Across the top of the chart you would indicate the
time requirements using the time span most convenient
to your projecthours, weeks, quarters, and so forth.
A horizontal line to the right of each task indicates
the scheduled time frame. Heavy lines or bars show the
actual start, progress, and completion of each task.
A simple project such as Hold Field Day may not
require an elaborate timeline. However, a project such
as Prepare for Command Inspection would require a
schedule so as not to conflict with other tasks in progress
within your division or other divisions.
Developing a timeline will increase the probability
of the overall success of your project by helping solve
the basic problem: how to do more with less. A timeline
will also help you meet deadlines and coordinate
Two vital ingredients in coordination are
communication, the flow of information up, down, and
across the chain of command, and mutual support. By
coordination your department works with other
departments to give you the status and impact of your
work on the other departments. Three factors that could
impede a coordinated effort are (1) synchronization, (2)
scheduling conflicts, and (3) resources.
By setting up both formal and informal methods for
exchanging information, you make sure problems and
requirements that have a significant bearing on the
overall success of a project are addressed.
No matter how well you run your own division, you
will find cooperation and coordination of work
requirements essential for achieving the commands
It is easy to understand why it is counterproductive
to have your work force waiting their turn to use
resources such as crane services, vehicles, or other
equipment rather than being gainfully employed.
Projects and tasks that occur at the same time can
strain resources (people, material, and money). You
must take measures to synchronize the use of physical
and mental energy to accomplish the job efficiently and
For major events such as predeployment
preparations, inspections, or overhaul, synchronizing
events create a higher level of commitment and decrease
the likelihood of crisis management.
The time you spend on planning will depend largely
upon your position in the chain of command.
Upper-level managers routinely spend over 25 percent
of their time planning. Lower-level managers normally
spend 10 to 15 percent of their time planning.
All effective managers plan. The character, range,
and time invested in a plan depend on the nature and
complexity of the plan. They also depend on your level
of responsibility and authority with regard to that
The criteria most commonly used to evaluate your
plans are based on your consideration of the following
Assignment of accountability and responsibility
The longer the span of time involved in your plan,
the more important flexibility becomes. Your design
must be flexible enough to accommodate a smooth
transition into alternate plans. The more rigid your plan,
the more likely the need will be to change it.
Needlessly complicated plans are an administrative
burden to you and the people who must live with them.
Some plans are complicated, but you must make every
effort to avoid unnecessary steps. This is the same logic
that dictates breaking large programs and plans down
into more manageable projects. You can help by
designing a compartmented plan that will lend itself to
the project concept. Such forethought makes monitoring
and controlling much easier and will save your time and
the Navys money.
Does your plan conform to your goal? Are your
facts accurate or colored by personal opinion and
desires? You must maintain objectivity in the planning
process. You must avoid needless ruffles and flourishes