“Doing more, with less” is a phrase most small business owners can relate to. This phrase refers to reaching goals and standards with reduced or limited resources compared to other organizations. This limitation of resources creates obstacles in various aspects in an organization, particularly project management. Having firsthand experience in a small business for the past 10 years I can attest to the phrase “doing more, with less”. Small businesses face many challenges, but by utilizing the following tools effective project management can still be delivered
Maintaining a schedule is important in all businesses, particularly small businesses. Many projects in a small business context are limited in time and resources but also need to meet a high standard. As a result, utilization of PERT or Gantt charts can effectively manage the progress of a particular project. I have personally have not used these charts in my small business, but understand the benefit in doing so. By having a Work Breakdown Structure, each project can have more specific deliverables and evaluation of these deliverables is more easily done.
“Doing more, with less” is often times speaking to financial resource limitations. In a small business setting, financial resources are almost always a challenge. There are various programs and software used in the business world to track costs, but in my organization we utilize a budget system. The budget allows us to see what we estimated for a project and what we have paid for that project. By comparing the estimated and actual cost we can determine if we are on track to meet the budget for a given project or if we need to re-evaluate the estimations and/or find other cost effective ways to meet the budget.
Controlling costs and scheduling is pivotal to successful project management. For example, if you do not control employees who are purchasing products for the project or you do not have control measures in place for scheduling then there will be a greater variation from the mean timeline and budget you have set forth to begin with. Generally, this issue has not been a problem in my organization particularly because I have been solely in charge of developing projects, estimating costs, scheduling, and carrying out the projects. This article sheds light on the areas of improvement that my small business can achieve.
Effective communication and developing a work culture where collaboration is valued and sought after is an important aspect for evaluations. Individuals must understand that their input is valued and there will not be blame or punishment for voicing their opinions. This environment is conducive to learning from previous projects and as a result improves project management processes for future projects.
I aim to further develop and improve on my project management by utilizing the tools discussed above. As a result I will be more effective at “doing more, with less”. Have you had a time in your organization or life where you had to “do more, with less?”
Markgraf, B. (n.d.). Effective Project Management in the Small Business Organization. Retrieved August 10, 2015, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/effective-project-management-small-business-organization-41274.html