businesses, Workload view available in free versionCONS: Hyper-customization can be challenging for beginners
Zoho Projects is a project management and project scheduling software from Zoho. It offers flexibility and customizations to suit the needs of traditional project managers as well as agile teams.
Why I picked Zoho Projects: It has multiple ways of viewing information, like lists, kanban, or Gantt charts. With task tags and custom views and filters, you can organize your tasks and find them with ease. In addition to timeline planning, you can plan your resources effectively with the drag-and-drop resource utilization module. Keep everyone in the loop right inside Projects via inbuilt chat, forums, and comments, or take the social route with the project portal feed. Add to that the integrated advanced analytics capabilities to generate more than 50 types of charts and reports. The colorful dashboards are fully customizable so that users can make Zoho Projects their own.
The interface and modules are highly customizable. All aspects of the UI from theme colors to arrangement and visibility of the various modules can be changed to suit a user’s preferences. Zoho projects also offer free onboarding for customers and a comprehensive online help guide for all users.
Zoho Projects stands out in cases where there are multiple hand-offs involved. It is especially popular among IT companies, consultants, and education organizations. The tool is trusted by over three million users and hundreds of big brands across the globe.
Zoho Projects Standout Features & Integrations
Features include task management, task automation, blueprints, time tracking, team collaboration, charts, and reporting.
Integrations. Being part of Zoho’s ecosystem allows Projects to connect to several of Zoho’s own services such as Zoho Books, Zoho CRM, and Zoho’s finance suite. The new Zoho marketplace allows 3rd party integrations as well.
Zoho Projects Plans & Pricing
Pricing starts at $5/user/month and has a 10-day free trial. A free version is also available for up to 3 users.
- Time-track multiple tasks at once
- Robust communication features
- Easy workflow automation
- Unlimited number of projects
- Lacks some file type export options
- Lacks some reporting features
- Does not integrate with Quickbooks
When it comes to project scheduling, Celoxis comes packed with powerful planning and scheduling tools to help you build dynamic project plans that automatically adjust to changing real-world conditions. Armed with one of the most flexible, fast, and responsive interactive Gantt charts, Celoxis can effortlessly handle large project plans involving multiple levels of sub-tasks, inter-project dependencies and even multiple resources per task.
Its automatic scheduling feature accommodates almost every real-world scenario to provide a robust and reliable project schedule. With features like automatic email alerts, RAG health indicators, and critical path analysis, Celoxis makes project tracking a breeze. Celoxis provides visibility into what every member is doing and gives you the ability to track resource loads in real-time. With built-in team and client collaboration features, one can effortlessly share files, discuss, and exchange comments not just with other team members but also with your clients. Several best-practice and custom reports including drill-down charts that let you gather 360-degree real-time insights around your projects and resources.
Celoxis integrates out-of-the-box with popular apps likes Google Drive, Excel, MS Project, Jira, Salesforce, and Quickbooks Online. It is also fully integrated with Zapier, which allows you to use sync with thousands of apps. It also has an easy-to-use web-based API to connect with other services and legacy business apps.
Celoxis is one of the few tools that offer SaaS and On-Premise deployment options. Celoxis costs $25/user/month with additional commitment discounts.
- Great value for small teams
- Supports advanced predecessor conditions
- Has resource management and loading
- Pre-built project matrix report
- Clients cannot be assigned tasks
- Heavy, complex interface
Forecast is a brilliantly simple combination of resource management and project management tool built on the foundation that successful projects require a combination of short and long term planning. It does not dictate how you work so you can mix Scrum, Kanban, and traditional Gantt scheduling.
The Artificial Intelligence (AI) built into Forecast enables you to easily spot projects that are at risk of delay or veering off track. Build and share your own powerful dashboards, reports, and insights so you can put real-time information right at your team or clients’ fingertips. Effortless resource planning enables you to track utilization and capacity. In the upcoming work view, the connection between prioritization and scheduling easily lets team members focus on the most important tasks.
Forecast is currently used in 40+ countries worldwide, by agencies, consulting companies, and enterprises – has Lite, Pro, and Enterprise options that cost from $29/user/month (14-day free trial).
- Combines project management and resource scheduling
- Easy to add notes to specific tasks
- Schedule on high level as well as on task basis
- Allows both retainer and project based scheduling
- Intuitive design of scheduling tool
- Milestone data is lumped together rather than separated
- Designed for minimum of 10 employees
Microsoft Project is a project management software built over 35 years ago to help you keep track of all your work.
Why I picked Microsoft Project: It can be purchased with Office 365 (which many companies use) or as a stand-alone item. Microsoft Project has the honed functionality of an Excel file with scheduling-specific tools for project management pros. If you need project scheduling help, try their intuitive and robust Gantt chart generator to navigate product timelines.
Adapting to our current needs, MS Project is available in both cloud-based and on-premise flavors.
MS Project Standout Features & Integrations
Features include three types of views, coauthoring on project schedules, pre-built reports, interactive roadmaps, resource management, portfolio modelling, and communication using MS Teams.
Integrations include other Microsoft software, like Outlook, Excel, Skype, and more.
MS Project Plans & Pricing
There are three cloud-based plans and pricing starts at $10/user/month with a free 30-day trial.
- Easy integration with other Microsoft software
- Driver prioritization module for ranking strategies/objectives
- Helpful project template descriptions for guidance
- Can generate a Gantt chart from a spreadsheet
- Few customization options
- Steep learning curve
- Limitations on collaboration tools
Paymo is a project scheduling software for small and medium businesses to help creative and marketing teams own their entire project cycle. Besides planning and resource scheduling, Paymo is strong on task management, time tracking, and invoicing functionality.
Paymo allows you to define the critical path by taking lead and lag time into account for project planning. Resource scheduling-wise, you can view your entire team’s workload across several projects, thanks to the multiple views by user/project/ungrouped tasks. Instead of manually setting up bookings, Paymo creates them automatically (ghost bookings) based on your previously entered task details to cut the data entry process in half. The built-in leave planner can also be used to mark leave days directly from the scheduler and save your company precious time and money.
Paymo integrates natively with popular apps such as Slack, Google Suite, QuickBooks Online, Xero, JotForm, and Shift, to name a few. Other integrations are available through Zapier or by syncing with their fully-documented API.
Free for freelancers and teams of up to 10 users. Paid plans start at $9.95/user/month. Paymo comes with a 15-day free trial.
ActiveCollab is a project management software with a simple interface approach to helping you keep track of work.
Why I picked ActiveCollab: You know when every stage of the project is due and establish your own processes that work well both for your team and your clients with features like drag-and-drop task lists, collective updates across gamified social feeds, time and cost estimation tools, and billing solutions.
ActiveCollab is a simple tool at its core. They even have sample projects that cover anything from web design to editorial calendars to help project management newbies thrive.
ActiveCollab Standout Features & Integrations
Features include time and resource management, notes, discussions and real-time chat for collaboration, client management, and billing.
Integrations include Google Drive, Dropbox, Trello, Basecamp, Asana, Wrike, Slack, Hubstaff, TimeCamp, Quickbooks, Xero, Authorize.Net, Braintree, PayPal, Stripe, and hundreds of other third-party apps using Zapier.
ActiveCollab Plans & Pricing
ActiveCollab starts at $11/month and has a 14-day free trial.
- Fully customizable API
- Chat available in mobile app
- Easy to invite collaborators
- Payment-related features only available in top plan
Built by creative professionals for the creative industry, FunctionFox features user-friendly tools to help you create detailed project schedules, track your progress through interactive Gantt charts and calendars, manage your resources with action assignments and to-do lists, and communicate and collaborate through the project blog. FunctionFox is entirely web-based so it allows both in-office and remote users to work together seamlessly.
Their intuitive project scheduling software allows you to allocate work to your team through action assignments, mark out important dates within a project using milestones, and schedule project meetings. You can keep an eye on your team’s capacity through to-do lists and the availability tool, and monitor project timelines using their interactive Gantt charts and project calendar. The project blog allows your team to communicate in real-time, and they offer flexible, comprehensive reports that can be exported in Excel format.
FunctionFox is easy to use and made even easier with the tutorials and support provided. All customer support is unlimited, ongoing, and included in your subscription cost. If you have account-related questions or would like to review specific features, the customer success team is happy to assist you over the phone, by email, or via scheduled webinars customized to your needs. Their website also includes a help center, and there are detailed help files included within the software itself.
The project scheduling tools are included in their FunctionFox Premier platform. Compatible with all up-to-date web browsers, you can also schedule projects and monitor deadlines while on the go using their mobile site, iPhone/iPad, and Android Apps.
FunctionFox Premier is $50/month for the first user, plus $10/month for each additional user. You can sign up for a free demo as well.
- Resource availability function for scheduling
- Interactive scheduling charts
- Built-in public and private calendars
- Doesn’t integrate with popular accounting software
- Creating schedule templates a challenge
- User interface is more complex
Adobe Workfront is a project management software that helps enterprises connect projects and tasks to strategic goals.
Why I picked Workfront: One of the strongest points of this tool is its ability to sync with other products in the Adobe ecosystem.
It has an impressive project scheduling tool that can create tasks, milestones, and predecessors, and allocate resources while monitoring progress within set time frames. It is a great collaboration tool where team members stay in sync through threaded conversations, status updates, and comments. They can even assign milestones to each other and get live notifications of any changes taking place. For reporting, Workfront offers 50 report templates to analyze and share the status of your project. You can even create your own dashboard and combine multiple reports into one.
Workfront Standout Features & Integrations
Features file sharing, goal alignment, scenario planning, customizable reports, workflow automation, resource management, capacity planning, and collaboration tools, reporting dashboards.
Integrations include out-of-the-box software, like Adobe Creative Cloud & Experience Manager, Jira, Slack, Salesforce, and MS Teams. You can also build custom integrations using Workfront Fusion, an integration platform for any web-based application.
Workfront Plans & Pricing
There are three plans and pricing is available upon request.
- Thorough documentation
- Multiple time-logging options
- Suitable for corporations and enterprises
- Slow at the time of updates
- More complex navigation
Need expert help selecting the right Project Scheduling Software?
We’ve joined up with the software comparison platform Crozdesk.com to assist you in finding the right software. Crozdesk’s Project Scheduling Software advisors can create a personalized shortlist of software solutions with unbiased recommendations to help you identify the solutions that best suit your business's needs. Through our partnership, you get free access to their bespoke software selection advice, removing both time and hassle from the research process.
It only takes a minute to submit your requirements and they will give you a quick call at no cost or commitment. Based on your needs you’ll receive customized software shortlists listing the best-fitting solutions from their team of software advisors (via phone or email). They can even connect you with your selected vendor choices along with community negotiated discounts. To get started, please complete the form below:
14-day free trial
|From $11/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $9.80/user/month||Visit Website|
|Pricing upon request||Visit Website|
30-day free trial
|From $9/user/month||Visit Website|
14-day free trial
|From $10/person managed/month||Visit Website|
30-day free trial
|From $2.50/person/month||Visit Website|
Freemium plan available
10 days free trial
|Free up to 3 users + starts at $5/user/month||Visit Website|
30 days free trial
|From $22.50/user/month||Visit Website|
14 days free trial
|From $25/user/month||Visit Website|
|From $10/user/month||Visit Website|
15 days free trial
|Free for 1 user + starts at $4.95/user/month||Visit Website|
14 days free trial
|Free up to 3 users + starts at $6.25/user/month||Visit Website|
|For the Premier plan starts at $50 per month||Visit Website|
|Available upon request||Visit Website|
Best project scheduling software for international enterprises
Best project scheduling tool for organizations with large resource pools
- Hub Planner
Best for medium and large enterprises
Best project scheduling tool for beginners
- Auspicia AB
Best for automatic schedule generation based on your project data
Best project scheduling tool for small businesses
Best project scheduling software for usability and intuitive UX/UI
Best for team workload management
Best project scheduling software for multiple projects
Best project scheduling tool for startups and scaling teams
7 Reasons Why You Should Use Project Scheduling Software
Especially if your organization is scaling. Here are a few key benefits of project scheduling software:
- Define the project workflow and keep the team focused on the right tasks.
- Identify and track your project’s critical path to leverage flex in the schedule.
- Waste less time rescheduling with priorities & dependencies that automatically adjust.
- Set project baselines to track your project plan against your execution.
- Free up time and energy by setting up the tool to provide automatic deadline reminders.
- Easily visualize, compare, spot holes, and adjust your resource availability.
- Generate reports on utilization, organizational demand, and capacity, and review trends to forecast future hiring needs.
There are many more benefits—and they will continue to grow in number as technology evolves, providing more opportunities for automating tasks and making smarter decisions.
Project Scheduling Software FAQ
What does project scheduling software do?
Scheduling software helps you plan not only your projects but also get a grip on what’s currently happening as the project unfolds. It also allows you to centralize all work-related activities such as planning, task allocation, resource management, and reporting.
In addition, project scheduling tools create transparency with stakeholders and team members who want to know what’s expected of them.
What is project scheduling in software project management?
Project scheduling in project management is part of project planning. It’s the process of defining a project’s phases, milestones, resources, and workflow. In addition, you plot these key components on a timeline that factors in the dependencies between the different parts.
Throughout the lifecycle of a software project, you refer to the project schedule to understand its critical path and track progress on deliverables and the project as a whole.
When there are changes, a well-made project schedule helps you to factor in the effects of any changes. This can be done through dependencies laid out initially, providing a visual tool to understand the relationship between different roles, tasks, and phases of a project.
Which tool is used for project scheduling?
The most common tool used for project scheduling is the Gantt chart. The reason is that this view gives a large amount of numerical and visual information in one glance.
A Gantt chart view is commonly arranged in 2 panels that live side-by-side. The left panel contains a table with detailed information on the tasks, due dates and dependency between tasks. The right panel contains bars along a timeline that visually represent task duration and show what happens when. Therefore, this right panel is useful to quickly understand the sequence of events that must happen for successful completion.
What features can I look for when selecting scheduling software?
Let’s review some of the features that we can find in project scheduling solutions.
- Budget planning: Fields or specific modules where you can keep track of the money and how it’s being spent.
- Task management: The software should offer various ways to manage project tasks. Likewise, it should have views that let you see these tasks in different ways, such as Gantt charts, calendar views, table views, and Kanban boards.
- Communication: A lot of PM software has some kind of communication tool built-in. These include team chat, messaging, integrations with email for automatic notifications, a live activity stream or notifications feed, and task comments.
- Resource management: When we schedule tasks, we also schedule resources. Therefore, the software should have a module where we can look at our team, allocation, workload, and some kind of project dashboard where we can track activity.
- Analytics & reporting: One of the main benefits of project scheduling software is its ability to easily provide loads of project data and compile it into reports. The best project planning software offers analytics and reporting features like configurable reports, real-time and interactive reporting features, automatic report generation, and advanced analytics that track time, resource utilization, costs, and other key project metrics.
What are some common project scheduling techniques?
Most project scheduling techniques make use of a Gantt chart or similar chart, and they include:
- The Critical Path Method (CPM): a mathematically-based technique where you create a schedule by using your scope to list tasks, their durations, and dependencies
- Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT or PERT Analysis): a technique similar to CPM. However, you calculate a weighted average duration for tasks based on your confidence level in their timing. These can be optimistic, pessimistic, and most likely duration.
- Fast tracking: a form of Duration Compression where you shorten a project schedule by overlapping tasks that can be done simultaneously
- Crashing: a form of Duration Compression where you get tasks done faster by adding more resources to the project timeline
- Simulation: modeling “what if” scenarios to forecast possible durations of a project
- Resource Leveling: adjusting a schedule so there’s as little over- or under-utilization of resources as possible
In reference to the last bullet point above, you can learn more about resource leveling, so you can get the most out of your project scheduling software.
I also heard through the grapevine that you might not be subscribed to our Insider Membership newsletter. It is a weekly email that you receive with useful information and reflections for DPMs, fun facts, songs for your work playlist and more!