When it comes to organising, tracking and analysing the data for your tech startup, project management tools are a must. They can be used for every stage of your project from the planning stages right through to the final product. Vitally, they can help you track all of the work that is being undertaken, whether this is being done but by just a few people or a larger team.
When it comes to project management skills, organisation and communication are two of the main concepts that will play an active role in any of the work that you undertake. A startup specific project management tool may prove to be a great investment as well. It will allow you to keep track of both of these two elements and also help you when it comes to further investment opportunities.
Why is project management so important?
Many entrepreneurs engaged in startups really do not put enough value on the power that project management can offer them. However, they really should. The tried and tested methods of a project management regime are there to help you spot the errors before it is too late and put the right measures in place to avoid them.
It can help you with the risks at the planning stage, ensure that you stay on budget and on time with the various stages of your project plan and hopefully deliver a positive project outcome in the end.
It is never too early to ensure that you have the right project management tools in place if you want success. Consider what you really need your software to help you with. And, pick something that will offer you all of the features that you will need.
Set realistic goals
No matter what field you are working in, the “rules” of project management are the same. One of the most important things that you can do, and this certainly applies to startups is to ensure that the goals that you set for your project are realistic ones. It isn’t enough to just set goals, they should be good ones as well. If you set goals that are unrealistic you are setting yourself up for failure.
Consider what you want your end goal to be, what kind of budget you realistically have and consider the timescale that you hope to have everything done in. If you are not sure how long things are likely to take, then discuss this with other members of your startup. This could help you make sure that the goals that you pick are ones that the majority think are attainable.
We have already touched on software. However, it really is important that before you get started you consider how much help the right project management software could offer your startup. In addition to helping you plan every step of your project it will also allow you to keep track of everything.
From your communication with any members of the team to seeing exactly where different aspects of the project are up to, you could have a simple tool that could make the whole project run better. More importantly, if you have set deadlines for individual aspects of your project, it will allow you to see where there is a chance you will not make these deadlines before you get to the point of missing them.
This may offer you the chance to redivert people to work on those aspects, or to look at the deadline and move it if it is unrealistic.
Plan for milestones
Any important milestone represents a change in development. Marking these is a good way to look at what is happening with your project.
So, it is important to look for those stages of the project that are key and use them as signposts to mark where you are up to. If you discuss these milestones with your team it will be easier to stay focused on what is happening.
Regardless of the type of industry you are involved in the single most important thing that you need to do, and any project manager course will tell you this, is communicate with your team regularly. More effective communication really does equate to better project management, and this should translate into better results.
Software can really come into its own when it comes to communication. It is entirely possible to use this rather than email for sending messages. And, and this will allow you to keep an eye on everything in the one place.
Don’t forget, good communication is not just about talking to everyone. It is also about listening to what other members of the team have to say. You need to be there for all of your team members and fully understand every single aspect of the project.
If you’re the one with the big ideas, but little technical interest, you can’t ignore what those who are more technically minded have to say. It’s not enough to focus on those areas that you are more involved in.
Build the right team
If you look at some of the reasons why startups do not make it then you will see that one of the top reasons entrepreneurs state for issues is in fact that they had the wrong team. An entrepreneur is only as good as the team that they select to help them with their startup.
So, make sure that you give some serious consideration to all of the skills that you will need for your project. That way, when it comes to hiring, you make absolutely certain that you have the necessary skill set.
- Consider relevant experience
- Make sure that you define the culture of your team
- Discuss customer service with those individuals you are considering for your team
- Make sure that they see your vision as clearly as you do
Some of the people you talk to may be great people with a fantastic set of skills, But, if they are not the right skills for your startup it really doesn’t matter how well they might fit into your team.
Making the right decisions when it comes to your team members can be the difference between success and failure. So, make sure that you don’t let personal feelings cloud your judgement.