At some stage in your life, whether personal or professional, you would have done a project. Launched an app/product/service? Or how about renovating your house or organizing your wedding? Well, that’s a project and at some stage you would have been a project manager!
So as a business owner why do you need some sort of formal project management in your business? It supports you meeting a business objective and helps make life easier. Project management can help you take a clear and structured approach in meeting that business objective. Your team can understand what it is you are trying to achieve and manage their workload accordingly. It can help your business continually improve, increase team performance and is crucial if you wish to scale your business up in hitting a big growth business objective.
What exactly is project management?
The Project Management Institute (PMI) states ‘A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal’. That singular goal is your business objective.
Effective project management means being very clear on what you are going to do and when, how much it will cost you and what the look/feel/theme of your product is in regards to quality.
Being very clear on what you want to do means having a scope of work document. This is basically the ‘make stuff happen’ document. It discusses the required work necessary to complete the project and achieve your business objective. Creating a scope of work document with the contribution of team members means that everyone can agree to the requirements of your project. It also discusses the timelines to make it happen, how much it will cost, and the quality of your app/product/service. It also discusses who will work on your project. It can be given to others so they can understand what you are doing and how you are meeting your business objective.
If you need to get to market quickly to take advantage of consumer behavior, or a particular time of the year, then project management will help you with time management. By mapping out a timeline it will support you communicating to others either internally or externally to your business when you expect people to deliver. Knowing project timelines will help reduce headaches with suppliers or service providers by asking them upfront if they can deliver when you need it by.
We all know money is crucial to running a business. Understanding your costs when getting to market can be make or break for reaching a business objective. Project management can certainly help you understand what you are going to spend and when. Contrast this against your business cash flow it can really help with decision making. If you can see any financial dips coming your way you can either juggle your timeline map or take other action such as negotiating supplier payments or sourcing additional funding.
How do you want your product to look and feel? What is the experience you want your customer to have? Whatever that is then the product quality specifications need to be factored in to your project. If you want a high spec product that the market raves about then you may need to take your time developing the product. Or it could be costly to develop the product and project management can enable you to manage costs effectively.
Ask yourself how can project management benefit you and your business? How will it help you meet your business objectives? Will it help you be really clear on what it is you need to do, or will it be of benefit to help you manage timelines or manage costs? And if you wish to scale up your business imagine how project management in your business could drive that forward.
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