5 Project Management Tips for Startups
Nowadays, a lot of new startups fall flat due to a lack of seriousness in their organization and management. Making sure you set up both short- and long-term goals for your project is crucial for its success. Don’t place too much faith on the initial enthusiasm of a new project to give you a free ride. Eventually, the passion will burn out, leaving you and your project stranded in the middle of nowhere. Instead, check out these five tips that will help you get back on track with your project management:
1. Build a roadmap
A good way of preventing the loss of initial momentum is by planning milestones for key progress points of your project. Milestones are indicators of the direction your project is heading in. Use them as signposts to mark the road you have to tread in order to achieve success. For example:
- Funding the project
- Creating a prototype of your product
- Testing/reviewing the prototype
- Releasing the merchandise to the general public
By completing existing milestones and developing new ones, you keep the project on track. Also, with each milestone obtained new momentum is gained through these small accomplishments. And these small victories do count. Much like Confucius said: “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
2. Establish leadership
Establish the chain of command. Having no clear-cut leadership will put you in a “too many cooks spoil the broth” scenario. There needs to be clarity on who’s the shot-caller and decision maker. Otherwise, you’ll end up with many different and conflicting ideas on how things should be done. Put one person in charge of the whole project as a project manager, either the CEO or someone who qualifies for that position. Next, try sorting people out into certain groups and for each group appoint a leader to enforce the project’s main objectives. However, be careful not to reach the other end of the spectrum. A hierarchy which is too complex will make the decision-making process slow and inefficient. Try striking a balance between the two.
3. Hire additional staff
Recognize when there is just too much work on your plate and hire some additional staff members. Overworking yourself and your employees will just burn you all out and give little in return. It even may come to injury due to over exhaustion, and involve personal injury lawyers like those from Bordas&Bordas. Furthermore, always hire new staff members on a trial basis, as startups don’t have the luxury of wasting money on slackers. Training new workers and getting equipment for the same can be expansive. Nonetheless, sometimes it’s crucial that you get some extra hands to not miss out on a business opportunity or a deadline. Often, acquiring small business loans to fund your project is a great way to secure the staff and equipment you need for reaching your goals.
4. Improve communication
Work on improving your system of communication. Project management tools such as Asana, Basecamp and Slack are ideal for small businesses. With file sharing, time tracking, and forum-like messaging these tools enable your employees to communicate more efficiently with each other, even when they are out of office. Moreover, communication between the project leader and other project members is just as important. Have the members give regular feedback to the project manager about their work and ideas on how to improve it. Also, consider having some team-building activities periodically to help strengthen the bond between co-workers. A strong team equals a strong project.
5. Don’t ignore the deadlines
Make deadlines and stick to them. Missing deadlines will result in going over-budget, and having to invest even more time and effort into finishing your project. So, keeping a tight schedule will ensure that everything stays on track, and that your milestones are reached. But what’s even more important is making sure that the deadlines you set are realistic in the first place. Sometimes people can get overly ambitious with their deadlines, and who can blame them? It is well known that in the startup world it is either make it or break it. Sticking to more realistic deadlines will help you release your product to the market, which can then help promote your project’s growth; whereas unrealistic deadlines will get you over-budget and dead in the water.
So, now that you know how to advance your project management, it’s time to ditch the hitchhiking, get back in the saddle, and get your project back on the road to success.