September 24, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Startups – Entrepreneurs and Project Management

Entrepreneurs and FoundersSTARTUPS

Startups begin with entrepreneurs who have ideas about how they can create new organizations of products and services. They have the capacity to be great!  They just need some oversight, planning and a little project management direction.

(Source: Mike Donoghue – Gantthead)

The Founders of a new company have to be able to do almost everything.  Everyone takes out the garbage, all staffers do technical support to some degree. There is pride in ownership and responsibility in actions.

When Startups Become Successful

If an organization is successful, more people are then brought in to handle more specific tasks. A consequence of this is that categories gets formed that more clearly identifies duties and qualifications.

For those people who learned skills from previous firms that help support and define the operation by developing new processes and departmental structures, there is potential for them to have a great future with the startup.

Skills Diversity

Managing a startup requires a diversity of skills. To perform project management in a newly created company is a similar endeavor, but one that requires dedication to incorporating best practices, building activity plans and developing analytics that help a corporation figure out how to progress.

Operating with the skills of project management means developing a discipline–something sorely lacking in many startups because of deficits of the right personnel or missing skills. Often startup companies are full of talent and energy for the moment, but with literally no plan for the coming day. Being too busy becoming productive and profitable, many don’t include project management in their startup scope.

An Ideal World

Ideally, two or more of the company founders should have project management experience. Putting the pressure on one person to have the knowledge to develop processes and procedures is flawed and creates a probable situation for vulnerability. Bringing in other project-savvy people as the firm expands is helpful. Otherwise, those skills must be taught in the atmosphere of the startup, which can be difficult. Project management is also about strategy and planning. This is another missing component from startups that usually get to a point where they are working hard to tread water just to stay afloat in the business.

The person that makes a difference in a startup uses their forecasting and scheduling abilities to foster a healthy work environment. They are the ones who can take a business beyond a two person operation and set their sights on a horizon where significantly more contributors are part of the plan. The shortsighted unfortunately only have the capacity to run an organization that is an extension of themselves and cannot get beyond that number of employees.

Keeping projects under control through project management principles is essential to long-term success and goals for the future. However, the special spirit that entrepreneurs epitomize can be quickly squashed if it is too severely administered through these guidelines.

I invite entrepreneurs to leave comments about qualities required from founders of new companies especially with regards to managing projects.


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