Project Management – Small Business Basics
Project management is a thriving self employment choice at the moment. Some people will enter this career by choice. Others end up in this career by chance. Either way, there is a lot to consider and many challenges to face. This post will be helpful for the small business that needs help with a project and any new project managers. Read on for a collection of tips to help you out. In this post specifically, we are going to take a look at where you should begin when a project falls on your desk or inbox. We will then look at the different people that are involved in projects, and at what stage they should be involved. This will help you to ensure that every project gets off on the right foot.
Where Should You Begin With Project Management?
The first thing you need to do is decide what you need to do first! There are so many different things to think about when it comes to every project. How long is it going to take? What sort of expenses are going to be entailed? What are the objectives? It can be difficult to know where to begin. However, you need to begin by making sure you actually have a project. Not all jobs require traditional project management. Once you have done that, you can define the scope, have a project meeting, and map out the deadlines with your client. You can discover more about each stage of this below.
1. Do you even have a project? – This may sound somewhat of a stupid question, but the only place to begin is by making sure you actually have a project. This simple piece of guidance makes all of the difference. So, what is a project? This is when there is a defined scope of work or a set of tasks, which has to meet a certain requirement and be delivered by a particular end date. If something is on going, it is not a project, and, therefore, while you may be managing something, you are probably barking up the wrong tree with project management. Therefore, before you can put any wheels into motion, you need to have a discovery meeting. This is the perfect opportunity to make certain you are not dealing with workflow, but actually locking down a project.
2. Define the scope – Once you are certain that you have a project, you then need to have a clear definition of the scope of the project. If something is not in the framework decided on, then it is not in the project. So, make sure you are clear and consider this very carefully. Leaving something out or adding unnecessary items will harm the eventual outcome of the projects success.
3. Arrange a meeting to kick things off – Next, put a meeting in place so that all of the team members can meet and make sure they are on the same page. During this meeting, at a bare minimum, you will need to discuss milestones, deliverables, team members and their roles, requirements, and project scope. It is important to make sure everyone knows the role the project is playing in helping the business to achieve their overall goals, as this will give them a sense of direction.
4. Map out deadlines – Once you have completed the three steps mentioned above, the final part is to map out your deadlines. Every project, by its very definition, has an end date. However, rather than simply having that date in mind. You should map out deadlines for tasks throughout the project. This will boost productivity and help everyone to stay focused on what they need to do.
Deciding When To Involve People In Your Project
An essential part of project management is learning who to involve in your project and when. It is a critical part of people management, and you can read more here on the people management skills every manager needs to succeed. There are five clear stages of any project – conceive, define, start, perform, and close. Not only do you need to determine who should be involved for each part of the project, but you need to consider how involved they should be. Read on to discover more about including supporters, drivers, and observers throughout.
Let’s begin with the easiest of them all, and this is the observers. You need to select observers that you want to actively share information about the project with. They should be involved throughout the entire project, but only at a minimal level for every stage. Firstly, when it comes to the concept, you should inform all observers about the creation of the project and what it is going to produce. When it comes to the definition, tell them about the time frames and the outcomes that have been planned out. They should also only have minimal involvement at the start of the project, whereby you will tell them that the project has begun and you will confirm the dates of any planned milestones. During the performance stage, tell the observers about the project’s key achievements. And, finally, when you are closing the project, they need to know that it is complete, and you should tell them about the products and results of the project. Observers may well be your client or people who are working for your client.
Next, we have the project supporters. These are the individuals that will support and perform the project work. As a consequence, they need to know about any requirements that have changed so that they can identify and address any issues promptly. Involvement is also important in terms of their commitment to the project and motivation levels. So, how should they be involved in each stage? When it comes to the concept, moderate involvement is required. Key supporters should assess the feasibility of meeting driver expectations. After this phase, they will have heavy involvement throughout the next four phases. They are the major contributors in the definition phase, as they facilitate or do all the work, which means that they have the ability to decipher resources, schedules, and technical approaches. When the project starts, you need to clarify how you expect all of the supporters to work in order to achieve the desired results. Of course, as they perform the project work, they are going to be exceedingly involved during the performance phase. They also play a critical role during closure, as they will need to conclude the tasks they are working on and you should make them aware of their accomplishments.
Last but not least, we have drivers, which, again, need to be involved from start to finish. They evaluate the success of the project, and they define what should be produced, which is why their involvement is so important. They should be heavily involved during the concept phase. The pursuit of the project is influenced by their assessment of feasibility and their desires. Moderate to heavy involvement during the definition phase is expected. They will then have moderate involvement when the project starts and during the performance of it. At the conclusion of the project, they will be heavily involved, as they will need to determine whether expectations and needs were met. These are mostly definitely your client which may be more than just one person.
Hopefully, you now feel more prepared when it comes to managing your next project effectively. There is no denying that there is a lot that needs to be taken into account, from the various stages of project planning to the different people that are going to be involved. However, if you master these steps, you will ensure that you have a solid foundation in terms of taking the project forward and meeting your clients objectives.
Obviously whether you are a small business or a self employed project manager then you most definitely need a website that serves you well. If you are unsure then take a read of my website basics.
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With Grace and Gratitude