Project Management if I had to define it, is a way to make a unique combination of resources in order to reach a specific goal. An example of project management might be an installation of a new computer system. You have to combine IT resources as well as finance as well as anyone else who is involved in the administration or set up of the system.
So how does this concept apply to your studies? After all you are studying on your own, not as part of a larger organisation. One specific area project management can help you with is project management tools. While there are a variety of project management tools available, one that can be very helpful when studying is the Gantt Chart.
A Gantt Chart is a visual representation of the stages of a project. In a project one part usually has to be completed before another one can start. However, this is not always the case. A Gantt Chart lets you see the different areas of the project and the duration of each part. So how does this help you with your studies?
You could use a Gantt Chart for an assignment. So you set it up and list all the different tasks that have to be completed for your assignment:
- Choose Assignment Topic
- Form Study Group
- Consolidate Research
- Write Structure For Assignment
- Do Rough Draft
- Review and Edit
- Finalise and Submission
By having it in a Gantt Chart you can work out how long each part will take, work out a deadline for each part to ensure that you finish your assignment on time rather than leaving it until the last minute.
There are tools that you can use to prepare Gantt Charts but the best way I find is to use Excel or some other spreadsheeting software. You can always prepare on paper too (which is great for marking off when a particular part has been completed) but I find using Excel is best as it’s easy to update if you do have to change anything along the way.