As a small business owner, you may have several new products or services. Starting from scratch, you need to create a procedural plan, bring in new materials and get your product or service ready to present to the customer. You have already researched the marketplaces to see that your new endeavor will be successful. But you need to plan, start, work on and complete the project. The project management process is what you need to complete these tasks.
The process of project management has nine modules to move the project along in an orderly fashion. Once a project plan is completed you will focus and not stray from that plan. If one element changes then all elements of the project plan will change. Not all outside circumstances are controllable, but you will gain an ability to foresee these problems. Let’s create a project management plan for your new product or service.
Scope Management – define the product or service you will create. How will this product look? How will your new service be performed? Write down all details of how the new product or service will perform. Next write down all the work involved to accomplish this project. List all the materials for this project.
Time Management – create a schedule to follow to completion. Create a Gantt chart, a schedule planning and tracking tool. This program will not only keep your schedules on track, but will alert you when the project has strayed off schedule.
Budget Management – create your budget schedule from the start of your project. Make sure the budget reflects all aspects of the hardware and materials needed to assemble. Also keep in mind other costs such as transportation, employees (or other help) and other odds and ends that will deplete your budget. Do not stray from your budget. You need to pay attention and commit to your cost constraints.
Quality Management – define the quality of the product or service. Describe the quality in detail and write it down. Do not waiver from the desired quality even if your time and budget schedules shift. If the quality is important for your project then pay close attention so the quality does not slip.
Human Resource Management – how many people will work on this project? Make sure they understand what you expect of them through-out the project. They are the people you turn to if the project does not line up to your standards. If you are the only person involved, look ahead and see who else may be involved directly or indirectly. You may have parts of your project contracted out. Keep in touch with everybody who has a hand in your project.
Communication Management – how will you communicate with those involved with your project? This includes verbal communication such as meetings and the call to arms if the project goes off track. But don’t forget accurate documentation of each process of the project. Some documents are performance reporting, process planning and correspondence and all must be kept on file to inspect later.
Risk Management – understand all the risks involved with this project and make a plan on what to do if any unforeseen problem arises. Do not have a “this project will have nothing go wrong,” attitude. Unfortunate mishaps can and will happen. Possibilities of failure, no matter how remote, can happen. Something or someone may let you down. Come up with a problem-solving process that is ready to use at a moment’s notice.
Procurement Management – don’t forget the list of all parts and services needed to complete the process. Have your list of names and telephone numbers and other forms of contact information for everyone involved ready if you need to communicate. You will have suppliers, subcontractors and vendors to communicate with on your project. Don’t forget other forms of communication that help supply either goods or information like the library, hardware store and other stores you may need.
Implementation Management – this is a part of your process that plans how the product/service will go when the creation process is completed. Communicate to those involved to manufacture and sell this new product or service. Which staff member will be responsible for the new product or service? Make sure your sales staff knows everything about your new product/service.
A well written and thought out project management plan will keep your process successful. Know that changes that will affect each management process. The first three parts are the most critical. Do what you can to keep control of these processes and not allow them to shift off plan. If you do you may end up with something you hadn’t plan for. You need to work according to your project management plan.
Project Management Checklist
1) To find what you want to create – be consistent with the design and stick with it
2) Set up the time schedule for the project – decide how to spend your time on things like travel and waiting for others involved
3) Know what your budget will be while creating your new project – like time management. Understand the cost of all items involved with this project.
4) Write the rest of the plan for your project management– plan for risks, write everything down and keep in contact with everyone involved
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