Smooth Projects... Effective Project Management!
Project Management Software Articles
Small Business Project Management
Smooth Projects Comments:
Successful project managers
are purposeful in their deployment of project management strategies in
a methodical manner. Rose's analogy in the Project Management article
below that "Everything is Really a Project" in the context of business
we have found to be true. There are not many processes in business
today that don't need a project management system in place creating
accountability and a 50,000 foot view of what is left to do and where
your time was spent. Smooth Projects offers the perfect Project Management Software Solution for just that!
second and most important nugget is Don't Wait! If your fortunate
enough to be slow right now and just starting out, don't wait to put a
web-based project management software solution in place. Once you busy
you won't have the time. While Rose is suggesting rudimentary solutions
because Smooth Projects is so inexpensive and because it does
everything she is suggesting what are your waiting for.
Operating Your Small Business - Everything Really Is a Project
By Rose Hill
you operate your business as a series of projects, using project
management tools and skills to advance your projects from conception to
completion? Or perhaps you're new to project management tools and
skills and haven't considered applying them to your own business? Most
of us fall somewhere in between.
Running a productive and efficient business, whether for one person
or for 500, is a series of projects of various sizes and complexity.
For example, here are some projects a typical solopreneur may have:
- Creating/upgrading your business identity (logo, stationery, biz cards, etc)
- Creating/upgrading your web site
- Setting up or upgrading your computer equipment
- Setting up or reorganizing your filing system(s) whether computer-based or paper-based
- Doing your tax reports
- Creating your marketing referral engine
- Creating passive-income revenue streams (teleclasses, ebooks, e-classes, white papers, reports, etc)
If you aren't using project management tools and skills to run your business, your productivity is suffering.
if you don't have a full client/work load, then perhaps you don't think
this is an issue you need to be concerned with right now. May I offer
to you the suggestion that the time to increase your efficiency and
productivity with new tools and skills is precisely when you don't have
all the clients or work you want or need?
Learning something new like this helps keep your enthusiasim
charged, which spills over into your marketing activities, which helps
engage your prospects in your business. It's all good.
So where do you start?
I recommend that my clients start by using TraxTime, a little PC computer program available inexpensively at www.spudcity.com.
TraxTime allows you to setup projects or clients and then track the
amount of time you are spending on that project or for that client. You
can run reports (which are great for attaching to your invoices) of how
much time you've spent by day or by week.
TraxTime functions like a little time clock you just punch in and
punch out of the various projects and clients as you move from project
to project throughout your day. When you get in the habit of using
TraxTime, you'll find you can then analyze how/where you are spending
your time quite the eye-opener for many solopreneurs. (Where you
actually are spending your time can be quite different from where you
think you are spending your time. And in the soloprenuering business,
time is our most critical resource.)
Once you get the hang of tracking your time, you next use this
history of how much time it takes for you to perform certain tasks and
projects to begin forcasting the time you will spend on upcoming
projects and tasks.
For forcasting, task dependency identification, and scheduling, I
use an Excel spreadsheet in its most basic text-only format. I identify
all the tasks in a project and enter them into the spreadsheet in
column 1 in the order (from top to bottom) of how they must be
completed. Then I use the cells across each row to specify the due
dates (via time allocated). I reserve the last column of the
spreadsheet for recording notes of special circumstances or decisions
that have or will affect that task. And I use color to highlight those
cells where tasks are critical (yellow) or off-schedule (red). Works
great for most solopreneuring projects.
I've used this method for projects as complex as requiring me to
track the work of 12 subcontractors, so I know it works. (Yes, I've
used Microsoft Project. I find it too cumbersome to setup and manage
for most projects performed by solopreneurs. But if you already
know/use it, please continue.)
No matter which project management tools you use in your business,
do start thinking like a project manager and setting up, tracking, and
running your business as the series of projects it really is.
Copyright 2004, Rose Hill, Inc
Rose Hill, Founder and Owner,of Biz Whiz Expert (http://www.SoloBizVille.com) and Team Member of Solo-E.Com (http://www.Solo-E.Com)
has been self-employed since 1990 first as a technical writer and
publications project manager, and now as a business coach for
Knowing how to run corporate departments and how to market corporate
entities, products, and services did nothing to prepare her for
successfully running and marketing a one-person business. That is why
Rose created the SoloBizVille and SoloBizU community to specifically
to help solo entrepreneurs jumpstart their business success without all
the trial-and-error learning.
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