Project Success PlanEvery business owner knows that effective project management is an essential component to running a profitable business. At the launch of each project, a manager has to clarify objectives, plan for the short and long term, control and organize personnel, and communicate all of these things in an effective manner to all.

Every business owner must work with key stakeholders to ensure that every level of the plan is progressing as intended by assigning milestones for each project. It can be a complicated process. If project planning doesn’t get started on the right foot with a project success plan, then no one on the team will know where they are headed.

To get started right with your next project:

Determine Project Scope — Answer the questions: What do you want to accomplish? What is the end goal of this project? Avoid “scope creep” and stick to the main objective of the project. Ensure this is clarified before moving forward.
Identify Project Resources — What equipment, software, funds, and people do you have available for this project. What are your shortfalls and can you fill them with outside help if you need to? Are there cloud-based resources that can save time and money?
Define Project Timeline — If you know the end date of the project, using a calendar, work your way backwards to today, adding in tasks, so that you can determine if the project is feasible in the timeline given, don’t forget to add in some flexibility. If you need more time, and can get more time, arrange for it.
Choose Project Team Leaders and Members — Pick your team leaders and members and start speaking to them at the earliest stages of the project to help flesh out the issues above and below. As experts, they’ll be better able to give you firm time tables, explain resource needs, and control scope creep than you can without them.
Write the Project Strategy — This is the big picture of your project, not the small details. This is your overall plan to assist in reaching the goal. Fleshing this out with your project team leaders and personnel can be done effectively using a cloud-based wiki or project management system, thus eliminating the need for multiple in person meetings.
Define Project Tactics — From the strategy, you’ll develop procedures, and ways of promoting your overall strategy. From here will come tasks lists that each team leader will develop for their team members. By using project management software in the cloud, team members can be located anywhere as well as work from multiple devices, saving both time and money.

A really good eBook that gives a great overview of project management and how to manage projects using cloud based applications to get projects done on time, track return on investment in order to provide your clients what they want at all times is Simple Project Management for Small Business. This book explains in six easy steps how to manage projects effectively. It’s completely free with no email address or any information what-so-ever required to access it.

Project management, like most subjects in business, change as technology changes. We’re not still using an abacus to calculate our profits each day. Why keep using old methods to manage your projects when there are so many effective, cloud-based online project management tools available today? Small business owners can manage projects successfully using enterprise level solutions and techniques formerly only available to huge corporations by levering the cloud.