When it comes to planning for your business, figuring out what to do is generally the easy part—it’s figuring out how to do it that’s hard. Business owners frequently tell me they’ve figured out what needs to happen in their company to achieve their growth goals. What they can’t figure out is how to get those important things done, especially those bigger, capacity building projects.
The missing competency in many smaller companies and non-profits is project management. A project is generally defined as a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end in which constraints are scope, time, quality and budget. Bigger capacity building or game-changing projects are typically what organizations need to get to the next level.
The process of directing and controlling a project from start to finish can be divided into 5 basic phases:
- Project conception & initiation: determining the scope of the project
- Project definition & planning: project outline, budget & timeline
- Project launch & execution: task & responsibilities are assigned
- Project performance & control: track progress to actual plan & adjust as needed
- Project evaluation-evaluate results & identify take-aways for future projects
If you lack internal resources with competency in project management, you may want to consider training existing team members. Most community colleges have project management curriculum. Outside consultants can also provide project management support on an as needed basis.