<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Find out where you can get a Taste of TAB... our global events blast is on!
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Project Management for Small Business: Project Plan Introduction

Dec. 11, 2012 | Posted by The Alternative Board
toolbox_bg-1

Project Management for Small Business VII

Schedule: This is the list of all tasks that need to be accomplished to complete the project. While there are various tools to help organize a project schedule, I've found that Microsoft Excel is the simplest, and most accessible tool. New project managers can attempt to go too deep with the schedule, resulting in an unmanageable plan. When you make your schedule, create something that everyone can understand, a resource that allows all involved parties to clearly understand what has been accomplished, and what tasks remain.
 
Budget: When you make your budget, take the time to think through all costs, including out of pocket expenses. Depending on the project, you may or may not want to include employee labor cost, that decision is entirely up to you. For a clearer picture of project cost, include labor. You can then compare the total cost against the expected outcome to assess return.
 
Risks: An inside joke in the project management community is that no matter how big a project is, and how many tasks are on the schedule, there are always about 5 risks. Usually, these risks are an afterthought, but they shouldn't be. Identifying the risks is important, but remember that it's equally important to think through how these risks can be neutralized.
 
Assumptions: I've seen a lot of project managers use assumptions as a strategy to "cover their butts," which is not a very good strategy, because assumptions typically get even less thought than risks. Assumptions are external dependencies, and they are very important. Let's say you assume that a customer will be available 2 days a week throughout the project, but their schedule only permits half a day. Taking the time to think through all external dependencies that you have is very worthwhile. These external dependencies may reveal that the project is not feasible, or that the project needs to be postponed until everyone is available.
 
Issues: As one of my colleagues likes to say, "you have issues and I have tissues." If risks identify that something that can go wrong, and needs to be mitigated, and assumptions identify the external dependencies, what are issues? Issues are known challenges that need to be resolved. Risks may or may not happen. Issues are real; they are problems that need to be addressed. In the planning stage, the project manager should be thinking through how he or she will attack the issues.
 

Want additional insight? Download Productivity Hacks for Business Owners 

DOWNLOAD
The next five posts in this series will drill down into each of these plan areas in more detail, and identify strategies and best practices for each.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

Unlearning Conformity: How to Overhaul Old Business Paradigms
Feb. 14, 2024 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Industry is evolving at a record pace, particularly in the post-pandemic era. While COVID lockdowns and shutdowns temporarily changed the way businesses operated and employees engaged, today’s...
Top 3 Strategic Musts for the Coming Year
Jan. 11, 2024 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The first quarter of the year always seems to have business owners dreaming a little bigger, reaching a little higher, and planning innovative ways to improve their organizations in the ensuing...
5 “Must-Have” Elements of a Strategic Plan
Jan. 3, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Deciding to “stay in place” is not a viable option for most businesses. Marketplace conditions are always in flux, and customer needs and preferences frequently change over time, so business leaders...
What Does the Future of Remote Work Look Like?
Dec. 20, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
In case there’s any doubt, some statistics on the state of remote work in the U.S. should clear things up. According to the Upwork Future Workforce Pulse Report, “The number of remote workers in...
Tips on Future-Proofing Your Business
Dec. 6, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
No one can say with certainty what the future of business holds—except that change remains a constant. And because marketplace conditions are always in flux, it’s vital that business leaders keep a...
What Can Predictive Analytics Do for Your Business?
Jul. 19, 2023 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Every business (yours included) generates a lot of data. Every customer interaction, sale, and follow-up report produce information of great potential use to the organization. The key is harnessing...
Ay Yi Yi: The Fascinating World of AI
Jul. 12, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Artificial intelligence. What once felt wildly futuristic has suddenly become mainstream and is growing more ubiquitous by the minute. You are likely already interacting with AI, even if you are not...
3 Surprising Trends That Will Change the Way You Run Your Business
Feb. 9, 2023 | Posted by The Alternative Board
There has been a lot of talk lately about Artificial Intelligence and how it is poised to change how nearly every business owner runs and grows their company. And it’s already happening. The recent...
Ways to Handle Supply Chain Shortages
May. 17, 2022 | Posted by The Alternative Board TAB
You don’t need a crystal ball to see that supply chain disruptions are likely to continue for some time to come. As we are all becoming painfully aware, supply chain disruption “is a major factor ...
How to Achieve Business Success by Knowing Your Strengths and Weaknesses
May. 10, 2022 | Posted by Phil Spensieri
Over my years as a business coach, I’ve heard hundreds of stories about how and why my clients got into business. Each story differs, but one thing remains common: every one of them got into business...