<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=290086984736480&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Project Plan Introduction

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

Project Managment 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 Worldwide

Related posts

How to Appreciate (And Retain) Your Employees
Apr. 16, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Any business that doesn’t place a high priority on employee appreciation is likely one that sees a fair degree of employee turnover. Back in the day, simply paying a worker on time—and perhaps...
Can You Have a "Fun" Workplace that's also Productive?
Apr. 11, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Somewhere along the line, the idea of a serious, no-fun-zone workplace became institutionalized among American businesses. For a long time, that meant no intersection between “work” and “fun.”...
How to Manage Your Small Business' Cash Flow
Apr. 9, 2019 | Posted by Phil Spensieri, TAB York Region
In the past 30 plus years I’ve spoken to many business owners who have encountered cash flow issues over the course of running their businesses. The proper management of your cash flow can help you...
What are the Worst Mistakes You Can Make as a Leader?
Apr. 4, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
It takes a lot of smarts, experience, vision, intuition and skill to be an effective CEO or business owner. But all leaders must be mindful that their ability to make mistakes—just like everyone...
How Stronger Vendor Relationships Can Spur Growth
Apr. 2, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Vendors may not seem like a high-priority constituency to most CEOs and business owners, but in fact, a strong business-vendor relationship can significantly boost growth. Unfortunately, many people...
Are You Ready For Your Exit?  Creating Your Exit Strategy
Mar. 26, 2019 | Posted by Phil Spensieri, TAB York Region
As a business owner, at some point, you will start thinking about what’s next; very often this thinking results in creating an exit strategy (or exit plan) Many business owners that I work with...
How to get better at Consultative Selling
Mar. 21, 2019 | Posted by Joe Zente, TAB Austin
Over the last year, I have interviewed over 100 salespeople on behalf of our clients.  I asked every one of them at the onset to describe their sales approach or methodology. In over 85% of cases,...
How to Plan a "Pivot Strategy" to Grow Your Business
Mar. 12, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
“Failure” is a word no CEO or business owner is comfortable with. But inevitably, failure occurs all the time (in lesser or major ways) in the business world. Small companies can’t get a foothold in...
How to Plan for Your Company’s Expansion
Mar. 5, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Successful business growth doesn’t happen accidentally. While there are times when rapid expansion occurs due to unforeseen factors such as large-scale market changes or shifts in demographics, for...
A Guide to Reducing Workplace Stress and Improving Productivity
Feb. 26, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Everyone experiences stress at some point, but when it occurs in the workplace, the effects can become dangerously widespread. Job performance is diminished, productivity lessened, and if left...