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9 PROJECT MANAGEMENT TIPS ENTREPRENEURS SHOULD NEVER IGNORE

Published on 04 April 18
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Project Management is not something that only those with plenty of experience can be good at. But, unfortunately, most startups have limited experience with the nuances of Project Management. Remember anyone can manage projects; all they really need is a bit of knowledge and creativity. With project management skills, organizations can avoid and overcome the issues that are resulted through lost time, energy and resources. For entrepreneurs to become exceptionally good at the art of project management can learn a lot from project management professionals, whose industry expertise has helped to grow startups into large and successful companies.
Generally, entrepreneurs often begin with an idea, but the challenge arises when they start translating this idea into a profitable product or service. So, the only way to overcome these challenges is by using project management techniques. For example, if an entrepreneur lacks proper knowledge of essential project management skills, he/she is less likely to implement and execute an idea. But, in case of entrepreneurs who have taken time to learn and apply the basics of project management in their work can execute any suggested idea.

Some of the best project management tips that creative entrepreneurs should adopt are as follows;


1. Avoid multitasking


Yes, you heard it right. According to a study by Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, 'Multitasking immensely decreases an individual’s IQ to a greater extent. It is more effective than smoking a pot or losing a night's sleep'. Performing multiple things simultaneously doesn’t mean that a project or a particular work is getting completed quicker. It only means that an individual is generating scope for loads of errors and rework in the near future, which will mainly result in reducing the productivity level.


2. Utilizing project management tools


Today, the market is completely flooded with project management tools like - ProofHub, Asana, Trello, Wrike, etc. So, companies have to opt for the perfect tool that fits seamlessly with the company's work style and requirements. According to a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Cooper: Use of commercially available Project Management software increases performance and satisfaction. An effective project management tool should help in planning and managing things more intelligently. The processes like distributing tasks, collaborating, and monitoring project progress will become even simpler with the implementation of an effective project management tool.


3. Planning ahead


Strategic and methodical planning always helps in accomplishing tasks much easier as they reduce the rigidity in the back-end process required for a project. Planning ahead always saves time and turns out to be a competitive advantage for many entrepreneurs in business competitions. It is commonly said that an hour worth of planning is worth ten hours of performing work. Another key benefit of planning ahead is that it helps the business stay on task and focus on things that matter most to the company.


4. Risk Assessment and Management


The process relates to concentrating on the work schedules and resolving issues as quickly as possible. The focus mainly should be on trying to avoid project creep, which are the small and minor changes that are made in the project without any plans and procedures. These changes can slow down the progress of the project and disrupt the workflow. A troubleshooting process should always ensure that the project is always on track despite challenges that commonly occur in projects.


5. Providing extensive training


Everyone involved in the team should undergo extensive training before executing a project to ensure that it can function smoothly. The entrepreneur along with the team should know their respective roles as to work independently without too much of guidance. Initially, it may seem that it’s too much to ask for, but gradually once they gain hands-on experience, it will seem too simple and easy. In fact, according to one of the studies carried out at IBM, 75-80% of managers believe effective training is critical to project success, skill levels linked to business value yield a 10% increase in productivity.


6. Less scope for minor details


Actually, a detail-oriented approach is always appreciated, but getting lost too much into simpler and minor things will only make individuals neglect the important aspects of the project. One always has to look at the bigger picture to when the project is of major importance. One should always keep the focus on the most important aspects, and gradually build things around it. For example, when an individual is assigned with the task of creating a new website for a product, simply building a site is not enough. Everything from the website's designing and development to marketing is considered important. Crucial features are to be completed on priority so that each area gets the required attention.


7. Designing Critical Paths


One should always focus and pay attention to defining the core or fundamental steps/activities along the project that are vital determinants or cornerstones to project success. It’s important to divide all the tasks into various categories based on the degree of priority – low/high. Usually, one should concentrate on completing the ones that fall under the critical path within the decided timeframe. Failing to complete these objectives would delay the entire process. So it’s important to recognize these tasks and accordingly set dependencies between them and work on the same basis. The use of Project management software like Gantt Charts is generally recommended as it helps discern the paths of the project. As tasks are assigned and distributed amongst teams with the help of the software, one can even create and define the progress of the project in the later stage.


8. Creating room for changes


One can never give 100% assurance that things will always go according to plan. An entrepreneur must always be ready for unexpected or unseen problems to arise. To tackle these situations, backup plans are always necessary to ensure proper actions will be implemented if things go south. After monitoring and documenting all the issues occurring in the project, adjustments or alterations should be initiated in the project depending on what the situation demands.


9. Project documentation


It’s quite usual for team members that they are going to need something to refer to for clarifications. Documenting every changes or intricacy occurring in the project will eliminate the need to spend time in understanding actions that were previously taken. Primarily, there are three concepts that need to be documented - traceability of the project, history of the project, and the process of controlling. To explain further, it will trace every step taken by the project team, maintain the history of the project for future reference and finally exercise control of the project by offering a common source of information to everyone.

Conclusion


When it comes to project management methodologies, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. In this Internet of Things era, for entrepreneurs to scale their business, they should have the ability to pick the right methodologies based on the current constraints, timeline, and resource is very crucial. Entrepreneurs wear many hats — from marketing to accounting to project management. While it can be overwhelming at first, learning the tools and tricks of project management begins by being aware of the reasons why one should learn them in the first place. What are they trying to accomplish? Not sure where to start on honing your inner project manager? Well, Invensis Learning offer advanced project management certification courses and training in the fields of PMP Certification, PRINCE2 foundation and practitioner, Agile Project Management, and Change Management Foundation courses to name of few.
Project Management is not something that only those with plenty of experience can be good at. But, unfortunately, most startups have limited experience with the nuances of Project Management. Remember anyone can manage projects; all they really need is a bit of knowledge and creativity. With project management skills, organizations can avoid and overcome the issues that are resulted through lost time, energy and resources. For entrepreneurs to become exceptionally good at the art of project management can learn a lot from project management professionals, whose industry expertise has helped to grow startups into large and successful companies.

Generally, entrepreneurs often begin with an idea, but the challenge arises when they start translating this idea into a profitable product or service. So, the only way to overcome these challenges is by using project management techniques. For example, if an entrepreneur lacks proper knowledge of essential project management skills, he/she is less likely to implement and execute an idea. But, in case of entrepreneurs who have taken time to learn and apply the basics of project management in their work can execute any suggested idea.

Some of the best project management tips that creative entrepreneurs should adopt are as follows;

1. Avoid multitasking

Yes, you heard it right. According to a study by Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, 'Multitasking immensely decreases an individual’s IQ to a greater extent. It is more effective than smoking a pot or losing a night's sleep'. Performing multiple things simultaneously doesn’t mean that a project or a particular work is getting completed quicker. It only means that an individual is generating scope for loads of errors and rework in the near future, which will mainly result in reducing the productivity level.

2. Utilizing project management tools

Today, the market is completely flooded with project management tools like - ProofHub, Asana, Trello, Wrike, etc. So, companies have to opt for the perfect tool that fits seamlessly with the company's work style and requirements. According to a survey conducted by Pricewaterhouse Cooper: Use of commercially available Project Management software increases performance and satisfaction. An effective project management tool should help in planning and managing things more intelligently. The processes like distributing tasks, collaborating, and monitoring project progress will become even simpler with the implementation of an effective project management tool.

3. Planning ahead

Strategic and methodical planning always helps in accomplishing tasks much easier as they reduce the rigidity in the back-end process required for a project. Planning ahead always saves time and turns out to be a competitive advantage for many entrepreneurs in business competitions. It is commonly said that an hour worth of planning is worth ten hours of performing work. Another key benefit of planning ahead is that it helps the business stay on task and focus on things that matter most to the company.

4. Risk Assessment and Management

The process relates to concentrating on the work schedules and resolving issues as quickly as possible. The focus mainly should be on trying to avoid project creep, which are the small and minor changes that are made in the project without any plans and procedures. These changes can slow down the progress of the project and disrupt the workflow. A troubleshooting process should always ensure that the project is always on track despite challenges that commonly occur in projects.

5. Providing extensive training

Everyone involved in the team should undergo extensive training before executing a project to ensure that it can function smoothly. The entrepreneur along with the team should know their respective roles as to work independently without too much of guidance. Initially, it may seem that it’s too much to ask for, but gradually once they gain hands-on experience, it will seem too simple and easy. In fact, according to one of the studies carried out at IBM, 75-80% of managers believe effective training is critical to project success, skill levels linked to business value yield a 10% increase in productivity.

6. Less scope for minor details

Actually, a detail-oriented approach is always appreciated, but getting lost too much into simpler and minor things will only make individuals neglect the important aspects of the project. One always has to look at the bigger picture to when the project is of major importance. One should always keep the focus on the most important aspects, and gradually build things around it. For example, when an individual is assigned with the task of creating a new website for a product, simply building a site is not enough. Everything from the website's designing and development to marketing is considered important. Crucial features are to be completed on priority so that each area gets the required attention.

7. Designing Critical Paths

One should always focus and pay attention to defining the core or fundamental steps/activities along the project that are vital determinants or cornerstones to project success. It’s important to divide all the tasks into various categories based on the degree of priority – low/high. Usually, one should concentrate on completing the ones that fall under the critical path within the decided timeframe. Failing to complete these objectives would delay the entire process. So it’s important to recognize these tasks and accordingly set dependencies between them and work on the same basis. The use of Project management software like Gantt Charts is generally recommended as it helps discern the paths of the project. As tasks are assigned and distributed amongst teams with the help of the software, one can even create and define the progress of the project in the later stage.

8. Creating room for changes

One can never give 100% assurance that things will always go according to plan. An entrepreneur must always be ready for unexpected or unseen problems to arise. To tackle these situations, backup plans are always necessary to ensure proper actions will be implemented if things go south. After monitoring and documenting all the issues occurring in the project, adjustments or alterations should be initiated in the project depending on what the situation demands.

9. Project documentation

It’s quite usual for team members that they are going to need something to refer to for clarifications. Documenting every changes or intricacy occurring in the project will eliminate the need to spend time in understanding actions that were previously taken. Primarily, there are three concepts that need to be documented - traceability of the project, history of the project, and the process of controlling. To explain further, it will trace every step taken by the project team, maintain the history of the project for future reference and finally exercise control of the project by offering a common source of information to everyone.

Conclusion

When it comes to project management methodologies, there is no one-size-fits-all formula. In this Internet of Things era, for entrepreneurs to scale their business, they should have the ability to pick the right methodologies based on the current constraints, timeline, and resource is very crucial. Entrepreneurs wear many hats — from marketing to accounting to project management. While it can be overwhelming at first, learning the tools and tricks of project management begins by being aware of the reasons why one should learn them in the first place. What are they trying to accomplish? Not sure where to start on honing your inner project manager? Well, Invensis Learning offer advanced project management certification courses and training in the fields of PMP Certification, PRINCE2 foundation and practitioner, Agile Project Management, and Change Management Foundation courses to name of few.

This blog is listed under Project & Service Management Community

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