There are two things you need to make a business work. These are:

  • Innovation
  • Discipline

Without either of these, your business is destined to fail. While innovation comes from knowledge, experience, and passion, discipline is a learned and practiced skill.
It is what helps set up systems and streamline processes to get the business going. In this guide, we’re going to explore the key disciplining strategy you need to run a business: project management.

You’ll learn everything from what is project management to how you can get started with it. Remember, 97% of successful organizations believe project management is critical to their business performance – it’s definitely got something your business really needs.

What is project management?

By definition, project management is a process wherein we lead a project to optimize it for efficiency and output. We set up smooth workflows and definite objectives.

There are about seven types of project management. These include:

Waterfall Project Management

This is the oldest project management technique wherein the next task depends on the former. All of the steps of the project are set up linearly with each step leading to the next.

Although it’s clear and easy to follow, it’s time-consuming and unreliable. That’s because you cannot complete multiple phases of one project at a time. Plus, if a mistake is detected at a later step, you’ll have to revise the entire series of steps.

Agile Project Management

This project management type breaks down steps into smaller individual tasks. This means you can work on several tasks and steps at once. It helps save time and reduce the risk of changing everything if one mistake comes up towards the end of the project.

Scrum Project Management

The Scrum managing module takes agility a step ahead. It aims to complete projects in short time frames, such as a month or two. The entire team gathers every working day to work in sprints and achieve the smallest possible goals to put the big picture together.

Kanban Project Management

Kanban is a time-based managing module. In this, the entire project is divided into smaller actionable pieces. Each actionable piece of the project is assigned a deadline. The most distinguishing feature of Kanban project management is that you can visualize the workflow, such as in Trello and Asana.

Lead Method Project Management

It is a lot similar to Kanban. However, the entire focus here is on the customer. The workflow is optimized to make the deliverables the best possible for the customer (i.e., the receiver of the output). The deliverables are enhanced both in terms of speed and quality.

Six Sigma Project Management

Six Sigma Project Management is a sophisticated managing module that we recommend for more technical subjects like finances and IT. First, establish the goal of the project and collect data to plan the project. The point of collecting data to plan steps is to minimize errors and enhance the output for customer satisfaction.

PRINCE2 Project Management

This is the most details and safe project managing module of all. The goals, outputs, and potential processes of the project are evaluated beforehand to reduce all risks. The project is not executed until it is safe to do so. Similar to Kanban, it divides the entire project into numerous small pieces. So, one thing is executed after the other. Given its excessive detail in risk management, it is mostly used by government bodies or private sectors.

The Need for Project Management

Why do you need project management in the first place? Can you begin your work without incorporating project management? Well, technically you can but it wouldn’t be a wise move. To know why this is so, let’s study the benefits and needs of project management.

Prevents Financial Loss

As an entrepreneur or startup founder, you will find yourself overwhelmed most of the time. There’s so much to look into. Be it email threads, podcasts, networking, pricing pages, meetings with potential clients, or finances. There’s so much to do that you could lose track of things, which could result in a financial loss.

Hence, using a project management module and a tool is a good idea. It will help you organize your short-term and long-term goals. Plus, you can break these goals down into several small and achievable ones. In this way, you won’t lose track, forget, or confuse what’s done and what isn’t.

Makes Pivoting Easier

As a startup founder, you’re going to hear the word pivot quite a lot. It basically means starting over with the same goal but with a different approach. And it’s the most crucial aspect of startup growth. You fail, you learn, and you start over.

However, you cannot know where and when to start over if you do not have clear indicators. Project management solves this problem. It brings your goals, journey, and action plan into sight, so you can clearly point out mistakes if anything goes wrong. You’d know what to correct without wasting time trying to figure it out.

Makes Team Building Easier

Another great benefit of project management for startup owners and founders is that it makes it easier to onboard new people. If you already have an established system for how to deal with projects, it’ll make it easy for the new member to get hang of things. They can view project history to know what to avoid and the upcoming tasks to know what to expect in the future. They can also immediately get started with their work, especially if you’re using the Kanban project management model.

Ways to Manage a Project

Before online project management tools were a thing, every business depended on a project manager. Things are different now. We have two options. You’ve to pick one as it best suits the need of your business. The two ways to manage a project are as follows:

Hire a Project Manager

A project manager is a qualified professional who knows how to deal with a variety of project types and project techniques. Their job is to ensure you achieve what you want in time. They cannot set up goals for business owners. But they can optimize available resources for the best and maximum output. Hiring a project manager is advisable for medium and large-size businesses, particularly established ones. If you have a team of over 50+ people and have multiple departments within your business, it’s a good idea to hire a project manager and let them take care of things. They may or may not use project management tools to tackle the business. Note that the average salary for project managers is $80k/year.

Use a Project Management Tool

Most startup founders and new entrepreneurs cannot afford to pay the huge sums that a qualified project manager will demand. Hence, it’s best to use a free project management tool. These tools come with different approaches to workflow in project management. We recommend browsing their reviews, features, and reading comparison guides before adopting one. That’s because shifting your entire workspace, again and again, can be quite a hassle.

Final Thoughts

Summing up, project management is the wheel of your business. As long as you have the right gear and approach towards it, you’ll be able to achieve your goals efficiently. But if you don’t have a project management setup, you’re likely to go in loops and end up frustrated. Best adopt project management now!