From 2002 – 2012 I enjoyed having a business helping others getting organized in their offices.
At the time I had a concept of “organizing their papers.” It was a concrete need at the time, and I believe that those who had their paper in order, were able to transition into the current electronic world a lot easier.
It’s been seven years now since then. During that time, I went into work in corporate America more so to learn about project management. Even though I have a degree in information systems, the natural transition from the paper organization was to information organization, and I felt that was limiting to me as well as my clients.
As a project manager, I am able to add onto my skills as an organizer to take a project which is now a concept in a business from inception to completion.
I think back to a client I had who I consulted. He had a business in health care and wanted to be a “professional speaker” and sell a curriculum of what he learned. The concept is great. The scope of my work with him unfortunately was only to help gather information for creating the materials.
As a project manager today, i realize how many people get stuck and can only see so much.
Imagine if he would allow me to help him take that vision from inception to kick off?
If you have an unfulfilled dream, vision or simple project, the essential steps of project management can help you develop that project into a working machine earning you additional income.
Follow these seven tips to get going:
- Create a project charter. In layman’s terms, write out a business plan. Don’t worry about it being perfect, that’s what the project plan is about. Your goal is to fulfill this idea.
- Identify the requirements needed to get the desired outcome of what you envision. Don’t let analysis paralysis overwhelm you. Do a brain dump to get input on everything and anything you want to include. Be open to changing requirements.
- Create a project plan. I highly recommend more than an excel spreadsheet or word doc to layout your plan. There are many software programs out there today, from Zoho to MS Project. Think about the stakeholders in your project so you can find a system that is easy for all of them to use. The project plan will help in defining tasks, as well as the timetable.
- Identify the resources. So many plans overlook this step. Take the time to find out who and what resources you will need. When you can breakdown the costs of these resources, you will eliminate surprises and also have a clear idea if the price of the concept will be reasonable. This will also feed into the marketing of the concept for the small business person to quantify if the idea can be a money maker. If the project is an addition to your current business, do you physically need to be involved and if so, the resources of your time can make or break the success of the project.t be realistic in identifying the time you will need to get this off the ground.
- Communications. Once you have your concept in place and have a plan, work the plan. Treat it like a new business, it must have communication continually to keep it moving. A project is about people and for the most part you will be delegating the responsibilities of the tasks and your role as a project manager is to keep in touch for status updates. It is incredibly challenging to keep communications up if you are in the trenches doing the work as well. Dialogue today comes in many forms. No longer is the standard email meeting request the expectation, you may get texts, verbal interactions from conversations, make sure you document how communications will be handled and “stored” so that no thought or discussion gets lost.
- Update and continue. Visit your project plan frequently so that you can have a puls on what new issues come up. You will want to identify risks with getting the project completed as quickly as possible.
- Turn it over or let it go. In project management it’s referred to Kill. If you find out the project is not feasible, by having an organized project plan in place you will be able to identify the feasibility sooner.
These tips are just a glimpse at what it takes to get a new idea off the ground. If you have an idea and would like to learn more, think about how you started your business. If you were to do it all over today, what would you do differently? If you need help, hiring a project manager can be the new resource who can partner with you and be strategic about getting it completed.