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As a project manager there are many times that you have to draw up a schedule from scratch. Sometimes you may be stuck as to how to go about the schedule or not but often you will be handed a a schedule and told to just use this as a template. (Note: I use template in his article for schedules from previous projects and also standard departmental issued templates.) This may seem like a great idea at first because a lot of the stuff is right there for you. All the tasks seem neatly laid out. You think to yourself: This is just what you needed. This will save a whole lot of time. But beware. Not everything is as easy as it seems. Here are just a few reasons as to why you should not automatically take that schedule and run with it tweaking here and there.
A team of two or three assistants adds more organizational consistency and decreases scheduling errors because more than one person handles the information. An employee schedule template is a great way to get a head start on making employee schedules for organizations above a certain size and staff strength. They match an organizations staffing needs with employee availability and job profiles as well as the possible number of hours using staff scheduling software. The result is a ready employee spreadsheet that can be reused as required saving valuable time and effort. Good designs offer flexibility that allows you to work in differences in seasons or timing as well. Some of the advantages that you should consider when choosing an employee schedule template include: User Friendly: People who design shifts and rosters are not geniuses. It is important to have a user-friendly design that is easy to learn and operate by clerical staff.
This is a task that can become frustrating especially if you are well into your project. Problem #3: Try to Make Sense of the Template Then there are a whole lot of other problems that can get you into trouble when trying to make heads or tails of a previous Project file. These can include such things as: Deadlines Resources Task Types Date Constraints etc. A whole slew of MS Project "features" can truly drive you crazy trying to figure out why the schedule doesnt seem right. You can go individually and clean these all up depending on the size of the project file but you have to look for each item first and that will take a lot of work. So What to Do Okay now I am not saying that templates are not worthwhile but you have to be careful about how you use them. A template should be a guide. Look at it as: here are some items that I should consider in my project. A good template covers a full blown project. Your project may be smaller so you dont need all those elements. And there is also a converse. It is a good idea that if you have a project with more complexity or other items than the template shows you should add those to the "template" for future reference.