A Business Owners Guide to Project Planning

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Do you think you can just jump into a project management role and drive your project to success? Don't get ahead of yourself.

Even the best project managers are prone to failure. Studies show that 70% of organizations suffer from at least one project failure each year. You can't expect everything to go smoothly in project planning.

If you're worried about your next project, this post will help. Keep reading to learn seven tips that will help you learn how to make a project plan.


1. Get Requirements From Stakeholders

Even if you own your company, you likely aren't creating your project for yourself. You're creating it for a group of people. You need to understand what they need if you want your project to be a success.

Sit down with as many people as you can to discuss what will be involved with your project. These meetings should cover the problems your stakeholders face and how your project will solve these issues.

Don't stop with an initial meeting, either. You need to keep meeting with your stakeholders during the length of your project. Your requirements might change over time, so you need to stay ahead of things and learn about these changes before your project gets to the finish line.


2. Break the Project Down Into Parts

When you begin to plan a project, it's important to remember that you don't only have one part of it. Your project is going to be made up of a lot of parts. You need to identify each of these parts to simplify your project and make it more maintainable.

Once you break your project down, you can begin identifying milestones for your project. Your project milestones will be celebration points for you and your team. It's a sign that your project is progressing, and things are going well.

Milestones also work well for your stakeholders. It gives them something to look forward to and lets them see the progress that's happening.


3. Learn Your Team's Capabilities

It takes a team with a comprehensive skill set to turn a project into a success. You won't be able to make use of these skill sets if you don't spend time with your team to learn who's good at what.

Take time to get to know everybody. Let your team members tell you the things they like doing and what they think their best skills are. You can use this information when you start assigning tasks to everybody.

You can also check with your team to see if there are skills that people want to learn. You can match up a more inexperienced team member to someone more senior to train them. Doing this will give you employees that have more skills and can get more accomplished.


4. Create a System for Communication

Getting the planning done for your project is only one part of the process. If you don't have a way for people to communicate reliably, it will be hard for your team to stay on top of what they need to do.

You can easily solve this problem by working with an online project management program. These websites give you a central location to store everything about your project.

You can invite team members, set up multiple projects, and create tasks from one central dashboard. The people you invite to your project will be able to log in to see the status of everything. You won't need to worry about anybody being unable to figure out what needs they need to do.


5. Identify Potential Risks

The chances are that your project isn't going to be done and over in a day. Much of the time, you're going to end up spending months on your projects. The chances are that something is going to go wrong doing this time.

If you want your project to be successful, you need to anticipate and plan for when problems happen. Make a list of all potential obstacles that could occur in the future. You need to create a plan now, so you aren't scrambling for a solution when they happen.

Don't think that you have to take on the step on your own, either. Reach out to your team to get their thoughts. They know their crafts better than you do, so they will be able to help you understand the problems they'll face.


6. Hold Productive Meetings

Nobody likes being dragged away from their work for a meeting. Unfortunately, we can't always avoid it. You need a way to gauge your project's progress, and a meeting is a perfect way to do so.

However, that doesn't mean you should hold a meeting every day of the week. Instead, hold a weekly meeting that covers everything that happened during the week and discuss what needs to happen in the future.

Keep your meetings on point, so you don't waste your team's time. Doing this will keep your meeting minutes down and let your team get back to their jobs.


7. Get Advice From Experts

Nobody is great at everything in the beginning. You need to put in long hours and deliberate practice to gain the skills to do something. Even if you've put in the time, there are still going to be things you don't see.

This is will a project management expert comes into play. You can work with a company like Project Management Solutions to refine your process and become a better project manager.

The great thing about working with a consultant is that you don't have to hire them full-time. They can help you get your project structured and be on their way. You don't have the extra cost of hiring another project manager full-time for your business.


Becoming Good at Project Planning Doesn't Happen Overnight

Project planning isn't one of those skills that you can master in a day. It will take a lot of time to create a system for yourself and your team. Make sure you put the project planning tips above in place to get started on the right path.

Once you get your system put in place, you need to learn how to manage your team. Read our latest posts to learn how to get the most from the people you lead when it comes to project management and planning.