I have been facing a challenge to align the schedules of all my teams consistently in most of the fast paced projects I have managed.
Rest of the Story:
Task to define tasks activities, tasks, sub-tasks, meeting & discussion dates and timing of all of that can get quite daunting for a team of substantial size. On top of that a consultant has to adapt to her client's tools and utilities, and move on to another client - rinse and repeat.
A quick and effective stop-gap before a project manager gets their ducks in a row is:
a) Find a set of common tools / processes - for example, a form of a spreadsheet is used in almost every project I would be surprised if there were any that do not (surprised is underplaying my sentiment, I would be amazed followed by an obsessive need to objectively assess what/when/how drawing a corollary between such projects and my experience, followed by overwhelming sense of dejection on my lack of search in the field, and general frustration because of the lack of sugar in my system - I digress)
b) File sharing system - Where a spreadsheet is shared between the teams to provide their bare minimum input in a structured format, this can be cloud, local area network, or document management system (Sharepoint, Dropbox, OneDrive, and so on)
This scheduler tool is an extension of such a process, more or less, that I have employed and found immensely useful before I take all of this information and formalize in a fancy Project Management software that claims to do it better.
Process, it is a simple:
1. Update the spreadsheet with the relevant data (template attached on the project page)
2. Upload the filled-up spreadsheet and visualize your collated schedule in one place
3. Create your own tasks, move around your events, drag / drop and play around with your own schedule
4. Export the ICS for your outlook, and other calendar options you use for your enterprise
For now this data you upload is valid only for your browser session, meaning when you close your browser you would need to import your sheet again to re-initialize your calendar. Reason is a limited infrastructure I use for this personal website, excel uploaded is persisted in a database that will be needed for other users utilizing this tool. You should download your ICS attachments as soon as you If you like a version.
Please leave a comment here or hit me up on twitter if you need longer to play with your data, or there is anything that we can talk about.