I have often argued, that one of the important skills for an entrepreneur is project management. After all , lack of understanding on how to execute a plan well, affects everything that is planned for. Project management approach talks about the components of project management and how they can be used to execute the entrepreneurial project in a more cost effective optimized manner.
I will be talking about how an entrepreneurs can use project management practices to effectively execute his/her project .
According to the project management theory, every project
- Has a start date and end date.
- Is unique in nature
- Is progressive elaboration
A project has start and end date:
Let us say that we are about to start a venture. We have a start date in mind and we know the end date approximately( the “Go-live” date).
Please note that there is a difference between the regular running of the venture where you do things like production and /or everyday activities. These activities are part of the maintenance as they last forever unless until we start another project to change them for better ( or for worse) . Once changed maintenance phase takes over.
All projects are unique in nature
No two projects are unique in nature. There are some obvious differences and some not so obvious. But eventually all projects are different.
Even constructing two similar kind of buildings at different locations are two different projects because the conditions at each place are not same and the approach of construction is different even though the end product is the same.
All projects are progressive elaboration
Let us say we are constructing a building. We have done our planning thoroughly. However one day we find that the soil type that was determined during planning of building is not correct. We are at the stage when we cannot abandon the project. At that time, we have learned something new and need to take steps to overcome the problems.
It is a great idea to know everything at the start of project but frankly it is not possible. You learn something on the way as the project progresses. However planning for the project is still essential because it can help you avoid many problems that you will encounter at the execution of the project.
An entrepreneurial venture is like executing a project. You can see that by nature entrepreneurship is about delivering unique service and business. Next there is a finite time when your project sees the light of the day and till you get things going in a regular fashion, you learn about new situations and adapt to them.
In this series I will talk about how to make sure that you execute your venture well. I must caution you that this is not about being successful in your venture. You will have to devise your own strategies for that. Here I will only talk about how to take your venture from zero to the “Go-live”.