This is a guest post by Sabita Saleem (bio below post).
More and more people are transitioning from their day jobs to realizing their dreams of starting a business. A smart and brave move indeed! However, in a quest to do more in less time, many entrepreneurs find their focus being pulled in a million directions and their performance starts to suffer.
The many hats an entrepreneur wears such as CEO, Social Media Expert, Head of Sales, Content Creator, etc. are enough to make even the most organized person a little scattered.
So, can project management really be a winning strategy for a busy and stressful entrepreneur?
Below are six ways project management can make you more productive in both your life and business.
The project management knowledge areas let you consider the key aspects required to solve problems and make informed decisions. By plugging in the knowledge areas in process groups, you’re able to know which resources can be allocated to the project tasks in your life and business. This implies, for a particular project such as organizing an event in your home, you can find out the people who can be responsible for specific tasks based on their skills that you would define according to “Project Human Resource Management” knowledge area. Not only that, by looking at the other knowledge area “Project Cost Management”, you can allocate funds to various activities like purchasing decorative items, preparing food for the guests and the like.
In business terms, it can translate to you having adequate knowledge about time and funds you would need to hire a service provider, a coach, virtual assistant, etc. to establish and grow your business.
When you start your business, your creativity is touching the sky. New ideas keep brewing in your head all the time and push you to execute them right away. Moreover, since you are excited and do many things at the same time, you miss the element of measuring the impact of your efforts.
With project management process groups (initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing process groups), you find a structured model to realize your dreams. It empowers you to execute one project while you start the groundwork on another (initiating and planning). In doing so, you can manage important projects that can help you build your skills while you build your business at the same time i.e. personal development and business go hand in hand. The monitoring and controlling group makes you measure the impact.
Since the judgment call rests with you now, you think you have an unlimited supply of time and resources allowing you to do your projects anytime and any way you want. However, your entrepreneurial journey requires discipline. Giving your project boundaries in the form of scope management, you gain increased focus. The triple constraints (Cost, Time, and Scope in combination with Risk, Resources, and Quality) drive you to perform at your best without messing up any area. The inherent constraints cause you to perform at your best and achieve your short-term and long-term goals.
You as an entrepreneur are pushed to give more time to your business while overlooking your personal and family life. The project management body of knowledge places a huge emphasis on stakeholder management. The stakeholders are not just your clients and business partners, but also your family members, your friends, and above all you.
The idea is to use the framework in your favor by scheduling in time for yourself, your family, and your business. Keeping your business on top of the people who are a significant part of your life makes least sense since money can come back quickly but relationships when torn apart once take much time to regain the same feeling they used to enjoy initially.
The project management knowledge areas make you proactive enough to plan tasks ahead of time with an element of flexibility since you’re in charge of allocating time. When you clearly see the elements you need to consider before executing any task, you think through every aspect and do your homework, which will likely create a huge impact on your life and business projects. Plus, these considerations let you focus on your bigger goal all the time.
Setting minor and major milestones clearly exhibit the progress you’re making towards reaching your goals. The lessons learned inventory empowers you to make course corrections without you stopping in your trenches. Furthermore, your goals in life and business are likely to meet several changes on their way to being realized, therefore, planning will be iterative and progressive elaboration is inevitable. This factor alone avoids the perfectionist syndrome and lets you keep gathering more details to make your life and business a success.
When you easily see yourself progressing, the positive energy flows in you all the time.
Though Project Management is equated with managing your time mostly, it’s much more than that. It’s a system that not only keeps you productive in your business but in everyday life by helping you become organized and efficient in whatever you do.
What are your thoughts? Do you really consider project management as a winning strategy for life and business?
A former Organizational Development professional, Sabita Saleem is a certified Project Manager, a Freelance Content Writer and Marketing Content Creator helping small and large businesses achieve their marketing and communication goals. She’s also a ghostwriter and a winning lifestyle advocate. When she’s not managing projects for her clients you can find her hanging with entrepreneurs helping them be more productive in their life and business. Visit her website or connect with her on LinkedIn.