The Dreaded Project Plan
|Previously, we discussed the need for project management skills in small businesses. We challenged you to define the point of view that a project manager needs to successfully manage projects in your business. This week we want to focus on the main structure that will help you, and your employees, plan out and execute the details of a project. This all-important document is the project plan, and a tool that is severely lacking in many businesses.
Having a project plan is the structure that a business needs to train their team on how to successfully plan and execute a project. Some of the issues we see that derail project plans include:
The real goal of the project plan isn't the plan itself, but the outcome of having the plan. It's a great tool, because it forces an ongoing conversation about the status and next steps of your project. A great project plan will lead a project manager to ask the right questions, drive the right conversations, and overall lead the project to a successful result.
So what is the best project plan?
It's one that you've customized to your business and your way of working. We've provided a sample template here, but the truth is the plan will only get better with time. As you use it and make innovations it will become the tool YOUR business needs. The project plan we've provided is comprehensive, and we will continue to explore it in our upcoming Business Owner Insights this month.
PS: Don't forget that once you have the project plan you need to innovate and train on the document! One of the great outcomes of having a project plan is you'll be able to see a project manager's strengths in planning a project as well as pinpoint what areas they need to improve. Our suggestion is to customize the plan, walk your project manager through it, and then have them fill out the plan on their own to review with you. This forces employees to take ownership of the project from the start. Once they've completed a first draft on their own, you can sit down with them and build out the project plan as needed.
PSS: Join us next week as we focus on business requirements and milestones. And don't forget to ask your Benchmark Business Coach to help you work through creating your customized project plan. If you don't currently have a BBG Business Coach, today is a good day to start building a business of value!