Boost your client’s or your own confidence and rule the world with project management!

We’re in the ‘get it done’ business and always interested to hear how other online businesses are managing their workload or client projects. Because whether you realize it or not, you ARE a project manager – that’s just the way most things get done in the business world today.

There is so much pressure these days to launch programs, provide services, or make changes –  quickly and efficiently. It takes more than just good organizational skills to keep everything on track … it takes some project management know-how to really rock your business. It’s the secret weapon for getting things done, and being able to scale your business.

Project management is an art … and a science.

Project management uses processes and techniques to coordinate tasks and resources to achieve predictable results. As a science, project management relies on proven and repeatable processes and techniques to reach project success. Managing and relating to people is an art that demands intuitive skills for situations that will be unique for each project. A good project management methodology provides the framework, processes, guidelines and techniques to manage the people and the work, so you have a better chance of delivering the results your client expects.

Doing things better … the real value of project management

Yes, there can be time and cost associated with managing projects, but the benefits are totally worth it:

Your work or projects are completed faster and with less cost. The value of re-use is one of the best benefits of having a standard approach to your work. Once the processes, procedures, templates and timelines are created, you can use them over and over again.

You have better scope management. Many people have trouble controlling or managing scope (what is included in the project) making some projects seem endless! With good project management processes, you have tools to manage scope – and changes – more effectively.

You develop better solutions through better planning. One of the worst feelings in the world is when you or your team does not deliver what the client was expecting. But when you follow project management processes, you take the time to plan the work that needs to be done AND you have check points along the way so you and your client always know how things are going – before they go wrong.

You communicate better. Communication can be 80% of managing a project and many business relationships! You can manage expectations with clients and team members so much more effectively when you have good communication tools and channels in place. It’s one of the best ways to avoid problems … and surprises.

You can manage risk better. Your life will be so much better when you have a means to help identify and manage problems before they happen. When problems or risks do occur, you will have a contingency plan ready to deal with them.

You will manage your budget better. Once you have your processes in place that will help you better define the work to be done, then you will have a more accurate sense of the size of the project and be able to track actual costs (and don’t you want to know that?)

Better decisions – get rid of those “bad” projects sooner. Sometimes the goal or purpose of a project changes. Other times, a mid-project review may show that there are too many problems (with the project or the client), that is doesn’t make sense to continue. When you have the tools for earlier detection of bad projects, you can re-scope or cancel them sooner.

Back to results … managing your work online.

How are you managing everything today? Google Docs, email, sticky notes? We find the best way to keep it all together – regardless of the size of your business and even if you are a team of only one, is to get an online project management or collaborative tool.

Beyond making you more organized:

  •  it’s easier for you or your team to know what to work on next
  •  all your files  and documentation can be centralized online with the project
  •  you can login in from anywhere to access your projects
  •  all your team and client correspondence can be managed from one location
  • makes it easy to add and manage more clients when you have a good system in place
  • You will always know the status of a project and you can create reports or views for yourself or your client

When your online tool is set up and monitored regularly, you can make sure everyone’s doing their job and nothing’s slipped through the cracks. You can save more time and money by automating this process as much as you can.  And the best result of all – you’ll never disappoint a client because your spreadsheet didn’t remind you of a due date.

Project management skills will give you the confidence and ability to be more successful in your business while adding a professional approach to work that clients absolutely love. Take some time to find out more about how this highly marketable skill set can help you get the results you and your client want!.

About the Authors

Virtual PM in a Box’s Robin Covey and Debra Exel both hold Masters Certificates in Project Management from George Washington University and are certified process improvement facilitators specializing in helping other online business managers and Virtual Assistants develop successful project management skills. With about 25 combined years as Senior Project Managers with backgrounds in technology, new products, process improvement and HR initiatives, Robin and Debra have used their hard-won wisdom and experience to create a practical project management approach for busy online professionals who are focused on driving efficiency and profit in their business. Virtual PM in a Box’s training and project management solutions are leading the way in this vital niche market in the virtual industry.

Learn more about Virtual PM in a Box