As an entrepreneur, one skill you must acquire is what we call the project management mindset. What does this mean? Simply put, it’s the ability to approach what you do as a project. It is about preparation, planning, and execution. You don’t need to be a certified project manager to apply those principles to the way you manage your life and work.
You can get up one morning and decide to renovate your office building. This renovation will involve controlling and balancing the three M’s of business (man, money, and materials). You usually call this process management, but unlike the running of the day-to-day activities of your business, this process has a finite date. It is called a project, and the process of managing it is called “Project Management.” Project management involves all the processes, methods, skills, techniques, or knowledge applied to the completion of a particular assignment or project.
A project is a temporary endeavour undertaken to produce a unique product, service, process, or outcome. The person in charge of a project is called a project manager, and he/she should have the ability to manage the technical, people, risk, and quality issues of the project.
As an entrepreneur, you will have a course to engage your customers or clients in the form of a marketing campaign, complaint management, or the general routine show of care via customer service. Imbibing a project management mindset will help you achieve positive results effortlessly.
Imagine you have a marketing campaign to plan and execute. What would you require to get it done? The following steps will assist you in the process:
- Write a general overview.
- Define your goals and objectives.
- Ensure good communication.
- Understand your team members.
- Support your team members.
- Evaluate your risks.
- Motivate the team.
- Be flexible.
- Always have a plan B.
- End the project properly.
- Review your performance.
The perfect example of project management is the FIFA World Cup, hosted every four years. Although it is a football competition, there is a build-up to the competition. It requires resources, cooperation, and funding. The process begins with the bid for who will host the World Cup, and then the preparations begin. Various nations qualify for that particular edition; stadiums are built; the accommodation for players, delegates, staff, media, etc. is arranged; and the media coverage and sponsorship deals are concluded. Some projects last weeks or months, while some last years, but there is always an end date. People may argue that FIFA world cups are continuous, but the fact remains that a particular world cup must end before preparations for another one begin, and that is the definition of a project.
Heading a project can be tasking at times because it involves the proper management of resources. Funding can be difficult, especially when projects are long-term. There is always a starting capital at the beginning of every project. For short-term projects, all the funding is provided at once, while for long-term projects, it may be provided each quarter. Having good finance skills or employing someone with professional experience is crucial because wasting funds and not properly accounting for each expense may lead to poor project management outcomes. You will also have to deal with human resources. Human desires are insatiable and unpredictable, so having a good working relationship with all of the workers and team members will determine the project’s speed, quality, and efficiency.
When done effectively, project management has a lot of benefits.
- It maximises and fosters teamwork.
- When carried out properly, it leads to technological advancements and customer satisfaction.
- Defining everyone’s role eliminates confusion.
- Defining goals improves team effectiveness.
- A well-defined communication plan keeps your team aligned and focused.
Accountability is key in project management, and it is important to keep good records of all activities. Aside from records, a good plan and strategy are also important, which is why I recommend you have a detailed action plan and a checklist. They will contain the activities you have planned each day and week for the duration of the project. A review or performance assessment should always be done at the end of every project. This will determine whether or not the project was successful. It will measure the outcome against the initial objectives to determine whether the project performed poorly, on average, or excellently. This assessment will also show if the recourses were optimized.
A project management mindset is an important skill every business owner or entrepreneur must seek to acquire. The business will embark on one project or the other if it wants to evolve, expand, or diversify. The results from each project should be studied and used in future projects.
In summary, we all need to acquire a project management mindset to excel at work and in business. It is about preparation, planning, and execution and you don’t need to be a certified project manager to apply the mindset to the way you manage your life and work.
Author: Titilope Agbaje