As a Start-Up you need to understand project management.
Starting a business isn’t easy. Initially, you may be the only person working both in it and on it. Having a Project Management system in place is probably the last thing on your mind. And yet, putting a system in place could be the best decision you ever made.
Why Think About Project Management?
Setting up a system for managing your projects, as a Start-Up, and using it will save you a load of time and effort. And when I say system I don’t necessarily mean an IT system. I’m talking about the structure that a system brings, a rigour, to what you are doing.
You will be working on a lot of projects initially, as you set up the processes for your business. As you begin to grow, the more people, the more projects. Each person will have tasks they need to manage.
These tasks can all be equated to small projects. Do you have an agreement on what is to be delivered? Are there assumptions that are not being spoken about and validated? Is the timeline for the task to be finished critical?
Each of these things unanswered will create chaos in your new start-up.
Whereas if you have a system in place to manage these tasks, in a consistent and rigorous manner, life will be much easier.
Everyone will be on the same page and work will be more likely to be done efficiently and easily.
Putting a project management system in place creates efficiency.
What is Project Management?
Project management is about understanding what’s needed and defining that in a succinct way. And I mean being very clear on the problem you are solving, the change you want to make, or the opportunity you are taking up.
Laying this out in a one-line statement that anyone reading it will understand is the first point of a solid project management plan.
Then breaking down the tasks that you need to get from now to what you want over there, is the next step. Don’t skip on the tasks. Any task takes time, so missing tasks and only drawing up a high-level list isn’t of value to you.
Knowing who is going to complete which task is the third step. And you’re probably saying “That will be me” at first. Yes, of course, and yet having a list of tasks with completion dates against them will help you stay focused and hopefully on track to do what needs to be done.
Understanding the time it’s going to take and the cost of that is also valuable to you. You don’t want to be wasting your precious investment dollars, do you?
What Happens When You Grow Your Start-Up?
Growing your start-up just means more people completing tasks. More likelihood of misunderstanding and confusion around what needs to be done when, and by who.
There is more likelihood of waste and inefficiency the more people involved in more tasks.
Tracking task delivery, or basically whose doing what and by when will make life so much easier.
All of a sudden you are handing over responsibility for tasks to others. And if you’re not clear on your expectations or the assumptions you have, with the others taking over the tasks you’ll have problems.
A collaboration that means everyone has the same level of understanding and commitment to what needs to be done, is an invaluable thing to have.
Why Having a System For Managing Projects Stops Chaos as You Grow
As the team at Hubstaff say “Project management can be the difference between chaotic workflows and harmonious collaboration.”
This is so true. It only takes a level of understanding of what it means to ‘manage’ a project in the best way to make the difference between chaos and organization.
The other benefit of having a project management system in place is that you get to bond your start-up team. Supporting each other with your tasks, helping others through difficulties they are having, all in a semi-formal way can build a team.
And team building and open collaboration is the best way to build your start-up with the right culture.
If you learn about the simple art of project management and put that system into place in your business, it can only thrive. You’ll be saving time and money and not wasting your valuable resources.
The Value of a Project Management System For Collaboration
As I have already touched on, collaboration is the key to project success. Without it, there is only task failure. With it, there is task success and a sense of pride in the work undertaken by everyone.
There is enough stress building a start-up without the added stress of poorly managed projects, no matter how small.
And you’re probably thinking I don’t want some cumbersome process in place. That’s not what I’m talking about here. There are simple things you can learn that make the whole ‘project management’ thing straightforward and easy.
How to collaborate and share information openly, is one of those things.
Why Tracking Tasks is Valuable To Everyone
You might just be the only person working on something for your business, and yet are you sure there is no one else you’re collaborating with?
As you grow you’re sure to have others involved and the more people, the more tasks. That more tasks the more likely there is chaos and confusion if you don’t let everyone understand your goals.
What do you want done and when by? And just as importantly why and by what standard? These last two things are often the missing pieces that mean you don’t get what you want to be delivered.
And the other thing is finding out that two people were working on the same thing and something else was missed. That’s where there is value in tracking tasks.
Having a list of tasks, with resources completing them, dates for finalisation and progress sounds like a big thing to be tracking when you’re so busy. Yet, doing it will ultimately save you time.
Project Management is Simple When You Know-How
You don’t need to go out and become a Certified Project Manager. That’s not what I’m talking about.
It’s simply understanding the value in defining your project, who is working on it, how they are tracking, what it’s costing you, and the criticality of getting what you want to be delivered on time.
Anyone can successfully project manage, as long as they are willing to understand these fundamentals and the need for them.
If you’re unsure about what to do and how to do it you can always learn how to manage your small projects.
Do You Need an IT System To Manage Your Tasks?
Initially, no you don’t need a system. Especially if there is only you, as long as you have a manual system in place. Once you understand the way to easily manage a project, and you begin to grow, then there is value in diving into a system.
It’s not really about the system itself, it’s about your understanding of project management principles that help. Without these having a system will be of little use to you.
If you want suggestions for systems to help you with each of the task management, collaboration and tracking pieces then check out this article from Hubstaff.