Operating Your Startup Business
Knowing how to manage projects is a critical small business leadership skill. Why? Because without effective project management strategies, you have no chance of meeting goals and deadlines. Here's what you need to know.
In some ways, project management is what small business ownership is all about.
Your company is essentially one big project, and it's your responsibility to design and execute a strategy that will take it from Point A to Point B in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
Many of the skills that apply to business ownership are the same skills you'll need to manage projects within your organization. Projects can involve a handful of team members or they can be company-wide projects that involve everyone in the organization. Either way, you'll need to be at the top of your game to practice effective product management.
Successful project managers approach each project in an intentional and systematic manner. They understand that deliverables are non-negotiable with no room for failure, so they do whatever it takes to inspire and organize their team to hit critical benchmarks and project deadlines. If managing projects isn't your strong suit, these project management tips will help you take your game to the next level.
- Prioritize. Good project management begins by prioritizing the projects that are most important to your company's strategic plan and the activities that will be most effective in bringing each project to its completion. In project management, the urgent is always the enemy of the important, so you'll need to be intentional about keeping your team on task.
- Keep it simple. Complicated project strategies are too confusing to deliver real results. The more steps it takes for your team to complete the project, the more likely it is that the project will be abandoned midstream.
- Process integration. Although they will have different roles, it's important for everyone on the team to understand the project strategy and management objectives. Thorough process integration improves efficiency and productivity because it enables team members to see how they fit into the big picture.
- Set short-term goals. Sometimes projects take a long time to complete. For example, a long-term strategic plan may not yield measurable outcomes for months or even years. Instead of focusing on a single project deliverable, break long-term projects down into several short-term projects that can produce early wins for your team.
- Leverage project management tools. There are several kinds of resources available to help you manage projects. Everything from project management software applications to project management training seminars can improve your project management abilities.
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