One of the essential aspects of a stable freelance business are your project management skills, because they can influence your revenue and liabilities positively. Moreover, it eventually influences customer satisfaction and retention.
Your freelance business might have one on-going retainer project right now, while other your competition might be working on several projects at once. Either way, projects are considered temporary.
Projects are a means you can use to bring you to your business goals to fruition. After you complete one project, you might then have to move on to another one. Or, it might have been only a one-time gig.
When your business has projects, you will need to have to bring in additional resources for extra support. In fact, according to the Project Management Institute, an estimate of more than 15 million new project management jobs are expected to be added globally.
Project Management: What Is It?
As mentioned, projects are most likely temporary. That is why project management is not considered the entire operation of your small business or company. It is just one individual segment, a designated project equipped with a detailed plan that presents how you and your company will accomplish their tasks.
Project management is a thorough plan that has a series of steps you have to follow. Each step is as critical as the others. Moreover, you will need to achieve one of the steps first before moving on to the next.
To get to know project management even better, think of it as a ladder you need to climb. In order for you to become successful, you can’t just automatically leap to the top. In fact, you have to take it step by step. Furthermore, your team might need to apply essential tools and use their expertise to accomplish each step and then proceed to the next.
Another illustration would be getting from your current position to another position (which we will call position X) that is 30 steps away from you. It’s easy to say that the key to getting to position X is just by taking the 30 steps. However, you must also take into consideration the time and the budget.
There is no one-size-fits-all plan or system that can guide you in having a successful project. Each project your company has tends to have its own goal, budget, and timeline. That is why it is vital to have a project manager in place to see things through.
Elements of a Project You Should Know About
The four basic elements of a project are interrelated. Moreover, a project manager must know how to manage these elements simultaneously. Here are these elements:
The scope includes the project’s goals, size, and requirements. This is the most critical element out of the four. Even a slight change in the scope affects all other elements in the project.
Suppose the project scope is to construct a 3-story building on a budget of $350,000; the project manager is supposed to follow that. However, if the project scope has been changed to constructing a 2-story building instead of 3, the project manager must make adjustments to the resources, time, and money.
Resources can be found in people, materials, and equipment. A well-equipped project manager must know how to effectively manage these resources. Moreover, the project manager must ensure that all the resources are also in accordance with the money and time allotted in the project.
The element of time in project management does not only pertain to the project’s overall time to finish. It must be broken down into dependencies, task duration, and critical path. Furthermore, various project management softwares can help you out with the task of managing and creating the project schedule.
When it comes to the project money, you might need to consider the costs, profit, and contingencies. Each project task comes with a cost, and these costs are computed (estimates only) to come up with the project budget.
You might need to take advantage of personal loans or other types of financing to settle the money part. To help you with this, you can check out CreditNinja. Moreover, it would be an advantage for you to know that credit scores, which usually vary for different age groups, play a huge role when it comes to this sector.
Project Management Tips
The following are some tips you can use to achieve project management success:
Psst: Have you heard about Hectic? It's our new favorite tool for freelancing smarter, not harder. Client management, project management, invoices, proposals, and lots more. Hectic's got it all. Click here to see what we mean.
Know The Project Inside Out
It would help if you lay down a strong foundation to make your project successful. You can do this by identifying potential clients and stakeholders. Not only that, but you must also need to understand their expectations and interests concerning the project.
After that, you will need to create a solid project plan. This should incorporate all the roles and job responsibilities. Furthermore, it would be best to define the project’s objectives and goals in the said plan to make it clearer. By doing all of these, you will definitely know the inside out of the project.
Enumerate The Project Requirements
It is best to identify the project requirements. This is essential because, as mentioned above, resources are one of the key elements in creating a successful project. Once you have already implemented a project plan, the next step should be to take care of the resources such as material and equipment and create a team that can work in implementing the plan effectively.
Hire A Qualified Project Manager
A qualified project manager is a great advantage to your small business or company. They are an assurance that your project will be going in the right direction. Moreover, a reputable and well-equipped project manager will leave no stone unturned just to make your project successful.
Communication is key to running a smooth project. You might need to have a consistent and open conversation (even when it comes to small changes) between your company’s clients and stakeholders to ensure that there will be no confusion or misunderstandings regarding the project planning and implementation. Furthermore, ineffective communication often leads to project failures. Hence, always make sure vital people are equipped with the information they might need.
Project management can take you and your business to the goals you want to achieve through your proposed projects. It includes all the nitty-gritty factors of planning, monitoring, initiating, executing, and closing the specified project.
Furthermore, project management does involve not only an on-going project. It also includes a one-time project, if there are any.
Keep the conversation going...
Over 10,000 of us are having daily conversations over in our free Facebook group and we'd love to see you there. Join us!