Project Management Within Your Small Business
Within a small business, projects come in many different shapes and sizes. No project seems to follow the same flow from start to finish. But all need to be executed well and focused on throughout.
Some businesses see multiple new projects come through the door in one day. Others focus on one each month. No matter the workload, each project has tasks to be completed in a timely manner.
Project management for a small business can make the difference between a well run process and asking for an extension on deadlines. It's important to have a process in place that keeps you and your employees focused and working toward the same goal in an organized manner.
The typical five steps of project management are:
Each of these steps, when done well, provide steps that create project flow from start to finish. You don't need a dedicated project manager on staff to make it happen! With the right tools you can create a great, organized, project management system that will benefit you and your employees.
Why is project management important addition to my business?
Because without a project management setup. the time wasted and lack of focus will create a finished project that is less than excellent.
According to zippia.com, we waste 2-3 hours per workday being unproductive. If we have set deadlines and tasks in an organized flow, it is much easier to stay focused and work toward a goal. Every time a task is completed we feel a sense of accomplishment. If you are always working toward a goal it is easier to see the end of the tunnel and you can push through a little further.
When everyone is on the same page, tasks get completed quicker and we do not feel the need to interrupt for a progress report.
It may seem overwhelming to think of starting this with your projects, but once you have implemented the process you will start to see results quickly.
Let's break it down one step at a time.
Initiation This is the start of the project. Start by creating a purpose and budget. The why and what of the project.
Planning Creating goals and workflow of the project. After setting the goals of the project, you can begin to come up with the tasks that are necessary to reach your goals. Working backward from the goal can help with this process. Be sure you indicate the time needed, budget, and roles/responsibilities for each task. This is also a great time to figure out which points in the process that you plan to check on the progress of the project.
Implementation Here you execute the plan. This is the heart of the project where tasks begin and the work flows according to the plans you created.
Control Monitoring the progress is a very important part of the process. Using the dates you set in the planning portion to ensure the project is on schedule and there are no issues within the plan. You may find that you need to check in more (or less) than you initially scheduled, follow your gut at this point.
Closure This is the final step. Check that all tasks have been completed and the project is ready for delivery. It is also a great time to do a project review and learn from the process.
Once you've completed a project in this way, you will find that there are things that could have worked better, things that worked really well, and additional things that might be necessary to add. Either way, you will find a solution to help your project flow and will make you and your employees more productive throughout the project.
If you are looking for a program to help with your project management needs, there are a multitude of programs available. Using an online project management tool allows you to access it from anywhere and you can share with team members outside of your organization, such as freelance designers, copywriters, coaches, etc..
I encourage you to try a project management tool with your next project so you can decide for yourself if it is worthwhile. I hope you find that it provides a smoother process and your deadlines and goals are reached more accurately.
What project management tool do you use in your business? Let us know in the comments.