How to Make a Product Timeline

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Proper planning of product creation ensures that you'll be able to bring your product to market by the target date. The best way to do this is through a product timeline. This is a visual representation of the steps that you need to take to bring the product to life. It should include all tasks and milestones, with deadlines throughout the way. Create a product timeline that works for you--either on paper or using software programs like PowerPoint.

  • Brainstorm all of the tasks you'll have to do to complete the product. You may want to do this in a group situation so that you don't forget any minor tasks. Include even the most mundane details, such as choosing a color for the product.

  • Break big tasks into even smaller tasks. Look at your list of tasks and see if any of those tasks require tasks to complete. If so, break it down smaller.

  • Place the tasks in order of completion. Undoubtedly, you must complete many tasks in a linear basis--you cannot complete one task until another is finished. Place all of your tasks in the correct order.

  • Assign deadlines for each task. If you know the date that you plan to launch your product, you must work backward from that date. If not, you can work forward, taking each task into consideration.

  • Draw a line to represent the time. Today's date should be the start of the line and the product due date is the end of the line. Place all other dates in between.

  • Add your tasks to the product timeline. Place each task on the proper spot based on its assigned due date.

  • Create multiple timelines for tasks. Though it's helpful to see the full extent of the project on one timeline, it's also helpful to create smaller timelines for tasks that have multiple steps.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use different colors to signify whether a task is a future task, in progress or completed.

References

  • Photo Credit agenda with pen image by Nicky Jacobs from Fotolia.com
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