Unlike large corporations that have the luxury of hiring multiple directors to oversee projects, small business owners typically assume the role of project manager for most of their business activities.
With a small business, resources are limited which makes it even more important to ensure that results are delivered on time and within budget. Project management then becomes very useful for guaranteeing that the plan, process and timeline are being followed.
But what project management skills does a small business owner need to be effective? There must be six skills.
There is a big difference between a boss and a leader.
A small business owner may be the boss of the company, but how he works is certainly not the equivalent of being a good leader. A leader is someone who has a clear vision of what needs to be done and knows how to get his or her staff toward that ultimate goal.
Leadership means being able to motivate team members when it becomes difficult to walk and has the confidence to make difficult decisions. When a project reaches a critical stage, a good leader must be able to take his team to the finish line.
For a small business, having limited resources can mean limited people, limited time, limited budget or all of the above. A small business owner must then be innovative in project management. He must take advantage of the new technology that will potentially save him valuable resources.
An example of an innovative business decision was when the social media company Facebook requested automated IT department Installs an IT vending machine. Instead of having an employee process request form that requires lengthy management approvals that cost time and productivity, the self-serve machine churns out replacement computer accessories with a simple ID swipe.
This decision reduced the cost of the company managing replacement accessories by 35%.
Using this example, a business owner must reflect on whether he is using his available resources to the best of his ability and consider that there are some tasks that can be automated or outsourced. He can also look at project management tools that automate manual processes.
In a small business, it is normal that almost all employees, especially the owner, multitask. But multitasking should not include responsibilities that can be performed independently by another employee.
A business owner can easily get stuck in micromanaging every detail. He will feel compelled to involve himself in everything, including the type of toilet paper or the insignificant things that an accountant’s brand pen should use. Instead of focusing his time on more important things, he is immersed in things that hinder his own productivity. It turned out to be detrimental rather than beneficial to the company.
A business owner must learn how to assign tasks and trust his or her employees to perform their tasks autonomously. He should assign tasks to team members that reflect their strengths and ability to deliver.
He must determine that there is an aspect of his business that is his weakness and that he delegates the work to another employee or outsources the work entirely.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said in his speech LinkedIn Influential Posts“No one is good at everything.” According to Branson, he is able to arrange to be involved in a variety of industries because he surrounds himself with people who have knowledge and talent in areas where he may not be so skilled.
This is a very basic skill that is essential for any project manager. Projects often fail due to miscommunication errors which can only be prevented if a manager clearly states what needs to be done within a given time.
A project manager must create an open channel of communication between him and the rest of the team. Throughout the project, and especially at the beginning, he must tell each member what his expectations are and be clear about timelines and deliverables.
In a small business, it is not uncommon for employees to be so engrossed in their own work that they fail to communicate their progress, problems, or concerns. Instead of reprimanding employees who need guidance, managers must always be available to mentors.
Conflicts during a project can be detrimental because they cause costly delays and, more importantly, unproductive friction. Team members. Having strong communication skills helps a director to get to the root of the problem and act as a mediator between the conflicting parties.
Talk – talk
Strong communication skills give a director a stronger position in negotiations, whether with internal staff or with external partners such as suppliers and clients. This gives him an edge in being able to articulate his position clearly and appeal to his needs.
A successful project is often judged by its ability to be completed on time. Hearing the word “delay” is probably a project manager’s nightmare. In a small business, delays can even cause irreversible losses to the company.
A business owner must know how to plan the timeline of his project because even if the team is very hardworking, an unrealistic timeline will set anyone up for failure. Each phase of the project must be properly scoped and allowances must be allocated within the timeline.
Prioritization is also a key element of time management. Mission-critical tasks must be completed first, especially if they precede other parts of the project.
A great project manager also knows how to adapt and allocate the rest of his time in unforeseen circumstances.
Small business owners are often given the responsibility of making many decisions, especially in the early stages of the company. From company names, office locations, business card designs, letterhead fonts, and hiring decisions … all of these can be overwhelming. As the company matures, the business owner faces more important problems that either make or break his company.
Lots here Decision making strategies And tools that can help business owners jumpstart their decision-making strategies. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis, cost / benefit analysis, good vs. loss and even third party focus groups are some of the ways for a business owner to reach an informed and timely decision.
To master the skill
A business owner is not expected to have all these skills in the beginning. However, knowing what these are will be helpful to know what skills still need to be developed to be a successful project manager.