Let's talk project management, baby! As business owners, managing projects is a huge part of running our businesses (and lives!) each day.
Everything we do involves managing our time, whether we are actively aware of doing it or not. When we are proactive about managing our time and our projects, we can be so much more effective and keep ourselves on track.
In this episode I'm going to break down how we here at Boss Mom approach project management and share several examples and bits of insights I hope will help making project planning and management a little less daunting for you.
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Ok, so for starters let's get one thing out on the table - starting new projects is HARD. Sure it might be exciting to sit down with a new idea that you're looking forward to seeing come to life....but the actual planning and execution can be totally overwhelming.
Questions like, "Where do I begin? What do I need to do? What comes next?" start swirling around in your head and before you know it you're camped in front of your computer scrolling through funny cat videos on YouTube and half a bag of M&Ms has mysteriously vanished. (Ok....maybe that's me)
To avoid these kinds of scenarios, you need a plan of attack to map out your project - a framework to make the project seem less daunting and overwhelming.
If you want to start running projects effectively and understanding what needs to happen next in your business, you've got to begin by asking the right questions.
You can't just dive in and start making decisions willy-nilly. You need to first sit down and figure out a few things, and that begins with asking yourself some questions.
Word of advice: be logical! Good questions are based out of logic, so take the time to slow down, dig deep and logically figure out what questions you need to answer to begin moving forward.
Everything you need is in the questions you ask - brilliance and clarity comes in the questions!
I always advocate for starting a new project with a clear understanding and outline of all (or as many of) the decisions you'll need to make over the course of the project.
The reason I like to start here (knowing what the decisions are, not actually making them yet) is so I can delay the decision-making until the right time in the process so I don't get overwhelmed with trying to make decisions out of order, without all the information I need to make them well.
You will waste tons of time and energy trying to make decisions out of order and spending time on things that aren't the highest priority.
I call this "decision hopping" which will keep you ineffective and kill your confidence because of not having everything you need to make the decisions you're trying to make in the wrong order.
It's important when planning your decision making to understand what your milestones and prerequisites are.
Milestones are the places you need to hit throughout the course of your project to stay on track.
Prerequisites are the things you need to know before you can decide on other things.
You need to know and understand both in order to map out what decisions need to be made when, and in what order.
Once you've done that, you can break things down further, determine how much time each decision or task will take and attach time constraints around those things.
This will lead you to being able to figure out when you need to make those decisions and complete those tasks.
If you've been following Boss Mom for any length of time, you've probably heard me sing love songs to my beloved project management and workflow tool, Trello.
(I actually love it so much I created an entire free training course on it - check it out here!)
Trello is amazing for project management because you want the project plans and processes you come up with to be duplicatable, scalable, and follow a fluid workflow that other people can collaborate on as necessary.
Trello enables you to do exactly that with beautiful ease and visual appeal.
I'm a big believer in purposefully factoring in time to acknowledge and celebrate when milestones are reached as you move forward and accomplish things in your business and in each individual project you do.
So I encourage you to identify what your milestones are going to be and figure out ways to pause throughout the process to celebrate your progress - it will only help continue propelling you forward!
(Just FYI, some of these links may be affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase using the links I may receive some love in return!)
If you’ve got a question about today’s episode or want to leave us some inbox love, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, you can always find Dana hanging out in her happy place, the Boss Mom Facebook Community.
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