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The Complete Guide to Picking the Perfect Project Methodology

The Complete Guide to Picking the Perfect Project Methodology

When it comes to managing your projects, you can do it two ways!

First, you could do it the wrong way! Start the project without planning, and then hope that you and your team can pull it off. While you might be able to finish in the end, you’ll waste a lot more time.

So instead, you should plan out all your projects in the most efficient way. And the first step for it is to decide on your project management methodology!

But what is it exactly, and how can you do that? Continue reading to find out.

What is Project Management Methodology?

Project Management Planning

First things first, let’s get a clear understanding of what project management methodology is!

To put it simply, it’s just the way you manage your projects. Each methodology has its own set of principles and practices that aim to give you the most optimum performance.

But since there are so many different projects, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all methodology! And for that reason, there are hundreds of different methodologies out there.

So when deciding on one, you must consider everything. These include your project costs, longevity, team size, risk tolerance, etc.

 

6 Main Types of Methodologies

1 – Waterfall Methodology

It’s the most traditional project management methodologies out there!

Benefits of Project Management Tools

That’s because this methodology is linear. Each step is clearly defined, and there won’t be any changes along the way, hence the name.

So, what makes this project management method so great is that it brings a lot of clarity. With it, everything is planned, and you know exactly what the next step is!

Projects with this methodology usually follow this sequence:

  1. Requirements
  2. Analysis
  3. Design
  4. Construction
  5. Testing
  6. Deployment and Maintenance

However, there are a couple of problems as well! One of the biggest problems is its linearity. That means it doesn’t work best for projects that require creativity, like content marketing.

2 – Lean Methodology

Lean methodology is quite similar to Waterfall methodology but with one twist. Like Waterfall, Lean methodology is usually linear, but instead of doing the same thing repeatedly, Lean tries to make the process better.

It does that by maximizing the project’s value while minimizing any waste. One of the most famous users of this methodology is Toyota, which is why they can create such reliable cars.

So Lean methodology works best for projects where you expect continuous improvements. However, like Waterfall, this methodology won’t work for creative projects.

3 – Agile Methodology

Agile project management methodology is quite different from Waterfall. Instead of the project having a linear process, a project can go various ways with agile methodology.

With this methodology, you emphasize collaboration and are open to changes if it makes sense. That makes it perfect for projects that are liable to change. These could include your marketing campaigns.

4 – Kanban Methodology

There are various ways how you can use Agile methodology. One of the most popular methods is through Kanban project management methodology.

In many ways, Kanban is more of a framework than a methodology!

That’s because the process is separated into different columns. Each column acts as a stage of your project. And in those columns are various tasks.

In many ways, the Kanban methodology emphasizes helping you visually see your project’s progress. That comes with various benefits. For example, you can see where the bottlenecks are in your project.

So, if you’re looking for a methodology with which you can see your project’s progress at a glance, then this might be for you. It will also work well for projects that work on a continuous “pull” basis, like content creation.

5 – Adaptive Project Framework Methodology

Adaptive Project Framework methodology (aka APF methodology) is another type of agile project management methodology. It differs from other project management methodologies because it works best for longer-term projects.

In the APF method, teams need to anticipate the risks of the project and plan for the unexpected. That way, you’ll make the project outcome more predictable. However, for this to work, you will need to be very clear on your ultimate goals.

6 – Scrum Methodology

And lastly, we’d like to talk about the Scrum methodology. It’s more than just a framework! Here’s how it works:

Teams split their work into short cycles called “sprints,” which usually last about 1-2 weeks. Then, the groups are led by a Scrum Master who keeps an eye on the progress during the sprint.

What this project management methodology tries to do is strive for continuous improvement. So if that’s something you’re looking to get into with your team, then this might be the correct one for you.

Conclusion

So now that you know what all the six different methodologies mean, all that is left is to pick the correct one for you. Choose the methodology with outcomes you like the most and what works for your project! Then you should see your and your team’s productivity skyrocket!

However, if you’re still struggling with choosing the right one, why not schedule a call with me? I’d love to help you pick the correct methodology and any other problems you have.

So, schedule a call with me here!

5 Outsourcing Ideas That Make Project Management Easy

5 Outsourcing Ideas That Make Project Management Easy

Project management is something that is inevitable for every business owner. It doesn’t matter which industry you’re in; you’re still going to create an ad campaign, a new product launch, or something similar. And to make sure that it goes smoothly, you need to manage the project well.

However, that can become a nuisance quickly. Just think about it:

  • the back and forth messaging
  • goal setting
  • progress tracking

These can take a toll on you and make running your small business a nightmare.

Fortunately, with automation and outsourcing, you can make it easier than ever. So in this blog post, you’ll learn the four outsourcing ideas that make project management a piece of cake or at least easier. Then you can focus on the most important things.

So, if that sounds interesting, then keep on reading.

Why Should You Outsource?

Before we get into the outsourcing ideas, let’s first understand why you should even outsource your project management?

Well, that’s because outsourcing can be the deciding factor if your small business will reach new heights or not. Just think about what you can do if you just saved 4 hours of work every single day? You could focus this free time on the tasks that move the needle.

So, with that out of the way, let’s get into the ideas, shall we?

 

Idea #1 – Work with a Virtual Business Manager to Create a Comprehensive Plan

Planning

When creating a new project, an essential part is developing an action plan, so it’s easier and more effective to make it into reality. However, sometimes it’s harder to do than it seems.

So for that reason, it would be great to get an extra set of eyes to make sure your plan is a good one. With a virtual business manager, you’ll be able to create a comprehensive strategy that is both realistic and grows your business most effectively.

 

Idea #2 – Use Project Management Tools

The first thing you should look out for is to try out some project management tools. For example, you could try out Trello.

That platform is excellent for making new tasks and allocating them to your members. And thanks to its Kanban board design, you’re able to get an overview of your and your team’s progress. So if you haven’t yet added any project management tools to your arsenal, you must try Trello out.

 

Idea #3 – Create a Unified Message Board

Message board

One of the most challenging things about project management is communication. The whole process is slow, and the message could reach the right person too late.

So instead of the slow emailing, it’s better to have one messaging board. Then everybody can easily message their problems, and reach the right person as fast as possible. That makes it way more manageable and effective for the whole team.

 

Idea #4 – Get Help With Hiring Freelancers

Freelancers can give substantial aid to any small business. That’s because you can allocate tasks that you or your team are weak at without hiring a new employee. That’s both time and cost-efficient.

A freelancer Working

However, with so many freelancers on the Internet, it’s hard for companies to differentiate good ones from the bad. So if you work with a virtual business manager, you can be sure that the choice is a good one.

 

Idea #5 – Create Your Weekly Reports

One of the most critical things any small business owner needs to do is track how far you and your team are with your project. The best way to do that is by regularly checking how far you and your team are with your goals.

And the most effective method to do it is by automating the whole process! With the power of Zapier, you’re able to create an Airtable record every time your team makes a new task or moves it to another Trello board.

Make Project Management Easy – Conclusion

And those were the five ideas for automating your project management. If you need any help with implementing any of these ideas, then don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’d love to help you out! You can check out my services HERE.

 

The Amazing Benefits Of Project Management Systems

The Amazing Benefits Of Project Management Systems

 

I am a great believer that even a small business owner should embrace project management techniques in order to organise themselves. In addition, utilising project management systems enables the business owner to focus more easily on the proactive steps needed to grow.  However, I do understand that for many business owners this is an alien concept. Hence, I thought it would be useful to highlight the top half-dozen benefits of using a good project management system?

 

1. Overall Accountability.

As each project is loaded into the system by the project manager – who may well be you or your Virtual Business Manager – assigns responsibility for completing each stage of the task. By assigning these responsibilities at the beginning of the project means that all those involved clearly understand their role in the success of the project and your wider business.

2. Sharing Resources.

With careful planning and strategic allocation, multiple team members can work on multiple projects simultaneously. Additionally, using the project management tool to divide time appropriately and set relevant deadlines ensures the task stays on track. It is also possible to allocate resources using the tool. Resulting in strategic utilisation of your cash, as you are only making purchases when necessary.

3. Reliability.

Time is money. Using a project management system you can reliably predict when the project will be complete. Moreover, it helps to calculate its value in terms of time or money.

4. Brainstorming.

 You can look at a project management system as something of a mastermind group. Remember that your team of outsourcers are already skilled and knowledgeable and bring plenty of direct expertise to the table. When a number of people are invested in making sure that your project is a success this unleashes an element of brainstorming. Capturing different options and ideas can only seek to improve the overall project in the long run.

 5. Direction.

The typical project is the sum of a number of complicated, moving parts and pieces. Without a centralised project management system, it’s likely that

  •  something is missed,
  • somebody slips up or
  • something is misinterpreted or
  • simply there is confusion on how to proceed at a crucial moment in the project history.

Overall, therefore, the system provides direction and certainty for all involved.

6. Completion.

How many times has a project been started but never finished? Without adequate planning, oversight and supervision there is an ever-present danger. However, with adequate planning and allocation of responsibility, all team members know what their role is. They can see the deadlines and know that the project will be completed, on-time.

 

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Project Management System Important?

Why do you need to consider implementing a project management system? Well, it is simple, to replace uncertainty, risk and threat of failure. As we all know from the recent COVID situation there are many potential hazards and stumbling blocks ahead in business. However, it is important to the success of your business that the lack of internal preparation isn’t one of them.

There are some very sophisticated cloud-based systems available today. Given that working from home could be the new norm and that outsourcing to virtual resources in on the increase, the adoption of a centralised project management system is a critical component if business success is your goal.

Lastly, we shouldn’t forget another potential advantage. By looking at the results of past projects, evaluating success and learning from mistakes, the entire team can learn valuable lessons. This can only help to improve future projects and strengthen the team dynamics going forward.

 

Bravapro | Swindon Virtual Assistant | Systems, Automations and Data

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How To Use Project Management Tools To Smash Your Business Goals

How To Use Project Management Tools To Smash Your Business Goals

Starting and running a small business is a painstaking process. Finally, after putting in all the hard work, your business catches on and is steadily growing. You’re happy with the progress, but feel worn out by all the additional work. If you’re wondering if there are any solutions out there that can make everything more manageable, well, you’re right! Project management tools may provide you with the perfect solution.

There are several tools available to make the growth easier, without any significant additional costs of hiring an extra management/admin team. Let’s discuss the top solutions that are available for effectively managing your small growing business:

Types of Project Management Tools

Planning, Scheduling And Budgeting Tools:

From to-do lists to scheduling, cost management tools and resource allocation tools, it has never been easier to keep track of your activities, appointments, time and finances.

Most project management and time management tools allow you to

  • create a project,
  • break it down into smaller tasks,
  • schedule each task with timings and deadlines,
  • allocate resources and finances to each task, and
  • assign tasks to different individuals.

Associating each task with its time and costs makes it easy to not only track the general progress and costs of the project. Also to identify and locate which specific tasks are causing time and cost overruns. This makes it easier to react and streamline your processes.

Calendar integration similarly allows you to harmonise your business appointments with your personal calendar.

Communication Tools:

These project management tools will ease your communication by effectively integrating all your communication channels within one platform. You can now initiate and track conversations on emails, video calls, conference calls, voice calls, team messaging all within minutes. The social media integration features allow for the sharing of content to all your social media platforms.

Additional features such as screen sharing are also available, allowing your virtual assistant and other members of your team to conveniently view an operate your computer screen with no limitations as to the convenience of physical location. Most project management tools also allow for feedback and comments on the designated projects. With all these in place, you no longer have to scroll back and forth between different communication apps wondering where that last important communication was sent.

Collaborative Teamwork Tools:

Project collaboration is an essential feature that allows all the members of your team to work and contribute to a single project concurrently. Creating project activities and allocating to different groups allows you to efficiently manage and track the productivity and input of every member of your team, as well as improving the synchronization of processes.

A bonus feature for such tools if often file sharing and management, which allows for the uploading of all relevant files to a central platform allowing access to all authorized individuals, and allowing each individual to download or edit the files when needed.

Reporting and Analytics Tools:

Various project management tools allow for the analysis and automatic generation of reports for the visualisation of the progress of activities on graphs, Gantt Charts, pie charts, tables, and other templates.

Analytic tools further analyze data and generate trends, identify opportunities for improvement, carry out predictive analytics and web analytics among other processes.

Summing Up…

With the growth of technology and innovation, there is a tool for almost any challenge you may be experiencing in your business. Selecting a tool that simultaneously integrates most of your business processes in one simple platform will efficiently reduce your workload.

As for the paradox of choice, hiring and consulting a virtual assistant to assess your business, suggest the best management and workflow tools, integrate the needed features and apps, tailor and automate the systems of that tool to fit your business, may save you tons of time, energy and costs.

 

Apply Project Management Strategies To Grow Your Business

Apply Project Management Strategies To Grow Your Business

So, why should you apply project management strategies to your small business?

Introduction

A project is essentially an undertaking with a defined budget and time frame. Projects range from major operations with many intertwined activities, to simpler smaller projects with fewer activities and limited resources. By this definition a small business can be described as a project. As such it necessitates the application of project management strategies to achieve its objective ie to be viable. By using project management strategies small business owners are able to maximise their resources and optimise their business processes.

It is important to recognise that project management is not restricted to larger businesses. With a few modifications, project management concepts are applicable to every kind of project.

Below are some of the reasons why you should apply project management strategies in your small business:

Scope Management

This aspect of project management is crucial to the handling, managing and prioritising of activities.. Scope management involves breaking business processes down into smaller, more manageable ‘chunks’. Business owners then ensure that no task is overlooked, by analysing each element of the project and defining each smaller activity or workflow in advance.

Time Management

Time is an important factor in every task and project. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the numerous daily business tasks, resulting in missed deadlines.

Time management tools and skills are, therefore, very handy to help with:-

  • scheduling of tasks according to priority & durations,
  • managing deadlines,
  • co-ordinating meetings & appointments,
  • tracking the progress of operations,
  • and measuring the earned value of every activity.

Moreover, time management tools help with the allocation of resources by regulating the duration of each activity and hence preventing time overruns.

Cost Management

For all businesses (big or small) maximising profits is the number one key consideration. As such, preparing and monitoring the actual expenses against the budgeted costs of the business is key. Doing this ensures that profits are increased and the value for money is upheld.

Stakeholder Management

Small business owners can satisfy stakeholder requirements by applying this aspect of project management. Capturing the expectations of each stakeholder at the point of business inception is critical. As it allows the business owner to measure these expectations against baselines expectations throughout the life of the business.

Process Management

Process management can help in streamlining all the operations within the business. Moreover, it offers an additional value-add to the product and services offered.

It, therefore, makes sound commercial sense for small business owners to hire a virtual assistant to look into your business processes and activities – after all, it is their area of expertise. Experienced Virtual Assistants are able to identify the loopholes and inefficiencies within the business. As well as set up systems and automate processes that increase the efficiency and productivity of your business.

Why You Should Apply Project Management Strategies To Your Small Business?

In conclusion, project management is fundamental to the success of small businesses. It ensures that a business not only achieves its goals but also that the, often limited,  resources of many small businesses are put to the best possible use.

Additionally, project management strategies should be applied right from the point of business inception, and throughout the life of the business, to ensure that both the business objectives and the stakeholders’ expectations are met.