Identifying tasks and timeframes
In the seminar: You are sitting comfortably on a bench in a Romanian mountain village, the sun is shining on your face and you are planning your project. No signs of stress and rush. But already now you can do something so that it will not get (too) stressful later on.
The basic question stands at the beginning:
- What has in how many months to be accomplished?
 Events around the project
When do the big events like exams, trips or marriages due? Which other undertakings demand much time in the period in which you will realize the project? You can now enter these dates step by step. Write down how a usual week filled with university, friends, family visits etc. looks like. Now create a timeline for the whole duration of the project.
 How much time do I have for the project?
As a next step you can identify the most important moments and periods of time during the preparation and realization of the project. In doing so, take the most important tasks and challenges as a guide. Here is an example: A German-Russian film project about stereotypes:
- When to look for participants?
- How long will it take to write the script?
- How long will the actual shooting take?
- How much time will post-production take?
- What is still there to be done after this?
Taking this as a framework, you can successively develop a detailed plan. In the process you can use various tools. One possibility is to write down tasks on one set of cards and to write down the names of the persons assigned to these tasks on another set and in another color. Then you stick everything on a big timeline with marked days and weeks, match tasks and persons and consider how realistic your plan is. Or you work with charts in which you enter particular tasks and persons and mark completed tasks. Try to put down a schedule that fits your project. See an example: Checklist project schedule
 External occasions and other dates
While scheduling you should not only pay attention on whether the date suits you as organizers, but also on how external conditions look like: on weather conditions (in case of an outdoor event), on holidays or other important events (such as the final match of the European Football Championship) or on whether the target group has the leisure to participate on your scheduled date… It doesn't bring much for example, to schedule a New Year reception during the holidays because guests are not likely to appear. Rather schedule the event for the beginning of the year when all invited guests have started to work again.
 PR concept
The different tasks of your communication take a lot of time. As well materials, texts or multimedia content has to be produced. For PR you should as well reserve time resources. Your operative PR concept must therefore be integrated in your project schedule: Strategic PR
 Realistic scheduling of the substeps, arranging buffer time
During the preparation phase of a project it is impossible to anticipate all tasks and imponderabilities. Therefore one always has to arrange for slightly more time for each step. In general one has to assume about 20 per cent of buffer time. If you consider this, your plan will be more realistic.
 Rational order of substeps: milestones
Your project plan will concretize increasingly. Now it is about time to determine milestones