Project Management and productivity

Why productivity for small business is easier done, than said

By Rebecca Leitch, Content Manager for ESI International

Productivity is the number one driving force for a small business – without it there would be no money at all, let alone any profit to be made.

Yet the biggest challenge for any small business owner is how to factor in more time to increase productivity in order to make it profitable, when most small business owners are working all the time they have as it is.

The key is to manage projects properly and effectively, thereby freeing up more time to work on product development.

But this is easier said than done, given that so much time is taken up with the more laborious, yet essential, side tasks of accounting, marketing, resource managing - not to mention the hours spent on building a social media presence.

As many of those successfully running a small business know only too well, if you don’t work in a company with established support staff, or have the luxury of project managers, you have to think and work quicker.

Which boils down to finding ways to manage the time you do have more successfully.

Finding more time for product development can firstly be achieved by cutting down the time-wasted on side tasks.

Once you have confronted the fact that the business you are running depends on things like client liaison, planning, costing, briefing, scheduling, hiring and managing talent and resources, you can give them the attention they deserve by introducing time-saving technology such as software tools and apps - or by delegating to others.

Secondly, by learning how to run projects effectively you will not only increase productivity, you will rid yourself of any motivational barriers you have to it - either caused by procrastination (such as a fear of failure) or the lack of understanding about project management in the first place.

The good news is, when it comes to the latter, this is much easier done than said – with the right training.

By learning the following fundamentals of project management, and mastering the knowledge, tools and techniques needed to successfully apply them, no small business needs to compromise on productivity – especially through fear of failure:
  • How to define and agree on a scope and plan for a project.
  • How to work out a schedule for a project, and keep to it.
  • How to assess the workload for a project, and allocate the required resources.
  • How to accurately predict the cost of a project, and keep within its budget.
  • How to manage the risks to a project, and respond to any changes.
  • How to monitor and report on the progress of a project.
By learning the skills to tackle the above properly, you will have much more valuable time to concentrate on building a successful business – as well find the motivation to help it grow bigger and better.

Once you start to see productivity increase, there are other, more specific project management tools to learn, such as project requirement documents, project development plans, work breakdown structures, roles and responsibility matrix and project baselines (to measure the progress of a project against scope, cost and schedule) which can all be customised to suit your requirements– and most importantly, keep improving your business performance.

About the author

Rebecca Leitch is the Content Manager for ESI International - the world leader at providing innovative training to help people manage projects, contracts and business requirements by teaching the skills which drive results.

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