Project management is a necessary part of running any type of business. Whether you have a service-based or a product-based business, there are inevitably a variety of projects that you will need to plan. But, you don’t have to make it too hard for yourself. In fact, you can make project management easy if you know what to do.
Use a Project Management System – There are many project management systems you can purchase, like Basecamp.com, Asana.com, Trello.com, and others. But, you can also use a calendar system, a physical planning book, or even a whiteboard. All that matters is that you have a system of some kind to use for each project.
Understand the Scope, Goals and Objectives of the Project – Once you understand these three things, you can easily develop the steps to get to the end goal or deliverable. When you focus on the deliverable and stay within the scope of the project, you’ll find that it’s a lot easier than you thought.
Do Your Research – For each deliverable, you may need to conduct some research to ensure that you’re using the right tools, and that you understand exactly what it takes to get to the finished product without missing any steps or forgetting something important.
Write a Project Outline – When you know what it takes, you can go through and write down all the steps it takes to get it done, starting with the goal or deliverable of your project. Right now, try to put things in chronological order. Some things may be done simultaneously, but some things will have to be done first before you move on to the next. This is important because for example if you are outsourcing part of the project, you can’t start on the next part until the first thing is done.
Develop Your Timeline – As you look at your outline, move it to a calendar or project management system. Put each item into your system, along with who is responsible for the task and when the expected due date is. Whether it’s a calendar, a planner, or an online project management system, enter it all in – every little detail.
Be Prepared to Adjust – Remember that you can always adjust the project dates and timeline as you move forward with the project. Always give yourself a little extra time on the schedule, especially if you have more than one or two people working on the project, to account for their issues too.
Let Your Experts Work – When you outsource, as long as your directions were clear and you’ve chosen experts, the work will be done on time and as directed. But sometimes it can take time to build a team that works well together. The important thing is to keep communication open, assign fair due dates, and give time for issues that may cause problems for everyone.
Basically, it’s all about understanding that managing a project is just about figuring out what the deliverables are, how they will be completed by the deadline, and by whom, and what is expected of everyone on the team. Then, it needs to be put into an organizational system (whether a calendar, a spreadsheet, a file sharing system or a project management system) in order to keep it all organized and going smoothly.
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