Do any of these statements look familiar?
- I’m having difficulty balancing my work load.
- Deadlines are being reached before I’m ready.
- I get stuck in the middle of projects and am unclear what to do next.
- My books aren’t up-to-date.
- I lose track of what a project is costing.
- My inventory or supplies isn’t always available on-time.
- Marketing isn’t working for me.
- Employees aren’t getting the job done and I can’t figure out why.
- I’m consistently breaking promises to customers.
If so, you may want to take a look at your Project Management skills. This discipline provides the ability to take a large chore and break it down into smaller workable tasks. It not only accomplishes the work but also balances the scope of the project with available resources matched against a predetermined budget. Project management is a key skill missing for many entrepreneurs. The good news is that it’s a learnable skill with available training and certifications based on tried and proven standards and experience.
The aspiring as well as seasoned business owner must be able to manage multiple projects to ensure that required tasks are getting completed on time and in order of priority. How can a small business implement project management? The first option is for the business owner to take project management classes or use self-study material. However, the busy entrepreneur may not have time to learn these skills and want to delegate the responsibility to a trusted employee. It is important to empower this staff member to run a project from start to finish and make appropriate decisions. A third choice is to use an outside party to manage specific projects. While there is expense, this option may be more economical by allowing you to focus on the business.
Whichever option you choose, remember to:
- Determine a clear and concise description of what the project is to accomplish to avoid scope creep.
- Define milestones to measure progress of a project and if it will complete on time.
- List dependencies that identify what needs to get done first before other tasks can complete.
- Set realistic completion dates by when the project must be completed. Many times a project manager will work from this date backwards in order to schedule in all required tasks.
Even if you are the most unorganized person, applying project management concepts and skills will provide you with the tools to complete the most complex tasks on-time and within budget.
Ted Saul is a business coach that assists with Business Plans and Project Management. He holds a master certificate in project management and has earned his MBA from Regis University. Ted can be reached on LinkedIn, TWS787 on Twitter or emailing Ted@tsaul.com.