We explain how you can apply project management principles to projects that affect your small business.
Project management is the science of getting things done(1); it isn't just for the government sector, large-scale projects or big business, it applies equally well to small businesses and small projects. Even more so really, when both time and money need to be tightly managed.
Project management is about having a method or process in place to reach your objectives, whether that's buying a piece of software, a new website or an office move.
Whilst there are many formal methodologies, just creating a simple process to follow is the first step towards managing a project.
Creating a process means you can be efficient and effective in your management to bring about a successful project outcome.
Project management doesn't necessarily mean creating lots of paperwork and having lots of meetings but it does mean bringing consideration and organisation to what you do.
Rather than just buying a new piece of equipment, put a process in place which allows you to evaluate need, determine necessary requirements, compare products and prices as well as establish the requirements for implementation and use.
Applying this approach diligently, whilst adding a little bit of extra effort, will ensure you're not wasting money or your time on a knee-jerk solution which isn't actually fit for purpose.
Establish a consistent, organised approach across your business and it will help you bring efficiency and successful convert your plans to reality.
All of our work is project managed from a new logo creation to a full suite of brand, website and marketing assets. The stages are slightly different depending on what we are creating but the core process we follow is the same:
- Project start-up - we document what will be doing, create a plan of work and get sign off on both for all parties involved.
- Ongoing project management - as the project develops we keep the plan up to date, consider any risks that may affect what we are doing in time or in relation to costs and arrange regular calls to discuss progress. We also regularly send out a project status report to document whether the project is on track.
- Project closure - for projects with a fixed timeline and a deliverable, i.e. a website or a logo, once it is complete we will sit down and review the process to see if we can learn any lessons about doing things differently next time. Sometimes we do this just internally or sometimes with the whole project team, client too - this allows us to get really important feedback to continually improve our processes. For ongoing projects, like a social media campaign, the ongoing project management will include a review element in the regular calls.
Without managing all our projects in this way, we couldn't continually deliver on budget to time. Where things do get delayed or changed, we can factor this in and note why the delay or changes occurred. When we get to the end of the project and are asked about "who authorised changes" or "why things are delayed", there are no deafening silences from us, its all noted in our regular updates.
So project management really does help to progress things smoothly, keep people informed and accountable and enable stress free delivery of projects.
Finally - the famous 6 Ps Perfect Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. That's project management!
If you would like some help managing your projects or even help setting up or putting in project management processes, please get in touch to chat through how we can help.