You should always look for better ways to do things. And when it comes to self-hosted project management that means looking at how you can maximize the efficiency of your team. So today we’re going over how to make a project calendar—a tool that makes it easy for everyone involved in the project to stay on top of their tasks and deadlines using one simple calendar.
What is a Project Calendar?
A project calendar is exactly what it sounds like: a calendar for your entire project. It allows you and other key players on the team to see everything happening during the current phase of development, allowing everyone involved to be up-to-date with what’s happening without having to constantly check in with each other. This tool can help your team remain on schedule because they’ll always know what is going to happen, and when it will happen.
Advantages of Using a Project Calendar
By using a project calendar, you and others involved in the project are able to see everything that’s assigned to them. You’re also able to see all deadlines for key events at a glance, which allows you to predict problems before they even arise. These calendars are especially useful for larger projects as well. This template is designed so that you can enter tasks or due dates into one central location that everyone involved with the project can access (and update conveniently), making managing multiple deadlines much easier than having several different excel sheets scattered around with timelines for each project.
What to Include in a Project Calendar?
A project calendar usually includes the following components:
- Everything involved with the current phase of development (including team members, their roles, tasks that need to be done)
- List of key events and when they’re happening
- Commitments from every member of the team, including what they’ll be working on each week
- The team’s short-term goals (for example, build the framework for module one by next Tuesday!)
- Schedule for future phases of development as well
How to Make a Project Calendar of Your Own! Now that you have an idea of how useful these calendars can be for your projects, we can go over how to set up your own. First, create a template in Excel that includes columns for:
- The phase of development (typically phases are labeled according to the project’s timeline)
- Team members and their roles on the team
- Deadlines for all key events
- Due dates for team members’ assignments
- Short-term goals that can help you stay focused throughout the project
Underneath each column in your spreadsheet, write down everything you plan on accomplishing during each phase. Then, share this document with everyone involved with the project so they can add their tasks as well. The more people who use it, the better! Once these calendars are shared among team members, be sure to update regularly so everyone knows exactly what’s expected and when.
You can use a project calendar to follow up on any changes or additions made by your coworkers so you can easily see who is responsible for certain tasks without having to constantly ask them about their progress throughout the week.