Effective Project Management Systems For Entrepreneurs & Startups

Project Management Systems For Entrepreneurs

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

When it comes to your new startup business or your latest entrepreneurial endeavor, are you sure that you have the required knowledge, skills, or training to help you get your project off the ground? Sure, you may have conducted substantial research into your market, you have a cutting-edge product, and you may even have some understanding of what it takes to bring a product to market.

But are you certain that you have the right framework to ensure that you hit all of your deadlines, hit all of your KPIs, and can ensure a strong ROI for all of your stakeholders, while also working to grow your business and actually turn a profit?

There’s a lot to consider for someone who is new to the bustling business world. Why not implement the use of a particular type of software that is designed to help ensure that you remain on track to hit all of those KPIs and secure a strong ROI to reassure all of your investors that they made the right choice?

Project Management Tools for Startups and First time Founders

When it comes to project management systems, they’re integral to the success of startups and emerging entrepreneurs. Why? Take a look below and we’ll fill you in!

What Is A Project Management System & How Can They Help My Business Succeed?

Project management systems help business owners and entrepreneurs map out their specific tasks, goals, and procedures for completing a particular business project. They help to ensure that your particular projects remain on track, on budget, and on topic, as you work within the rigid framework to delegate tasks all throughout your team.

As we’ve begun to add team members to the party here at Leantime, I find that we’re stopping to talk more and more about our startup culture. We’re deciding what Leantime looks like on the inside.  New team members can make or break your current culture and change the way the team relates.

We’re in the business of efficient planning – thinking about culture before it grows out of hand is part of managing and structuring a startup into a company and a profitable business.   These early stages set the tone and inertia of the company and it will happen whether or not you’ve paid any attention to it. It’s the seed that is planted and one day, you go to water it and it’s already a sprout.

When culture develops without being nurtured, however, it’s possible to end up with a culture that you didn’t want, intend, or one that ruins all the organization’s hard work.

Read More: Startup Project Management: The Key to Success

So what’s a startup to do? Great question! Welcome to our cliche-ly titled blog. Here you will find some basic things to consider when both keeping your culture in check and in starting one.

1. What sucked about the culture in your last job(s)?

Remember all those things your parents did that you said if you ever had kids, you wouldn’t do?  Same thing.  Maybe you didn’t mind working for someone else all that much but often, you’re an entrepreneur for a reason.  Make a list; what were the qualities of the people that sucked?  What about management sucked?  Was it chaotic and disorganized?  It’s a startup; some of that is inevitable.  Figure out what you can control and start cleaning house.

2. Adult Conversations

Do you remember that one relationship you were in where your partner, in a fight, constantly said the same thing over and over again?  The fight never ends!  I think of work relationships like romantic ones.  They take good, strong, adult conversations.  If your team, customers, or partners are complaining about the same thing over and over again… it’s because 1. You haven’t validated their feelings.  and 2.  you likely haven’t changed anything.

Some problems can be solved at the first point.  Take a moment; do some active listening.  From there, evaluate their point – do you need to do more? Can you do more?  Unfortunately, some folks aren’t ready for adult conversations.  At that point, if you’ve done what you can — you’ve done your part in creating and maintaining a respectful culture.

3. Communication

What’s the feedback process?  Here at Leantime, we want to do more than say “we have an open door policy.”  In fact, we’ll probably be the first ones to ask you an awkward question about how you really feel about something. If you aren’t sure what this looks like, take a gander at Crucial Conversations. If you don’t know, you can’t fix it.  Ignorance never prompts change.

4. Change, change, change

That brings up this point — don’t be afraid to keep moving.  As a startup, you should be used to moving.  Constantly changing, being lean, iterating your product over and over.  You are likely the least change averse; but what happens when we’re moving?  We forget details; we forget to build the culture and it ends up building itself.  If you don’t tend to the garden, eventually you end up overrun with weeds.  Culture will need to change with the company and the product.

5. Are you the problem?

Have you defined your leadership style? Is it clear to everyone else?  Are you a baby Steve Jobs and running over the people trying to help you achieve your dreams? If people aren’t leaving yet, they will be.  Go back to #2.  It’s time for an adult conversation with yourself.

Problem. Solution. Fit. doesn’t just have to be about customer acquisition and building your business.  This is an idea that works with people — you’ve identified a pain point, you have a great solution and it fits the problem — now you need to find and foster the team that fits within your culture, your company, and your business. Having a great idea is important but the great team? That can make the difference between unicorn and failure.

How do you define the culture within your organization?

Projectmanager.com lays out an excellent 4-step plan to help entrepreneurs and startups determine just how to begin launching their business the right way, ultimately working towards its success right out of the gate.

  1. Define Your Vision
  2. Develop Your Plan
  3. Execute Your Tasks
  4. Review & Debrief

The goal here is to first define the vision for your business. Do you see yourselves exploring one target market first, and then scaling to new markets later on? Maybe you want to focus on two products for the first 2 years after launch, and then introduce more products as you begin to take on a following. Whatever you vision may be, your first goal should be to define it throughout your team, so that everyone is on board and well aware of the tasks ahead of them.

From there, you’ll delegate tasks throughout your team to ensure that all of the key points of your vision are addressed. Then, you execute. You launch your business, you sell your products, or you offer your services, all while monitoring the crucial information coming back to you, like lead generation, conversions, KPIs, expenditures, and most importantly, your returns.

Lastly, you’ll review and debrief after you’re certain that your team has completed and executed on all of the defined tasks that you’ve carefully outlined throughout your project. And you finally ask yourself the question, “where do we stand?”

While working within the structure of a formal project management system may seem a bit constricting at first, it is important to remember that these systems are specifically designed to ensure that you stay on track and achieve as much success as you possibly can. For entrepreneurs, startups, and those new to owning and operating a business, this framework is crucial to ensuring that your business launches successfully.

Leantime – a project management tool built for startups and entrepreneurs

Leantime offers one of the most extensive project management systems available on the market. Specifically built for startups and entrepreneurs, Leantime is lead by a team of project management experts and consultants who know exactly how to help you set your business up for success.

Not to mention, our user-intuitive software and interface help you and your team easily outline your goals and develop a plan to execute.

If you’re looking to dive headfirst into owning your own business, Sign Up today and see just how far our cutting-edge project management system can take your business!

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Gloria Folaron is the CEO and founder of Leantime. A Nurse first, she describes herself as an original non-project manager. Being diagnosed with ADHD later in life, she has hands on experience in navigating the world of project and product management and staying organized with ADHD.

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