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As a project manager, you’re the lead person in the daily operation of your small business. Your key role is handling various project stages from initiation to completion and keeping track of their progress to ensure they go smoothly. Besides planning, assessing, and implementing the planned activities, you must ensure everything is done precisely and completed within the allocated time frame.
Projects can drag on for a long time or cause you to spend more money than you had planned. Thus, it is critical to understand the dos and don’ts of project management for small businesses, which are outlined below.
To successfully run a project for your small business effectively, here are the do’s you need to pay attention to:
1. Use Suitable Project Management Techniques
The proper project management techniques help boost your team’s efficiency and enable them to work smarter. You could use several techniques, and it’d be best to master them all and then pick the most suitable one for your business.
It depends on the project’s simplicity or complexity, the small business’s risks, what your clients prefer, and how willing your team is to keep up with changes. If you implement an inappropriate technique, you risk ruining your project.
Examples of project management techniques are:
- Agile planning: It’s an iterative project management approach. Instead of a comprehensive plan from the beginning of the project, you leave room for adjustments depending on the feedback you get from the project stakeholders. It’s befitting for teams who meet often and communicate regularly. It’s also flexible; you can change when something doesn’t work.
- Waterfall planning: It’s a more traditional approach to project management in that no phase can begin until the previous one is completed. For instance, you can’t start designing until planning is nearing completion.
- Critical path technique: It gives a clear picture of the project from the start to the end and specifies the essential tasks that primarily determine the project’s duration.
- Program Evaluation & Review Technique (PERT) planning: It calculates the realistic amount of time required to finish a project. It’s most suited for long-term projects with changeable objectives.
- Integrated project management: It involves coordinating all different resources and stakeholders in the project to ensure every department is working consistently.
These techniques can enable you to plan your project and hit deadlines. Thus, for more insights on the highlights of the above methods, you can read more about project management techniques and find the right one for your small business.
2. Include Teams In Decision-Making
When team members are involved in decision-making, they become productive, motivated, and creative. It shows you trust them and value their input. You don’t have to discuss every aspect; instead, you give them a definitive idea of your execution strategy and let them discuss among themselves so they can add more information to improve your proposed suggestions.
Everyone appreciates being heard. It makes your team members more efficient, and they feel valued.
3. Identify Risks
To manage the project risks, establish an environment that fosters a quicker identification of risks. Also, discuss the probable risks the project is likely to undergo. Include them in your plan and review them regularly. If you don’t handle them beforehand, you risk turning a minor issue into a bigger one.
4. Delegate Tasks
Even though you’re a project manager, you can’t independently handle all the planning, organizing, and implementation. Thus, get to know each member’s strengths and assign them tasks depending on their skills. Also, delegations enable you to spot new talents who could make excellent project managers.
5. Monitor The Project Continuously
Conduct continuous project monitoring regarding the resources, timelines, costs, and schedules. It’ll enable you to know how the project is fairing. You could use reliable project management software to keep track of the project’s progress.
Knowing what to do isn’t enough. You must also know what not to do. Below are mistakes to avoid when managing a project for your small business:
1. Don’t Avoid Feedback
Ensure there’s a proper communication channel where every member can give feedback. Remember that feedback is necessary to know where loopholes exist and how your team members find their work. It enables you to correct minor errors before they turn into significant ones. Thus, create an environment where members are free to give their thoughts on the project.
2. Don’t Set Unrealistic Deadlines
As a project manager, it’d be best to set deadlines that can be met. You must know your team’s capabilities and only assign tasks they can comfortably manage within the specified time without straining them. Remember, if the participants fail to meet timelines now and then, it could cause frustration and lead to less productivity because of discouragement.
3. Don’t Forget To Celebrate Your Teams Success
Your team members will likely thrive when you encourage them to do their work. Therefore, note their progress and congratulate them on their little achievements. Celebrate their success openly and genuinely and try to avoid claiming it as your own.
When managing projects for your small business, you must adequately plan the finances and resources and choose the right team members to make the project successful. It’d be best if you also selected the correct project management technique suited for your business. Doing so guarantees success, given that the method dictates how all the other resources fall into place.