Project management has been around for decades, empowering organizations with a structured approach towards achieving predetermined goals. But does this mean that its best practices and methods apply only to medium and large-scale organizations?
After all, small businesses still have work to do and quite often, operate in an environment that has a massive workload but fewer workers. more often than not, an over or under utilization of critical resources happen. It makes sense why small businesses would benefit from smoothing out processes with a standardized project management approach.
As daunting as this may seem, the benefits of actually having a dedicated management unit in place are manifold. Project management makes growth measurable and tangible, in addition to actually giving teams a proven methodology that they can subscribe to.
But a small business’s problems are its own. Most often, long-term vision, large budgets and dedicated teams that run projects are almost non-existent. Added to this, small businesses have to fight to establish trust, secure funding and retain employees. However, project management solves some of the problems that you strive to establish it in the first place, more so when you can adopt cost-effective principles. Once the initial hiccups die down, what you have will be a structured, matured business that is both productive and well-groomed. So here’s a look at the benefits of adopting project management in the set-up of a small business.
1. Lets you utilize resources optimally
Small business are often infamous for either over employing resources or laying people off. Healthy project resourcing and optimal utilization of all your people is very important to reach sustainable progress as well as build yourself the reputation of being a reliable employer, in addition to employing efficiency-driven best practices.
Resource management as a complementary discipline to project management works on the pillars of complete visibility of all people and work, appropriate skill matches, optimal resource utilization and timely project forecasts. The principles work towards hitting the right balance between maximizing business value and the stability that employees enjoy, without having to compromise on productivity.
As a result, structured resource management can yield manifold returns and provide a cost-advantage in addition to improving overall productivity. This can be achieved best by adopting a compatible resource management software which helps in utilizing resources from various projects in the most efficient way.
2. Helps you take calculated risks
As the entrepreneur of a small business, risks are not new to you. You also know that weighing the pros and cons is the first step towards turning an idea into reality.
But the course of action that you take with your risks is often what decides whether or not your risks really were worth the blood, sweat and tears. This is where every small business benefits from investing in a structured body of project management.
Project management helps you draw broad goals for your business tracks as well as tasks within, thus enabling you to do a backtrace for the final solution. In addition, you can then assess if the capabilities in place at a tactical and operational level let you manage or avoid risks. This way, your stakeholders, clients and investors too will find your risk appetite suitable to their plans. On the whole, instead of on-going or ad hoc decision-making, it pays to evaluate risks structurally and save the data that you used to arrive at your decisions.
3. Embraces agility
As much as agility is a project management methodology, it is also evolving into becoming a work culture practice that emphasizes on outcomes over policies. While investing on the methodology itself may not be in the cards for smaller businesses unless they are actively involved in product development, project management, on its own, could align with the natural agility of smaller businesses.
Given how such businesses work towards goals through relatively informal, convenient workflows, the agile methodology can be used as an advantage since it is a very effective measure to establish a structure within disjointed processes and people. It also brings employees together on collaborative, extensive projects that fosters a commitment towards the company. Agility makes room for lean, productive teams who are driven by ambition rather than superficial goals. This commitment could really fuel passionate small business with both talent and market share. In fact, scaling an agile team is quickly mushrooming into a business model of its own.
4. Consolidates lessons and history
With young teams and new ideas, small businesses have a lot of learning to do and this learning is best when documented and made use of, in the long run. Undocumented learning tends to get lost between processes and people, thereby hampering long-term judgment. Also, mistakes repeat themselves and this leads to both loss of productivity and finances.
Project management boosts success for small businesses, especially when it comes to facilitating team collaborations. The myriad of knowledge and process management systems not only allow you to capture and monitor the project’s progress in real-time but also enables knowledge transfers.
It allows you to document your findings such that teams avoid making the same mistakes as their predecessors did, thus shortening the learning curve considerably. the system is great to draw data for future use, or simply make milestone maps as a toast to your success. The quote, ‘what is measured grows’, never goes out of style and project management only testifies this fact.
Whether you are knee deep into project management or are vaguely considering it, remember that the methodology isn’t as much about the tools or the practitioners as much as it is about organized processes. If you’d like to start small on your own and scale with it, feel free to do so, as long as you pause to evaluate the direction your own, every now and then.