Effective project management is fundamental to the success of all businesses. The process and results have an impact on many key areas – business growth and development, staff motivation and staff development.
If you’ve ever wondered how your small business can ever succeed in a rapidly changing world, where customer preferences change almost daily, new competitors are constant, there’s new technology at every turn and new suppliers coming at us from all directions, then the answer is project management.
Project management is such a powerful tool, and I would even go so far as to say one of the most powerful tools that your business could ever have. Why? Because it helps us realize our dreams, take advantage of opportunities, and solve our problems when things are changing right beneath our very feet.
If you own a small business, like I do, you know that success depends on doing the right thing and on getting it done right.
We have to deliver good results, on time and in within our budget and do a very good job. But more than that, we need to be constantly innovating, giving our customers and clients reasons to do business with us.
We need to be offering them solutions to their problems and we need to be able to provide this in the most productive, efficient and streamlined way possible. When we don’t do this, or we don’t do it very well, our customers and clients aren’t happy and our bank accounts are soon empty. We literally, pay the price.
So, what is a project, really.
Well, a project could be two things from a business perspective:
- A dream or opportunity with a deadline
- A problem that has been scheduled for resolution.
Do you have a dream for your business? Do you:
- Want to create more products?
- Want to add additional services to your business?
- Want to grow to a certain size?
- Want to be the best at what you do?
If you’re not sure, then ask, “What is the biggest opportunity for my business?”
When you’ve defined your dream or your opportunity, then you’ve set direction.
But, when you’ve set direction, you head out on the highway, and wham! You drive straight into a ditch. Having direction is not enough, neither is just having a vision, a mission, and/or a dream. They must become actionable, with a plan to ensure your dreams and opportunities are fully realized.
Each dream with a deadline or an opportunity we want to realize is a project. And that project defines the problems we face. And when we encounter these problems and solve them, this is also a project.
Projects come in all sizes and they all have the same two attributes; a project is temporary and a project is unique.
In a small business, some might take months, such as launching a new arm to the business and others might be full-time work for a few weeks, such as creating a new product, service or revamping an old website. And then, some projects take just a few hours such as setting up a scheduling system so clients can self schedule their appointments with you.
Whatever it may be, it’s always a good idea to think of your opportunities and problems as projects. If you can say, “Here’s where I am now and here’s where I want to be,” then you’ve defined a project.
Now let’s get out there and make a difference!