Have you ever been put in charge of a large or important project that involved many tasks, sub-tasks, dates, decisions, and people?

Man breathing out of a paper bag.

Chances are, you felt overwhelmed at some point while managing the project. This is where a workback schedule can save the day!

What Is A Workback Schedule?

A workback schedule is a tool used to map out a project’s timeline and its major tasks in reverse order: from the delivery date back to the start date .

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This type of project management tool is helpful when:

  • You have a strict deadline

  • You have a shorter timeframe than you're used to

  • You have various people contributing to the project

How To Build One

  1. Note your project due date.

  • My sister's bridal shower date is set for August 15th 2021

  1. Note the tasks that need to done.

  • Cake ordered and pickup scheduled for the morning of the party

  • Backyard cleaned and furniture set up

  • Decorations purchased and put up

  • Gift bought from registry and wrapped

  1. Note how long each task should take.

  • Cake: pre-order 1 month prior

  • Backyard: get help from family the weekend prior

  • Decorations: buy 2 weeks ahead

  • Gift: start browsing NOW in case shipping is slow

Mr Bean looking at calendar.

Put It All Together

Once the due date, tasks, and length of tasks are determined — put it all together in a spreadsheet!

Key columns to include:

  1. Milestones or tasks (what is happening)

  2. Delivery or due dates (when it's happening)

  3. Responsibilities (who is doing it)

Ladies excited about their organization system.

The Finished Product

Once complete, share the schedule with everyone involved. This will make sure instructions are clear and concise, and hold everyone accountable for their assigned tasks. If someone sees a potential barrier or delay — take note, and edit your schedule accordingly!


A workback schedule for a bridal party.

Final Tips and Tricks...

  • Use color coding to help visualize the timeline

  • Have your team review and confirm the schedule

  • Be flexible! Leave leeway for unforeseen circumstances (no plan is ever perfect)


Which scenario would benefit from a workback schedule?

Take Action

Get together with your team and put together your own workback schedule!

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