Project management tips for startups

Project management is especially important for startups and small businesses. Your flexibility is your most valuable asset. Good project management is will allow to exploit emerging technologies and quickly respond to gaps in the consumer market. Poor project management on the other hand, will make it impossible to recoup investment and will leave you at a distinct disadvantage.

With his in mind, here are 5 project management tips you should apply to your budding enterprise to guarantee success:

Choose the right project management methodology

Choosing the right project management methodology is important to ensure your business practices help realize short- and long-term business goals, and reinforce a work culture that can respond to the challenges faced by small businesses.

Many small start-ups choose to adapt an Agile approach seeing as it is tailored to emphasize adaptivity and change. Agile methods however aren’t easy to implement and often require a complete restructure of business practices and power structures.

If you haven’t already become Agile, perhaps consider easing into it with a more flexible, less demanding project management method. PRINCE2 is a tried-and-tested project management method that has been successfully employed by organizations both small and large.

PRINCE2 Processes can be integrated into your existing project development schemes without a lot of effort and can drastically improve your project development efficiency. 

If you’d like to start easy, try a PRINCE2 online training course. They’re quick, easy and can help you better understand which project management best-practices you should make use of to optimize your business strategy.

Define your goals

It’s important to have a clear understanding of both shot- and long-term goals before embarking on a project. Every project should be planned with the goal of achieving these aforementioned goals in mind, and no project should ever be an end unto itself.

There’s always the temptation to jump right into developing your first product but defining business goals goes hand-in-hand with good project planning, you can’t do one without the other.

So, take some time to sit down with your teams and investors. Figure out what it is you call ‘success’ and figure a way to achieve it.

Don’t stick to the plan

*Within reason.
Plans are great and are an important part of meeting deadlines and staying within budget. But, as any project manager knows, things don’t always go accordingly and startups will need to adapt to changing consumer demands and market conditions.

Always plan for failure. Risk assessment forms a large part of a project managers’ daily tasks. You’ll need a contingency in place for when things fail, not if.

On the other hand, don’t be afraid to deviate from the plan if you’re lucky enough to be presented with a market opportunity. Identifying said opportunities can help offset some of the disadvantages of being a small business. These may come in the form of technology or economic conditions. Keeping an eye on conditions can lead to impressive returns if handled right.

Finally, if at any point a project no longer becomes feasible, don’t drag out the investible. Cancel your plans, recoup some losses, learn from mistakes and start again. 

Keep learning

The only way to succeed in a small business is to stay on top of current trends, strive for continuous improvement and keep learning!

If you’d like to know more about project management methodologies and the role project management can play in your success, make sure to check out more helpful articles at the Knowledge Train blog.

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