Project Management is a skill, not a tool.
On today’s episode, Carrie continues the Project Management conversation with Diane Kinney from the Versatility Group. Diane has 20 years of experience as a small business owner as well as many years as a C-level exec. Diane works with small business owners and freelancers to help them to successfully run their projects and communicate with clients.
What we learned from the previous Episode:
- A project is defined as work that has a specific begin date, end date, and budget.
- Do not get wrapped up in the terminology of project management terms.
- The size and complexity will often determine how you will run a project.
- If you are doing something new and different, you should be thinking about project management as soon as you start scoping the work.
- It is important to have the conversation about what the communication process will be when you are in discovery and creating the scope of your project.
- Plan for flexibility.
Popular Project Methodologies:
- Waterfall is the classic way to run a project with fixed elements, clear dependencies and many check-ins for status reviews and approvals. You don’t proceed with another section of the project until a previous section is complete.
- Agile is completely different from waterfall. It is characterized by blocks of work known as sprints. Multiple blocks of work are done simultaneously.
- Hybrid is used by most people. Elements of waterfall and agile are incorporated into their processes.
- All methodologies are valid.
- Do not get hung up on methodologies to get the work done.
Freelancers and Small Business Owners:
- Most projects will fall into the hybrid model.
- Research and Discovery can be going on as you are building out a development area or creating a mockup.
- Tasks and subtasks will be created with granular items of work that need to be performed.
- Phases – combined tasks and subtasks to create the phase of work. (Ex: feature builds and signoffs).
- Dependencies – established design signoffs or content that is needed before you start the work.
- Milestone – Pause points in the project plan where you review and assess the work.
- Resources – defined people doing the work. (Ex: you, your client, outsourced developers, etc.)
- Pro Tip: Always be thinking about contingencies.
- After the initial creation of the project plan, start looking at what can monitor the work and adjust the schedule and resources when needed.
The Scoop About Project Management Tools:
- Most project management tools offer features that go beyond just managing a project. (Ex: a place to upload and maintain files).
- The classic approach to project management is to provide a visual Gannt Chart.
- Understanding the Gannt chart can help you juggle dependencies
- Communication – make sure you have a communication plan that addresses feedback in a structured manner.
- Do not force a tool to your business client. Some clients have never used project management software.