The Importance of Time

Project management is not a new subject to me. It is part of my job and has been a subject that has been touched upon throughout my years of studies in university and professional courses. Project management is a fascinating subject to learn about and work with. The main reason for my fascination in project management is that it’s a never ending learning experience. This is due to the different nature of each project I deal with. Each project needs a certain style and techniques that need to be used hence you can never get bored. There is no one style fits all idea in project management, it’s a challenge by itself to find the style and techniques that best fit the project. Throughout the years I have found that every time the subject of project management is touched upon I learn something new, even though most of what is discussed has become somewhat common knowledge to people in the same field.

To be a successful project manager and lead successful projects or events there are many factors that have to be taken into account like organization, task delegation, time management, effective team management, etc… All these differ in importance depending on the nature of the project itself. In our MGT 598 class we were asked to plan a charity event to raise funds for a certain charity. Challenges immediately emerged for every group.  But there was one challenge that was shared by all groups, time. The time management in this project was crucial. All the teams did not have much time to plan, organize and implement their plans. No team could afford a single mistake. In essence the whole project relied on time management; it could be considered as one of the main deciders of the successfulness of the project.

In my opinion in almost every project that I have encountered the main and most important challenge is time management. In almost all the projects all the other factors tie into the time.  A solution or problem in any of the other factors may result in a direct effect in the duration of the project, either speeding it up or delaying it. In addition mistakes done in the other factors can be rectified or changed but when it comes to time you can’t change it. As one of my colleagues mentioned in class, everything can be bought or changed except time; it cannot be bought back once it is lost.


10 thoughts on “The Importance of Time

  1. Ebrahim as you mention in your post – it is a never ending learning experience. I doubt whether project management can be taught beyond the basics. After that you need to dive right in to learn something meaningful. Given that every project is unique, experience is the best teacher. I think formal instruction in this regard can only provide basic guidelines or building blocks. The real learning lies in how the basic tools are applied to each situation. Along with time management I think there are 2 other important factors:
    1. Resources – If you don’t have the right resources all effort will be a waste (and the project will become another statistic!).
    2. Direction – Unless you are headed in the right direction, no amount of progress will get you to your destination.

  2. Thanks for the nice article, in fact managing time is one of three important sides in the project, resources as well project budget, they say time is money, so always you need to set priorities carrying out activities around that priority, and use external supporting tolls resources and software’s to help you in managing the project time.

  3. I agree completely. Time is very important. One of the major takeaways from this course is that there is no such thing as slack time. In a project, you need to complete your task as quickly as possible with the resources at hand because you never know what kind of difficulty you might run into while executing any of the tasks.

    Time is of the essence and improper use of it can either result in project delays which can be costly or even project failure which is even costlier.

  4. Thanks ebrahim for sharing one of the most aspect ofnthe project management.
    Yes time is always one of the major challanges, as rightly said we all faced in our group fund raising projects. In every group project presentation all the presenters emphasized that “if we had more time, we could have done better and raised more charity”.
    Secondly, the two points you mentioned of the project management style and its a continous learning. Yes I totally agree with your point of view and it seems very simple written but if accepted in reality would make a big difference in the fiel.

  5. I agree totally with Ebrahim , time is important factor for project manager , time has a different meaning for project manager ,more money , effort and resources .

  6. Hi Ebrahim,

    Thanks for this post. I agree with you as well. At my company, like many others, we have a hard deadline where the product is supposed to be handed over to marketing so that we can release it to customers. Having worked on both the R&D and marketing sides, I know the pain of both circumstances. Due to the fact that we are often creating and integrating new technology across several disciplines, there are sometime unforeseen problems that consume our contingency and introduce possible delays. We end up asking what can be done to keep the product handover date, like adding resources. So, while we look for levers to pull,time usually isn’t one of them.

  7. I completely agree with how you define project management in simple way as “that it’s a never ending learning experience.” Although I am just staring in my role as team leader, I have quickly learned that every project is going to present its own challenges and experiences that will make the job much interesting. Time is a diminishing resource which must be used properly.

  8. Time is of the essence! I frequently hear – I thought I gave you plenty of time for that! So often, those not associated with project management just look at the end result – the finished project/product. They do not realize how many steps go into making that finished product. For us, we have invitations that need to go out 6-8 weeks prior to the event, and design time prior to that. We are usually working on an event, or portions of it at least, 4-6 months out – at a minimum. So, when clients come to me with a new event 2 months before the date they are looking at, no, you did not give me enough time.

  9. Time management and the corporate chaos has created a bunch of resources that are extended way to far. Systems are tracking time against projects and reporting is becoming more intrusive to actual work. Work place demand plans require that time management for projects is done, but resources are being challenged to work harder to deliver on time and on budget without the benefit of the correct hours needed to produce or achieve an outcome of the best quality. While time management is the biggest priority, there are some instances where project overload is causing resources to miss milestones or need extra time. Especially coming out of the current economic situation -Less resources = more time delays creating more time management issues.

  10. ebrahim598spr14 i would have to agree with you time is a very critical factor in a project. In my experience time is like the melody in song, but does it exist with lyrics and rhythm? I would say no quality is like the lyrics and money is the rhythm. I believe you need to balance all three factors to create a great song. Time is a key factor because it is very scarce as a resource, but I would suggest that from a project perspective quality and money are just as scarce. It is a balancing act with the right balance of Time, Quality, Money you will always have success on a project.

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