Managing a project isn't child's play. The skill and effectiveness with which you manage the project will decide whether it will be a success or a failure. As a small business owner, you might have some employees that have been assigned this job; but at the end of the day, as the person at the helm, it becomes your responsibility to ensure the project sails through without any glitches and that your goals are met.
And though this can be a challenging task, its achievable - all you need is a solid plan and good organisational skills. Here are some 6 project management techniques that work:
#1 Risk Assessment and Management
At the outset, it's crucial that you identify what the potential problems could be. This will give you the scope to set some contingencies in place. This is called risk assessment and it's a very important aspect of project management. At times, when you are planning a project, you might just find out that it is beyond your current capabilities.
When you conduct a very thorough risk assessment, it helps you better identify whether the risk is acceptable for you. If that is the case, the next step is to chalk-out a plan to manage that risk. At this point, you need to make note of, rank and assign as well as avoid & transfer risks - this will smoothen the path for future projects as well.
#2 Planning Budget
It's not uncommon to see small business owners mismanaging their funds & going over-budget. At times, this is something that can't be avoided; however the one way to prevent problems from surfacing is to stay well within your budget.
In many ways, this becomes one of the most difficult tasks a small business owner has to handle. Regardless of the project you are handling, you have only a certain number of days to complete it in; and it's important that you manage your time in an efficient manner. The one way to do this is to understand what the capabilities & habits of your team members are, allocate tasks accordingly and get maximum productivity from every employee.
No matter how confident you are that you will complete a project on time for your client, it's very important that you maintain a buffer. There are times when things go awry and there could be unexpected expenditures/delays. And so when you are committing anything to a client, always keep some wiggle room. That helps you keep your bases covered and your clients happy.
#5 Critical Path Analysis
There are times when you are managing a project, where you get so involved in dealing with smaller issues that you just end up overlooking the larger picture. You should create a critical path analysis; this will help you track the project even as it progresses. This time management tool shows you the amount of time you have to wrap-up a project and where exactly you stand at a given point of time. This helps you complete your project in a timely fashion.
It's also important that you set milestones; this helps motivate your team and spurs them on to perform better. Setting milestones gives your team members a very clear goal to work towards.
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About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.