Project management is an indispensable part of your business, regardless of its size.
Staying on budget, completing projects on time and establishing accountability in your team are only some of the benefits your business can derive from the introduction of project management practices in your day-to-day activities.
Here are some of the steps you can start taking today in your journey towards becoming a more project management driven business.
Confirm Your Capacity Before Taking on Projects
It’s always hard to turn down new business. Every project offer is an opportunity to showcase your potential and grow. However, if your team is already engaged in other projects, it’s good to confirm your ability to meet the new client’s demands.
Only accept projects when you’re confident you have the resources (time, team members) to complete it on time.
This is vital so that you can avoid having to complete work in a rush and overwork your team - with the risk of losing future repeat business because of a poor performance.
You can use booking systems or capacity planning tools to quickly assess your team's availability and provide immediate feedback to clients.
Establish Project Expectations Early
Before committing to a timeline with the customer, always assess what the key goals and milestones are and when you’re expecting to meet them. Communicate your estimates with the customer in order to align expectations and avoid any misunderstanding or disappointment.
Identifying milestones and timelines also allows you to allocate resources more efficiently and plan your team’s capacity in the most effective way.
Ensure there is Effective Communication
Ensuring effective communication among the project team helps keep everyone informed and connected. The business should maintain a constant flow of information, whether to communicate schedules, assignments, or updates.
That way, the team is kept on the same page, and you prevent confusion, task redundancy and dissatisfaction.
Each project's success depends on how effectively team members handle their assigned tasks. As a result, tracking each task and milestone is essential to ensure everything goes as planned and happens within the expected timeline. One delayed task can result in an overall project delay if following tasks depend on it.
Tracking progress against planned helps you identify potential issues before they derail the project, so that you can take corrective actions before it’s too late.
Perform Post Project Assessment
After each project is completed, it is best practice to review the outcomes to see whether they meet the initial expectations.
Comparing the project’s progress versus the original plan will help identify your team’s strengths and weaknesses, so you can allocate resources more effectively in the future.
Assessing whether the project was completed in time and within budget and investigating where the deviation originated from will allow you to identify the appropriate adjustments to make to optimise the outcomes of your future projects.
While project management can be a daunting and challenging task for a small business, the tips above will help you at any stage.
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