You have a great idea for a product, a co-founder, and a few employees. What do you do now?
As a small startup, you may think you don’t have too many options due to budget constraints. You may consider bootstrapping your product yourself.
However, it’s a better idea to enlist the help of a qualified project manager to lead your team to the product of your dreams. How do you go about hiring a great project manager? First, you’ll need to decide which project management methodology is right for your company culture.
Choosing the best project management methodology is a hard task, but it’s worth the time and effort. Leveraging the right methodology can mean incredible returns for your business.
Here are the top 4 project management methodologies for small startups:
The agile methodology is one of the most popular project management frameworks for tech companies and startups. It’s a flexible framework that gives project managers a great deal of wiggle room.
Agile teams are extremely collaborative and communicative. Weekly meetings are leveraged so team members understand the direction of the project and how their individual tasks fit into the project manager’s vision.
Agile is an iterative process whereby the product is tweaked, reviewed, and revised in cycles. The entire project consists of one big feedback loop, ensuring that a working version of the product is consistently being delivered and improved upon.
Lean project management requires an adept project manager at the helm. That being said, small teams can still benefit from lean principles if they wisely invest in an experienced lean manager.
Lean project management was born out of the manufacturing industry. It was developed in response to the exorbitantly high cost of developing and delivering physical products. Lean emphasizes the importance of assessing market need, creating value, and managing workflow for optimal efficiency. Lean project managers map out value streams whereby every step of the project is delineated and organized in such a way that time used and money spent is minimal.
Kanban is a hugely popular project management system whereby teams keep track of current, past, and future project tasks through the visual aid of a board. These boards are called Kanban boards, and they help map out the flow of tasks from beginning to completion.
Kanban boards are broken up into columns which serve to show the status of a given task. Every task that is a work in progress is shown on the board, and completed tasks are also displayed.
There are WIP (work-in-progress) limits for Kanban boards that help managers and team members track the progress of current tasks, spot possible problems in the workflow, and focus on important objectives.
Agile is scalable, flexible, and effective. However, the principles of agile don’t outline many key aspects of project management. For startups looking for a little more structure built into their chosen methodology, Scrum may be the better choice.
The Scrum project management methodology builds upon the principles of agile. The iterative process and communication strategies are essentially the same. The only real difference is that Scrum calls for sprints, which serve as regular intervals for project goals and retrospectives.
The Scrum Master (or project manager) sets a goal that must be accomplished by the end of the sprint. Sprints are usually about two to four weeks in length, making scrum an especially rapid methodology.
Building a product is hard, especially for young startups. Sometimes it can feel like you’re venturing into unknown territory. That’s okay — while developing a product is always difficult, there’s no reason it should be impossible.
Agile and scrum are wonderful project management methodologies that share a great deal in common. Both are iterative processes that emphasize the importance of continual improvement and constant communication.
Lean project management is all about efficiency achieved through the establishment of value and flow. Lean project managers create collaborative environments where each task flows effortlessly into the next.
Kanban is great for small teams that need help keeping organized and on track. Teams can see how a project is progressing visually through the effective use of Kanban boards.
Choosing an effective project management methodology can make hiring an experienced project manager easier, which in turn, will grant your company a greater chance of success.