Following on from last week where we discussed ‘Small Business Project Management’, in this article we look at the differences between large and small projects, and how to manage them.
Time is an extremely valuable resource for every self-employed small business owner, and you do not want to be wasting any of it. Consequently, you want to be able to quickly understand how to identify a project from regular tasks.
Knowing how small projects differ from large ones can also help immensely.
Here are a few ways in which small to medium projects differ from larger ones.
The starting line is to figure out if you actually have a project to complete or just a series of tasks to do.
Getting this right is of utmost importance as we have looked at in our previous article. A mistake here can truly be catastrophic to a small business operation.
Here are a number of questions to determine whether or not this constitutes a project.
If you find yourself answering “yes” to many or most of these questions, then you will know that you have a project on your hands.
The ‘Three Amigos’ of project management are:
The planning stage is the first step to be taken. As its name reflects, this is all about preparing a plan.
A project requires specific, detailed organization, and while the planning stage is in effect, no actual work is to be done.
Planning involves scoping out all the issues, creating a master plan to be your blueprint, and getting this signed off on by all the stakeholders, if indeed there are any.
Issues of money and costs are looked at, and a budget proposal is created along with scheduling and timelines.
This stage of implementation is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak. It is where the hands get dirty, and work begins.
The chief ingredient here is communication between everyone involved. You may be the only one on the project, but you still usually have to communicate with suppliers and/or clients and so on.
All the detailed steps that you drafted out in your project planning stage are completed here in this step.
The closure step is one where you begin the wrap-up schedule.
It involves completing the project, communicating with the project sponsors, and providing them with the deliverables. It also involves letting all members of the team know that the project is completed.
The closure step also reflects upon the experiences both good and bad that have shaped the project. Getting feedback from all the team is very important so the lessons learned can be applied to future projects.
Next week we will take a more in-depth look at the planning stage.
“I started my own business in 1995. The Self Employed Business Academy gets it. Clear, concise, and actionable information. You may be in business for yourself, but with the self Employed Business Academy at your fingertips, you won't be by yourself"
Ed Carey, AMG, LLC