It’s not quite like money, but most project managers complain about having insufficient time to do the work required on their projects. Some are complaining about duration, the elapsed time between the project start and its planned end date. I get it that sometimes project schedules are imposed from above on project teams without their input and the schedule is unrealistic and workload exhausting. But you can find some extra time, if you know where to look.
First: Know that PM workloads are highest during planning and implementation phases. You will need more time in the early and late stages of a project, so plan for this accordingly. Don’t complain if some overtime is needed, it pays for itself in later stages.
A PM can improve time usage of his/her project team with no external assistance and no expense. Time utilization is particularly soft in the early stages of a project. Time lost can’t be regained. By persistently and regularly monitoring unused project time, you can dynamically substitute other work that is not on the critical path and has some flexibility as to when it gets done. Coupled with direct observation, you can help your team identify these “filler” potential tasks in advance on their timeline, tasks that are less time sensitive. Tackle those tasks when you are stalled elsewhere. It won’t fix a duration problem, but it will help.