10 project management rules every business owner should know: Part 1

| By:
Mark Sokol

If you’re leading a business, you've got a lot on your mind. How can I increase sales?  When will I have time to do invoicing?  How do I keep projects on time and on budget?  These are the types of questions that all business owners have lied awake in bed at night, staring at the ceiling thinking about.  In our industry, a lot of our work is project driven, and we hear from our Partners all the time about how it's very difficult to properly manage a project when you have a million other things going on.  

Project management is one of those things that will either drive you absolutely crazy, or if you become an expert, become second nature.  We do a ton of projects at ConnectWise, and we'd like to offer a few simple tips that will hopefully take project management from one of those things that keeps you up all night, to something you can rest easy about because you know you're on the right track.

Whether you’re trying to manage projects solo, you've hired someone to project manage for you, or you’re about to hire a project manager, here are 10 fundamental rules to ensure you’re on track for success.

Rule 1: Project management is a specialization

Remember, while project management sounds like a very basic concept, it’s a specialization that requires a very organized, persuasive, and efficient person. Hiring an inexperienced project manager without an expert system behind them can lead to disaster.

Rule 2: Without a scope, you’re doomed

If you don’t know what your target is, how can you possibly hit it? By defining and getting all parties to agree to the scope upfront, you understand customer expectations and protect yourself against scope creep.

Rule 3: Establish milestones

Define all the steps/resources necessary to complete the project, then group them into 3-5 phases. This makes the project as a whole much easier to digest and manage.

Rule 4: Define how you will document the project

Do not let project knowledge reside only in your project manager’s brain. Require documentation of all project activities in a central location.

Rule 5: Build an extra week into every phase

Something will go wrong. Whether your systems engineer goes on a permanent vacation to Spain, your building gets bedbugs, or your supplier delivers your order late, you can count on something going amiss. Budget time for that―at least one week.

Wondering where the other 5 tips are? They’re coming as a part 2. Check back soon for the last 5 tips.

For more information on how ConnectWise can help your business succeed, sign up for the interactive demo, and be sure to subscribe to the ConnectWise Blog for weekly tips from industry experts.