Creating a Project Timeline

Step 1: Clearly identify the goal of your project in the context of the timeline. Develop a statement of your project’s short-term goal and post that on a flip chart for the whole group to see.

Example: Goal: Have our county brochure available to tourists at restaurants and rest stops on Interstate 75.

Step 2: Brainstorm a list of tasks to be done to accomplish the goal identified in step one. Record on a flip chart each task that will need to be completed. Be sure to think about all aspects of the project: publicity, holding regular meetings, making phone calls, ordering supplies, doing manual tasks, raising funds, etc.

Example: Write text for brochure, contact printer, layout brochure, select sites to feature, take photographs, contact sponsors, hold car wash to raise funds. . .

Step 3: Create a calendar on a flip chart page, leaving plenty of room to write tasks into each month. Here’s one way to create it:

After determining how much time you have, write the months down the left hand side of the flip chart page, leaving about three inches between each month. Draw a horizontal line between the months to clearly indicate where one month ends and the other begins. The page should look something like this:






Step 4: Beginning at the end of the timeline, fill in tasks from your brainstormed list. Refer back to your short-term goal and write some brief form of that into the month in which you want to have it done. Be sure to include regular meeting dates in your timeline. Also note holidays and leave extra time for tasks to be accomplished around those days.

Step 5: Have group members select task assignments. This might be done for the entire time period or for the first couple of months, with upcoming tasks being assigned during regular meetings.

Step 6: Refer to your project timeline at your regular meetings. Check off tasks that have been done and note any new tasks that have arisen. The project timeline should be flexible, with adjustments being made at each meeting.

Download this PDF to print as a handout.
(Acrobat Format)