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Using project management effectively in small business

11 October 2016

Most multinational companies would not be where they are today without having the right project management procedures in place. It’s a practical, universal language that’s widely spoken across all industries, with principles that can be applied across any team. So, why wouldn’t a smaller company see the benefit of implementing such measures to help with their own success?

Many small businesses may not see the need for large-scale project management, as their objectives might not seem as complex or their teams aren’t as big. The trick here for small businesses is to not just emulate the same project strategy seen from the likes of a major bank or national logistics company. What’s necessary is a slightly different approach, with a focus on the following:

Utilise the right software

Ensuring the success of your project relies on having the right systems in place. Messy note taking just won’t cut it – especially when the pressure increases. There’s plenty of useful online project management tools available to businesses; some are free and others require a monthly subscription. These tools enable you to visually map out all your tasks from the one platform. Free apps like Trello and Asana are simple, popular and can be a great starting point.

Mitigate the risk

So you’ve now got the right tools in place, the last thing you want is for something to go wrong that could have easily been avoided with a little forward planning. It’s critical for those involved in the project management process to identify beforehand the most likely issues to occur. Firstly, decide how to minimise the likelihood of something bad happening and secondly, what you’ll do once it happens – essentially, your ‘plan B’. This is where a specialist with relevant experience or a deeper strategic understanding of project management would become useful.

Hire the right people

Knowledge and experience go hand-in-hand and are equally as important when it comes to effective project management. Making an investment in the right person (particularly within a small business)  will not only instantly inject much-needed specialist knowledge into your team, but prove rewarding and cost-effective in the long run. Hiring someone who has that high-level understanding will ultimately improve efficiencies, performance and outcomes. If the thought of finding a candidate from out in the marketplace seems too difficult, offering current team members the opportunity to enrol in project management courses could also prove to be a rewarding investment.

Project management is valuable for any business, but the good news for small businesses is that there doesn't need to be a large amount of capital involved. Investing in the right tools and people, as well as formalising your processes and procedures, form the basis of effective project management.

SCU Online’s Master of Project Management is the ideal stepping stone towards career advancement and can be completed 100% online while you work full-time. Find out more by calling one of our friendly Student Enrolment Advisors today on 1300 589 882.