Whether your Staten Island business is a for-profit or nonprofit enterprise, the skill to organize initiatives is necessary for achieving success.
“Effectively executing efforts and accomplishing goals requires planning and coordination among team members,” said Certified Business Mentor John Amodio, chairman of SCORE-Staten Island. “Such teams may be a combination of employees, vendors, suppliers, contractors, or others.”
While some small business owners may seem to have a natural ability for project management, Amodio understands it’s not everyone’s strength.
“Don’t feel defeated if some endeavors appear overwhelming and you lack the resources to hire a professional project manager for your Staten Island business,” Amodio said. “The solution is to have a process in place that will guide you or someone you designate. The right formula can make your business adept at moving projects from start to finish.”
To help you implement a successful roadmap when embarking on any new project, Amodio is sharing the following six-step guide from SCORE:
1) DEFINE YOUR GOAL AND GET BUY-IN FROM ALL PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS
As you do this, you will want to determine each team member's role and responsibilities. In this step, also consider how the project will affect your company and how you’ll measure the project’s impact.
2) DETERMINE THE PROJECT DELIVERABLES
What key tasks do team members need to accomplish to move the project along the path to completion? You’ll also need to identify which deliverables depend on other deliverables, so you can establish a timeline that puts tasks in a logical order.
3) LIST THE RESOURCES YOU WILL NEED
Assess what you will need regarding budget, person-hours and tools to complete the project.
4) SET A TIMELINE AND IDENTIFY MILESTONES TO MARK YOUR PROGRESS
After knowing what needs to be done and by whom, create target completion dates for your project deliverables. In your timeline, identify interim goals (“milestones”) that can serve as major landmarks along the way.
As the project progresses, your ability to reach milestones will help you know if you’ll need to adjust your scope, budget or expectations. Milestones also help boost morale as they help project team members see the progress they’ve made.
5) DEFINE THE COLLABORATIVE PROCESS
Determine how often your team members will meet as a group to report their progress and share any challenges that might prevent them from fulfilling their deadlines.
Schedule your meetings well in advance, so everyone on your team can reserve the dates and times on their calendars.
6) SELECT A TOOL TO HELP YOU STAY ORGANIZED AND KEEP ALL PROJECT DOCUMENTATION IN A SINGLE PLACE ACCESSIBLE TO ALL TEAM MEMBERS
A variety of online tools exist that can help you manage projects. Some are more intuitive than others, so assess your team members' comfort level with the technology involved before choosing what you will use.
A few examples that might be a good fit for your business include Trello, Evernote, Asana, Dropbox and Google Drive.
Although you might try to save time by skipping some of the initial steps in the process, Amodio advises you resist that temptation.
“Successful project management begins with thorough planning,” he said. “Shortcuts in the beginning could lead to misunderstandings among team members — and missed deadlines,” Amodio said.
If you need suggestions on how to manage your projects more efficiently, consider reaching out to SCORE-Staten Island. SCORE mentors have expertise in all aspects of starting and growing a small business, and they can provide you with free guidance as you hone your project management skills.
About SCORE-Staten Island
SCORE-Staten Island is dedicated to fostering a vibrant small-business community within its New York City borough by providing cost-free education and confidential mentoring to both aspiring and established entrepreneurs. Headquartered at 950 West Fingerboard Road, Grasmere, in the iconic Staten Island Advance Building, the organization is Chapter 476 of the nationwide SCORE, a nonprofit association and resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, SCORE-Staten Island may be visited at https://statenisland.score.org; telephoned at 718-727-1221; emailed at info@SCORESI.org, and visited on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SCOREStatenIsland.