Any entrepreneur or founder needs to build a workable project management framework for their startup. A startup’s project management framework is a set of processes, techniques, and tools used to ensure that projects are completed efficiently, effectively, and timeously. And with each project you evaluate, you can iterate the framework for the next project to enhance its success.
Here are some steps explaining how you can build a project management framework that works for your startup:
1. Identify Your Project’s Goals And Objectives
The first step of your project is to identify its goals and objectives. Doing so will help you determine what you wish to achieve and how you will measure success. For example, you can ask yourself the following questions: What do you want to achieve? What are the deliverables? What is the project’s scope? Who are your customers and what are their attitudes and behavioral patterns?
Ensure that each facet of your goals and objectives is SMART:
It’s advisable to do some research when identifying your goals to ascertain their feasibility and your market. Then, when you’ve identified your SMART goals and objectives, you have a more realistic idea of your project’s requirements.
2. Define The Project’s Requirements
Once you have determined your project’s goals and objectives, you must define the project’s requirements. The requirements include the resources, the timelines (broken down into stages), and the overall budget. Again, this will take dedicated research to understand the intricacies of each requirement and ensure you get the best quality you can afford.
Be sure to include the requirements to the finest details as far as possible. For instance, resource requirements could consist of workforce, skill, technology, equipment, utilities, and raw materials. Revise the needs of each project to ensure you do not overspend on resources or undercharge for your deliverables.
3. Select a Project Management Methodology
Project management methodologies help to reduce the chances of problems arising during a project. And, when a problem does occur, the project management methodology chosen should help to address it swiftly without throwing the process off kilter.
Many project management methodologies exist, so you can choose the one most suitable for your startup’s requirements, scope, and team. Most of the more modern methodologies are based on the following older models; they can be a combination of two or more:
4. Create A Project Plan
When you have determined your goals, requirements, and methodology, you can create a project plan. A project plan is a detailed framework outlining the plan’s governance, scope, timeline, resources, and budget. Ensure that your plan includes the following pertinent aspects:
- The roles and responsibilities of the project team
- A decision-making process
- A schedule with milestones
- A list of all the deliverables
- A risk management plan
- A communication plan (e.g., who reports to whom and how)
5. Identify And Establish Project Stakeholders
It is essential to identify all the stakeholders involved in the project to help you understand each one’s needs and expectations. Stakeholders in a startup or specific project include team members, project sponsors, company investors, customers, and other relevant people or companies.
When you understand each stakeholder’s needs and expectations, you will be able to generate a plan that meets everyone’s requirements. For example, your plan might include payment term negotiations or employing additional team members or contractors to share the workload or offer specific services for the project.
6. Define Project Roles And Responsibilities
Once you have determined the various stakeholders for a project, you must define the roles and responsibilities of each one involved. This includes the project manager, team members, stakeholders, and vendors. Each person must know what they need to do and when it must be done. Where necessary, ensure you have signed contracts and relevant procedures in place.
7. Choose A Project Management Tool
One of the ways Information Technology (IT) can transform business processes is through a project management tool. A project management tool is software, or a program used by project managers and other stakeholders to plan, schedule, track, collaborate, share documents, and evaluate a project’s progress.
For example, a cloud-based management tool allows the relevant stakeholders to view the project’s dashboard, reports, Gantt charts, workflows, and calendars at any time. Many different types of project management tools exist, so choose one that suits your project and pocket. Some popular examples include Asana, Trello, Jira, and Wrike.
8. Monitor And Control The Project
When the project is underway, you must monitor its progress to maintain control over it. When you track the progress of your project, you can identify issues, risks, and delays and make the necessary adjustments to keep the project on track.
Suppose you’re a business owner with many projects on the go. In that case, you can monitor them using a project portfolio management (PPM) tool. This differs from a single project management tool in that it allows you to monitor and control multiple projects simultaneously.
9. Communicate Regularly
Regular communication is essential for the success of any project. Ensure you have regular meetings with your team members and stakeholders to keep updated regarding the progress, issues, and changes to the plan. However, ensure the meetings and communication stay on target to avoid wasting precious work time.
10. Evaluate The Project
Once the project is complete, you should evaluate its success. Aspects you should assess include the following:
- If the project met its goals and objectives
- Whether the project was completed within the timelines and budget
- If the stakeholders met their roles and responsibilities
- What lessons you can learn for future projects
Your project management framework will vary according to the stages of your startup’s development. Therefore, the feedback you get can help you to refine your project management framework for future projects, ensuring they’re even more successful. It can also help you to determine how to calculate profit margin and measure financial success. After all, projects are what drives business revenue and growth.
By following the steps discussed above, you can build a project management framework that works for your unique startup. It is helpful to remember that project management is an iterative process, so you must be flexible and willing to adapt to changes along the way. Then, as you learn from each project, you can tweak your framework to ensure the success of your startup’s future projects.