Scheduling software is a vital tool for your employees, but it needs to be flexible enough to work with the needs of your business. For example, a small cleaning company may use one set of routing and scheduling tools while a construction company may need something completely different. The best scheduling software will also be customizable so you can set up the system exactly how you need it.
In thiss guide, we review the aspects of Scheduling Software With Mapping, examples of scheduling tools, planning and scheduling software, and job mapping software.
Scheduling Software With Mapping
The field service industry is one of the most important for small businesses, as it helps them to make sure that their employees get the work done on time and that they can track it. However, there are thousands of different kinds of business out there and each one has its own needs when it comes to scheduling software.
Why Is Field Service Scheduling So Important
It’s hard to overstate the importance of having a good field service scheduling software in place. If you don’t have a proper schedule in place, you won’t be able to complete all of your tasks. In addition to that, an inefficient or poorly planned schedule can lead to wasted time and resources—which means more money out of your pocket!
A good field service scheduling software should help you plan better so that all the work gets done on time and within budget. This means:
- You’ll be able to get everything done on time without any delays or issues (or at least minimize those issues).
- You’ll have less stress about figuring out what needs to get done next because it will all be laid out for you in advance by the system itself; this also makes it easier for employees who might not be as familiar with field service scheduling processes if they’ve never had training before (like someone new coming straight through college instead).
What Are the Advantages of Using Field Service Software
What are the advantages of using field service software?
It saves time.
There are many tasks that take up a lot of your time as a field technician. One such task is scheduling, which can be very tedious and time-consuming if done manually. With field service software, you’ll save so much more time than you would using other methods. You’ll spend less time scheduling because it’s all done automatically with the program’s algorithms and rules. You won’t have to worry about double booking or forgetting someone because everything gets automatically scheduled for you in real-time by the computer!
You save money!
Everyone hates spending too much money on things they don’t necessarily need, especially when those things involve their business operations – like field service management software! However, there are many benefits from using this type of software over manual scheduling methods such as telephones calls back home asking coworkers if they’re available on certain dates/times due to last minute changes (i’m looking at my own company here). So why not give it a try? You won’t regret saving money by purchasing one today!
How Does Mobile Scheduling Work
You could use mobile scheduling in your business to:
- Log time. Instead of employees punching a clock, they can use an app to log their work hours and track their location. The app will also automatically record lunch breaks and other breaks, making it easier to keep track of everyone’s hours.
- Request time off. Employees can request time off through the app, which then asks for approval from managers before granting it or notifying them if there are any conflicts with another employee’s schedule or other events planned onsite at the same time. This way, you have all pertinent information about employee availability when granting days off instead of having employees ask for vacation days in person or via email after hours (or even worse—the day before).
- Request pay advances. Employees who need more money than what was budgeted for them by management can submit requests through the mobile scheduler app that takes into account how much money is left in each department before approving or rejecting these requests based on financial constraints and/or projected profit margins (or losses).
- Request rides home/to work/etc.. Employees working late nights may need transportation home after 10 pm or during inclement weather conditions where public transportation services aren’t available; using a mobile scheduler allows employees requesting such services from managers directly rather than having them call a cab company themselves (which could cost both parties more money)
How Will My Business Save Money With Field Service Software
Wouldn’t it be nice to spend less time in the field and more time with your family? With field service software, you can accomplish this goal by reducing travel time and fuel costs.
Additionally, by scheduling technicians to take care of multiple jobs at once, you save money on equipment costs as well. And when employees are out servicing customers instead of sitting behind desks waiting for calls from clients, everyone benefits: customers get better service; employees stay happy; and businesses earn higher profits.
examples of scheduling tools
What Is a Project Schedule?
A project schedule is a timetable that organizes tasks, resources and due dates in an ideal sequence so that a project can be completed on time. A project schedule is created during the planning phase and includes the following:
Project schedules are created and tracked with project scheduling software, which has key features that allow project managers to monitor the progress of tasks, resources and costs in real time. They can also assign work, link dependent tasks, view dashboards, allocate resources and more.
ProjectManager, for example, has online Gantt charts for scheduling tasks and resources, but also team management features and reporting tools for a comprehensive project management platform.
What’s Included in a Project Schedule?
Project schedules are created during the project planning phase and are crucial to the creation of a project plan, where the schedule plan, schedule baseline, deliverables and requirements are identified. The project schedule is designed to guide the project team throughout the execution phase of the project.
Then, during the execution phase, the schedule baseline is compared against the actual project progress. The following are included in the creation of a project schedule:
Project Schedule Steps
When creating a schedule you can use a project schedule template, which offers project schedule examples and a project schedule spreadsheet for free. But a template can only take you so far. A project schedule is not just a standard timetable that works for every project.
There are different project scheduling techniques and project planning tools involved in the scheduling process. Also, every project has different resources, timetables, scope considerations and other unique variables that must be considered in the schedule management plan.
Using project management software integrates the schedule into other project management tools, such as Gantt charts, dashboards and reports to monitor progress, as well as kanban boards to manage workflows. Whichever path you choose, these are the steps to create a project schedule:
Practice Building a Project Schedule with this Free Template
Need help getting started with your project schedule? Try ProjectManager’s free schedule template and practice adding tasks, phases, dependencies, resources and more in a live Gantt environment.
On the left-hand side the various phases of the project are outlined. These can be color-coded to make it easier to distinguish one phase from another. Under each phase are the tasks associated with it, including assignees, due dates and other resources needed to execute the scheduled tasks.
The visual timeline to the right is where things get interesting. You can see the entire project in one place, dependent tasks can be linked and milestones added to indicate important dates. Download the free template to practice making your own schedule.
What Are the Project Scheduling Techniques?
Estimating the duration of project tasks as accurately as possible is key to creating a realistic schedule. To do this requires the use of various project scheduling techniques.
Project managers can interview their team and other stakeholders to get their perspective on how long certain tasks can take, and can refer to historic data from similar past projects.
Additionally, project managers can use project scheduling techniques to increase the accuracy of their time estimates and minimize schedule risk. The critical path method (CPM) is an equation that shows the longest possible timeline for the project. The Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) also visualizes the flow of tasks for better estimates but shows task dependencies as well.
Project managers will also use schedule compression techniques such as project crashing and fast tracking which can reduce the schedule duration without impacting the project scope. Simulation, resource-leveling heuristics, creating a task list, using a project calendar and using a Gantt chart are all other tools that can help with estimation, collection and tracking of project tasks.
A work breakdown structure (WBS) shows how many tasks and deliverables there are to get to your final deliverable. It’s a network diagram that has your project goal on top with “branches” underneath that show all the steps needed to get you there. This tool makes sure you don’t leave out anything when devising your schedule. A workback schedule is another technique that allows you to break down the project scope and identify all the tasks, activities, deliverables and milestones.
Regardless of your preferred scheduling methods, you need a tool designed to accommodate them equally. ProjectManager’s Gantt charts allow you to create timelines, apply a work breakdown structure and automatically calculate the critical path. Need to cut down on the white noise and view specific information? Filter for exactly what you want to see, whether it be incomplete tasks, overdue tasks, tasks assigned to certain team members or anything else you like.
How to Make a Project Schedule: In-Depth
Project scheduling occurs during the planning phase of the project life cycle. When beginning to put together a schedule for your project, you should ask yourself four things to start:
The answers to these four questions will greatly inform your project schedule moving forward, as you’ll use this information to plan start and end dates, link activities, set the duration, create milestones and manage resources.
Follow these steps to create a project schedule of your own!
1. Create the Project Scope
The project scope statement is created during the initial planning. It’s a document that contains the specific goals, deliverables, features, budget, etc of your project. All of the tasks needed to complete the project successfully are listed here (which requires understanding the stakeholder’s requirements.)
Be thorough when putting a task list together, you don’t want to leave anything out. By using a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) you can organize these activities and lay them out in order of completion. Understanding task dependencies and their sequence are very important for schedule management.
2. Establish the Sequence of Tasks
Tasks are the small jobs that lead to the final deliverable, and it’s fairly crucial to map out the sequence of those tasks before diving into them. Oftentimes a task will be dependent on another to start or finish. You don’t want to get halfway through a task before you realize you can’t complete it due to hanging objectives.
3. Group Tasks
Once you’ve collected your tasks and have them in proper order, you should take the opportunity to divide your tasks by importance. You need to know which is critical to the project implementation schedule and must be done first and those less important that can be done if there’s time. You could use a priority matrix to facilitate this process.
Then, break your tasks down with milestones that relate to the five project phases—initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and close. Organizing your tasks with milestones makes it easier to track progress, and gives your teams a sense of accomplishment that boosts morale and productivity.
4. Link Task Dependencies
Some tasks can be done simultaneously, but some tasks are dependent on others to start or finish before they can start or finish. These task dependencies must be mapped out in your schedule to keep you aware of them, or you risk bottlenecks and blocking your team.
5. Find the Critical Path
The critical path is a method for scheduling tasks in a project to find those which are critical to the success of the project. This allows you to make smart choices about tasks that can be ignored if time and costs become constrained. This method is commonly used for schedule risk analysis. Software that can find the critical path for you can make this step a lot easier.
6. Assign Resources
Resource management and project scheduling are closely related. Every task on your schedule should have the related resources and costs associated with completing it. Tasks aren’t done on their own, and without mapping the resource availability to each task you’re in danger of going wildly over budget. With resources attached to tasks, you can more accurately plan your team’s time and keep their workload balanced.
How to Manage Your Project Schedule During Execution
Once you’ve got all the pieces of your schedule together, the last thing you want to do is manually punch it into a static document like a Google sheets or a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. A schedule maker can automate much of the process for you.
There are project scheduling tools on the market that are great for simple scheduling duties, but when you’re leading a project, big or small, you need a tool that can adapt to the variety of scheduling issues you’re going to need to track. Watch the video below to learn how scheduling software can help you lead your project to a successful conclusion, or continue on to read our full walkthrough.
What Are Project Scheduling Tools?
Project scheduling tools are used to help managers organize and execute their project’s tasks and resources within a given budget. Software offerings range from rudimentary to sophisticated and provide users with a wide spectrum of features that facilitate the scheduling of their project.
Software devoted to scheduling a project can assist in the larger role of planning and estimation of the duration of each task. Outside of scheduling, software can also include tools that manage costs, budget, resource allocation, collaboration, communication and reporting.
Benefits of Online Scheduling Tools
Using online scheduling software means that project managers can make data-driven time management and resource management decisions. When they see that there’s a bottleneck or some block preventing team members from moving forward on their tasks, they can quickly reallocate resources and keep the project on track.
Managers and teams can work better together with the right online scheduling software and manage resources and budgets to keep the project running smoothly. Those are the big benefits, but not the only ones when using online scheduling software. Here are others:
Must-Have Scheduling Software Features
Get Tasks Organized on a Timeline
Projects have lots of tasks, and they need to be organized on a timeline to create a workable schedule. Gantt charts are a visual tool that can collect all your tasks, prioritize them, link those that are dependent on one another and even break the larger project into manageable phases.
Monitor High-Level Progress
Once your project schedule is executed, you need to keep a close watch on performance to stay on track. Dashboards are a window into progress that act like an instant status report, showing percentage of tasks complete, project variance, workload and more.
Balance Your Team’s Tasks
Keeping on schedule means allocating your resources smartly. Knowing how many tasks your team is assigned is crucial. If some are overallocated and others have too few tasks, the schedule suffers—as well as morale. You want to be able to reallocate their assignments.
Generate Fast and Insightful Data
Stakeholders have a vested interest in the success of a project, and must be regularly updated on its progress. You do that by quickly creating reports on tasks, costs, project variance, etc., and sharing them at stakeholder presentations. Filtering shows the information you want to see.
Facilitate Teams to Work More Productively
Teams need the right tools to execute the schedule on time and within your budget. Getting them to work better together is important. Look for features that allow team members to comment at the task level, attach files and share data with each other.
Have a Centralized Repository
Projects have a lot of paperwork. These documents are referred to throughout the life cycle of the project, and need to be easily accessible. Having a scheduling tool with unlimited file storage means you can keep everything in one place, and get to it fast when you need it.
Creating a Project Schedule in ProjectManager
Project scheduling software organizes your tasks on a timeline, considers the resources you have to complete the project and manages all those parts to keep the project on track.
ProjectManager is an award-winning scheduling software that integrates plans, timelines, budgets, communication and more to give you greater control over your project schedule. Sign up for a free 30-day trial of our software, and follow along to build an ideal project schedule.
Initiate Your Project
Set up the project before you start scheduling. In this initial phase, you set up your schedule plan, budget, resource schedule and the general timeline in which you have to produce your final deliverable.
Add the budget to create a baseline to compare to what you actually spend when executing.the project.
Project scheduling is all about managing your tasks. As we covered earlier, tasks are the small jobs that lead to your final deliverable. Defining those tasks is the first step towards proper project management.
Import a task list from any spreadsheet, or use our built-in templates to get started. Add durations and due dates to those tasks to set them on a timeline on the Gantt.
ProjectManager allows you to manage your project calendar in real time. Take note of the dates that your team can or cannot work. These are your holidays, paid time off and other such dates that must be established before you can create your schedule.
Set holidays in the software, both global and local, to know your team’s availability. This is most helpful in managing remote teams. Outlining your typical working days is the best first step if you don’t have the other information readily available.
Set Task Dependencies
Avoiding bottlenecks and getting the work done on time are the primary reasons you’re thoroughly scheduling your project. You’ll want to link dependent tasks to ensure the work flows smoothly.
Connect the dependent tasks in your project by dragging one task on the Gantt onto the other. A line will appear, and from there, you can set what type of dependency these two tasks have.
Teams are your most valuable resource. They do the work that gets the project to the finish line. For optimal efficiency, you need to get the right team member working on the right set of tasks.
Assign team members tasks from any of the multiple project views. For further direction, you can attach detailed descriptions, priority levels and costs associated with tasks to help your team track and complete them.
planning and scheduling software
When you’re planning and scheduling, there are a lot of tools at your disposal. You can use a spreadsheet or calendar, but there are also mobile apps that allow you to sync with other applications like project management software and customer relationship management tools. If you have employees working remotely, then email integration is a must-have feature for any planning and scheduling tool.
You can use a spreadsheet to do some scheduling and planning, but it isn’t the best choice for larger tasks. Spreadsheets are great for simple tasks such as basic scheduling and budgeting, but they don’t have the capability to handle more complex projects. If you need a more comprehensive solution, consider using project management software instead.
The calendar is a tool to manage your time. It allows you to see what you have scheduled for the future, and it allows you to schedule meetings and appointments. The calendar can be set up so that it shows all of your schedules in one place, making it easy for you to see what you have done on any given day.
The calendar can also tell you when something is happening, such as an upcoming event or appointment. You may want this feature if you are trying not to miss anything important because it will send notifications when something comes up before it happens so that there will be no surprises!
Time tracking software is the go-to resource for most companies looking to manage their workforce. Time clocks are a key feature of this type of software, as they allow you to keep track of how much time employees spend working on each task during a shift. The more accurate your time clock data is, the better you can manage your company’s workflow.
Mobile app or mobile website
The mobile app or mobile website is a program that you can download onto your phone. A scheduling software system with a separate mobile app or mobile website will allow you to view your schedule, see who’s working with you, and input any changes on the fly. The most common use of this feature is for scheduling employees in multiple locations where they will be working at different times of the day. Mobile apps are more versatile than their website counterparts because they can be used for many different things such as task management, time tracking and even invoicing customers directly from their phones!
However, not all businesses have budget space for both an online version of their software as well as an app version; if that’s the case then it may be better just sticking with using it through a browser window instead which doesn’t cost anything extra (other than maybe data usage).
- Email integration with customer relationship management tools
- Email integration with project management tools
- Email integration with time tracking tools
- Email integration with invoicing tools
- Email integration with payment processing tools
Project management software
Project management software is an essential tool for project managers and teams, especially those who are looking to stay on course and on budget. With this type of software, you can track the progress of projects and keep everyone informed about what’s happening. The most common features include a calendar that shows when tasks are due, who’s doing them, what resources are needed (like materials or staff), and how much time it will take. You can also use tools like Gantt charts to visualize critical relationships between tasks as well as their dependencies.
Project management software also makes it easier to communicate with team members because it provides a streamlined way for teams to share documents such as files and spreadsheets without having to send emails back-and-forth—which saves time! If a member needs something from another person on the team but doesn’t know how long it will take him/her (or them) then this could become frustrating very quickly if he/she has no way reaching out directly via email – so having these kinds of systems available makes things much easier overall.”
Calendar synchronization with other applications
You may find that you need to sync your calendar with other applications. For example, you may have a Google Calendar and want to sync it with your Outlook Calendar. Or maybe you want to use two different calendars within one application. This can be done using the right tools. The following are examples of some of the more popular calendar synchronization tools:
- SyncMe Free is a simple tool that allows users to import their calendars from Google or Yahoo into Outlook while also allowing them to share a single calendar between multiple people’s devices (for example, if someone wants everyone in a group meeting on their phones).
- Microsoft SyncToy has been around for years as an easy way for users to keep their Outlook calendars up-to-date when they’re working offsite or away from home. It also makes it easy for those who have multiple email accounts on multiple computers (for example, if someone uses Gmail but also has access through work email) because SyncToy can pull data from any number of sources at once without interfering with other programs running simultaneously on your system’s memory space (otherwise known as “RAM”).
Customer relationship management tools and automation
Customer relationship management (CRM) software helps you manage customer information, including contact info, sales history and purchase history. This kind of information is invaluable in a variety of ways. For example, it can help you:
- Contact customers quickly and easily when they need support or have questions about their orders.
- Use data from your CRM system to identify high-value customers and target them with special offers.
- Segment your customer base into groups based on interests or other characteristics so that you can tailor promotions accordingly.
Payment processing, invoicing, and billing automation
There’s a lot of confusion around payment processing, invoicing and billing automation. Here are some terms you’ll see:
- Automated invoicing – The process of automatically sending an invoice to your customer. You can set the frequency and email address where the invoices should be sent.
- Automated billing – The process of automatically creating an entry in your accounting software for each invoice that is received from a customer. This makes sure you don’t have to manually enter every invoice into your accounting software, which can save you time and money!
- Payment processing – The process of accepting payments from customers through credit cards or other methods (like Paypal). Most companies use payment gateways for this purpose; however, there are also standalone solutions such as Intuit Quickbooks Payments Pro which allow you to accept payments directly into Quickbooks Online or Quickbooks Desktop.
Workflow automation tools and scheduling project management tools like Gantt charts. Takeaway:
When you’re managing a project, the task at hand may seem very clear in your mind. However, when writing out a schedule or trying to present one visually, it can be difficult to keep track of everything that needs to get done and when.
For this reason, many project managers use Gantt charts. A Gantt chart is a graphical representation of the start and end dates of tasks as well as their durations. They’re especially useful for visualizing how long certain activities will take and what dependencies exist between them (for example, if one task must be completed before another can begin). This makes it easier for anyone involved in managing a project—whether they’re part of the team working directly on its completion or simply reviewing progress—to see where things stand at any given point in time.
Gantt charts also make it possible for teams to plan ahead more effectively by taking into account all known factors including deadlines and resource availability; once everyone understands how much work has already been done toward completing certain objectives along with how much remains left before those goals are reached overall then everyone can collaborate toward making sure all parts align correctly so no deadline slips through the cracks!