Startups are meant to be fluid and agile, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to have workflows and a structure. Many startups make the mistake of being too agile and neglecting the essentials (like a good set of workflows or processes), only to find themselves struggling to get things done in an efficient and effective way.
There are a lot of components that need to be present for a startup to be successful, and good project management is one of the more crucial ones. Immediately going for agile project management just for the sake of being agile isn’t something you want to do to be successful on the market.
If you are deciding to go with agile implementation, you need to know that the methodology suits your business perfectly. More importantly, you need to know how to best implement the agile methodology for effective project management. These five project management tips will help you achieve the latter objective without a problem.
Define Project Requirements
Never underestimate the importance of well-defined project requirements. Identifying project requirements is a crucial part of the planning process. You cannot expect to have successful projects when you constantly need to deal with unclear requirements and objectives. You are also more likely to end up with projects that don’t have clear directions or plans without a clear set of requirements.
To have clear project requirements, there are two primary things you need: a set of tasks to be completed and clear role definition for team members. You can then organize other business resources around these two primary factors, allowing for the project to be efficient as well as effective. Naturally, managing a well-defined, well-structured project is a lot easier.
Get the Right Tools
Project management is also easier to handle when the right tools are available. In the case of an agile implementation, a capable digital Kanban board is as invaluable as it gets. You can use services like Kanbanize to organize tasks into cards, projects into boards, and project structure into the structure of your Kanban space.
Kanbanize lets you be more meticulous about how tasks are organized. It fully incorporates the standard Kanban structure, meaning you get project themes, epics, and tasks to work with. Instead of placing everything on the same section, you can divide the board into multiple sections and classify tasks in great details.
The right tools also make simplifying complex projects easy. When you need to, you can use Kanbanize features to set dependencies and link tasks to dependent tasks.
Set Shorter Milestones
I know how tempting it is to aim for big objectives, but projects also need to have smaller milestones that are easier to reach. It’s not about the actual objectives, but rather the mindset behind how you set those objectives.
Smaller milestones allow you to have a shorter project cycle. You don’t have to spend as much time trying to achieve high objectives. You also get more opportunities to appreciate smaller achievements as a team and as individual team members.
The shorter project cycle gives you better control over the process. You don’t have to wait until the end of a long process to make adjustments or refine the workflow. The continuous improvement becomes an integral part of the process too.
Add Monitoring Metrics
Aside from lead time and cycle time, there are other metrics you can monitor to maintain project excellence. Measuring throughput is a good example. Throughput is simple enough to monitor, but it says a lot about how efficient the team is in handling the tasks in hand.
Metrics like ROI and added value can also be measured from the output of your Kanban board. Additionally, you can add comparative or qualitative metrics such as customer satisfaction and output quality to add depth and dimension to your monitoring metrics.
Don’t forget that you can utilize multiple metrics to analyze different elements of the project. Combining throughput with lead time allows you to dig deep into your efficiency level as an organization. Cycle time and project value are perfect for identifying potential bottlenecks and parts of the project that reduces output quality.
Lastly, make sure communication remains effective as the foundation of good project management. Without good communication, even the most advanced agile implementation can fail. The use of tools like the Kanban board must not prevent team members from communicating with each other directly
Communicate issues directly to team members who are in charge. Anticipate bottlenecks by regularly reviewing cards on the Kanban board. Don’t hesitate to offer help and take ownership of tasks on the board too.
Combined, these seemingly simple tips have the ability to supercharge your project management prowess as a startup. When projects are managed with great efficiency and effectiveness, achieving success as an organization becomes an inevitable outcome.