Lesson 5: Activity time planning

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The most important resources that need to be managed in an activity are
people, their time, and money, including the things that money buys. To manage time, an activity time plan, such as a Gantt chart, is developed.

Each activity per objective is listed, along with an indication of when it will be carried out and completed. This is monitored and updated as the activity is carried out.

A template Gantt chart is available for download to help you start monitoring the progress and achievement of activities in your eye care programme. You will need a spreadsheet application to open this document, such as Microsoft Excel or Open Office (free).

In a previous lesson, we identified two SMART objectives for an eye care plan:

• Objective 1. To develop regular bi-annual cataract surgical outreach services (screening and surgery) in four locations within the location over the next three years.
• Objective 2. To establish a bulk purchasing contract with the best priced, high-quality optical provider for a minimum of 3,000 reading glasses each year for the next three years.

We now need to take the next step in the planning cycle: to identify, prioritise and plug these activities that must be carried out into a timetable.

How to approach the task

  1. List the activities that should be carried out to achieve one of the two SMART objectives above. If you prefer, you can write your own SMART objective instead. Remember to prioritise: you can’t do everything!
  2. Put the listed activities into a logical order. Could you have prioritised in another way? Think about the reasons why you ordered the list.