Running a small business is a lot like managing multiple projects. Different processes in a small business can be seen as projects to complete, and they all contribute to the success of the business as a whole. Fulfilling customers’ orders is a project; completing the client’s website on time is a project too.
Knowing how to manage projects effectively is a great way to boost small business success. There are a lot of techniques to use and tips to keep in mind when it comes to project management, and we are going to review them in this article.
Set Your Expectations
In an ideal world, you want each project to be completed quickly, cheaply, and to a high standard. However, that is never possible. From the fast-cheap-good matrix, you have to choose a maximum of two, and that means sacrificing one of the three factors.
If the project needs to be completed quickly and affordably, chances are you will end up with low- to mid-quality results. If you have a limited budget and high requirements to meet, you will have to invest more time into the project.
When planning for a project, you have to set a realistic expectation. Having high goals to achieve is great, but for the project to be successful, you need to choose objectives that your team can achieve without going past the breaking point.
Divide into Tasks
As mentioned before, there are multiple techniques you can use to manage projects. Using a linear project management strategy – one that relies on completing the project as a whole – is definitely not something you want to do today.
Instead, you want to divide the project into tasks and use a project management board to assign and track each task. This technique is known as the Kanban system. A Kanban board depicts the stages that a task has to go through from planning to completion.
Each task is represented by a Kanban card. It can be assigned to team members and modified as the task gets completed. The non-linear approach allows multiple tasks to run simultaneously and flexibly.
You can easily understand how the Kanban system can help you with project management by using Kanbanize. Kanbanize is a digital Kanban project management board in the cloud – the best on the market right now. Create a board for your project, assign tasks to cards, and start using the system immediately.
Watch the Cost
Managing time is important in project management, and the Kanban system we discussed earlier can help you with that too. The system uses lead time and cycle time to help you manage how time is spent on each task. It allows you to anticipate bottlenecks and delays even before they occur.
What the Kanban system doesn’t display on the board is cost, which means you have to manage it yourself. As a small business, ensuring that every project is completed within the budget becomes very important.
A great way to integrate cost management with your Kanban board is by adding notes to each card. When planning, assign a budget for each task and add it to the Notes section. As you spend money on the task, you can keep track of your budget just as easily.
Being a small business gives you an edge in terms of flexibility. You don’t have to make big changes to adapt to market changes, plus you can be more flexible with your operations. The key to maximizing this advantage is constant review and evaluation.
The same approach can be used for managing projects. Rather than waiting for the entire project to be completed – or until you run into an issue with the project – you can actually evaluate each task as it progresses through the board.
Constant evaluation doesn’t only help you with avoiding potential problems; it also helps you improve the project in real-time. For example, you can switch to a more reliable supplier and benefit from the lower COGS when fulfilling customers’ orders.
Manage Your Resources
Another big advantage to gain from using a Kanban board to manage projects is better resource management. Rather than overworking your team members and forcing your way through every project, the board lets you assign resources in a more balanced way.
The growth of your small business depends on the personal growth of your team member, so it is easy to see how better management of tasks and workflow can have a positive impact on the overall growth of your business.
Besides, smoother workflows will lead to better results at the end of the projects, and those results eventually lead to better customer satisfaction. Happy customers are always good for business.
Good project management can really take your small business success to the next level. Now that you have these tips and tricks in mind, start making the necessary changes, manage your projects like a pro and begin benefiting from using the Kanban system.