5 effective ways to Project Time Budgeting

Projects are a part and parcel of our everyday corporate life.  We spend a lot of our time planning on the project timelines and delivery.  But very often we face challenges and hurdles in meeting those delivery timelines. 

What goes wrong?  Are we missing some aspects while planning on the project? 

Based on my experience of working across multiple projects, often bound by tight timelines, I have put down “Five” practical tips to effective project time budgeting (a project here could refer to a full-fledged assignment or a simple research task)

  1. Understand the project – Very often when a project is allocated to us, we are in a hurry to commence work and prove our potential.  This often leads to a gap in understanding the requirements which then leads to a gap in expectations and output.  To correct this gap, we end up spending more time than budgeted to make things right.  Hence the first step is to get a detailed understanding of the project and its requirements.  Ask questions even if they sound stupid.  It is better to ask stupid questions rather than delivering a sub-optimal output. 
  2. Budget time for research – After you get an understanding of the project, spend some quality time doing a high-level research on the project and the data available to complete it.  The time you spend would depend on the complexity and the extent of work required on the project.  This research would help you assess the time you would need to complete the project and the possible challenges you would face while undertaking the activity.
  3. Budget for exceptions – We are very good at budgeting time for the actual project without taking into account any breaks or untoward events that may happen – such as lunch breaks, holidays, trainings, computer problems.  We should include these exceptions and make a realistic inclusion while estimating the time required
  4. Time for review and changes – this is one of the most common mistake in time budgeting for a project.  We only include the time we would take to complete the activity without budgeting for review and the time then for making the suggested changes.  This often impacts our time management especially for our next lined-up project.  Please budget time for review.  If ignored, you will continue to face problems in budgeting and managing time for the activities allocated to you
  5. Communicate – Another very important factor – Please communicate with your senior on the progress and findings on the project.  In our zeal to prove ourselves, we often proceed with the project without getting any inputs from our senior if we are on the right track.  Please avoid that.  Getting inputs at the right time not only ensures that the output matches the requirement but also makes your senior a part of the delivery and hence more aligned to your output.  It will also ensure timely notice to your senior if there are any hurdles in the way of completion of your task.  Discuss and set-up review check-posts with your senior at regular intervals during the project

Before you start any task, draw up a simple project timeline to include these 5 mentioned steps and estimate the time required to complete the project and accordingly communicate with your senior on the delivery schedule

I believe if you follow these five easy but effective and practical steps for project time budgeting, you would see the benefits in terms of effective project delivery


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Dear all,

Corporate India is in a state of flux. With the enormous and sudden growth it is reaching levels that were unthought of.

With it comes the growth pangs. Work life balance, business process limitations, lack of technology, lack of innovation are just some of the few. This blog is dedicated to providing tips to professionals on ways to navigate this landmine.


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