Best Practices

Project Management for Startups & Entrepreneurs

Jonathan Friedman
January 20, 2021
Project Management for Startups & Entrepreneurs

Are you an entrepreneur or managing a budding startup? Are you juggling more projects and wearing more hats than you can effectively manage? If so, you need better tools in your toolbox to take your new business to the next level. The area of project management for startups isn't something new entrepreneurs think of often. However, by focusing on planning, you can improve productivity.


And that will change the way you manage your company forever. 

Below is everything we will cover. Feel free to skip ahead.


Why do you need project management software?


Before we jump into the details of how a quality project management software can benefit your business, let's start with defining it.



When you started your new business, you were the one who completed every task. From accounting to answering phones to innovation and design, you wore all the hats. Now, your business is growing, and your to-do list doesn't fit on a napkin anymore. It's time to start planning your work in a more organized manner. 


And as your business grows, so too will your team. And likely, your team is working remotely right now. So, how can everyone stay on the same page for each project and department? The best way is to use a cloud-based project management system.

A quality project management system will streamline your processes and eliminate the chaos that can come with it. So if you're trying to manage several projects at once or one large-scale project, then you need a system and the right tools to get the job done well.  


Who can benefit from project management? 


If you're an entrepreneur, then you're a project manager. There isn't anyone else to tell your team members what to do and when. Depending on where you are in the startup process, you might be your entire team. 


So, as an entrepreneur, you need to master the art of managing several large projects successfully. You're a creative person filled with many great ideas on how you can grow your business. However, you can't do them all at once. 


Your project management software will help you prioritize each project. Then it will break down the steps and show your team the roadmap they must follow to ensure successful completion. So, whether your team is comprised of you or a small team, you can benefit from setting up a project management software. 


The beauty of working in a young company such as a startup is that everyone gets to do a little bit of everything. Unfortunately, this can also be the downfall if your team doesn't know what is expected of them and when. When you're managing a cross-functioning team, you need to be crystal clear about everyone's roles and goals within every project and department in which they work. 


Real-time collaboration gives everyone a transparent view of where they are in the completion of each project. It also shows everyone on your team what they're responsible for at any given moment. 


What is the best project management methodology for your team?


There are dozens of different project management methodologies. However, as a startup, you're probably best served to compare the following four options. 


Agile


The agile method offers the fluidity and flexibility that many startups need. If you deliver services to or design new products for clients, then the agile methodology is right for you. It gives you a framework to follow that speeds up delivery to clients without sacrificing quality. 


Waterfall


The traditional waterfall method still has many benefits and can be incorporated successfully for many small businesses and entrepreneurs. The waterfall method is excellent if you complete the same series of steps repeatedly without the need to adapt and change to pressures from clients. The process is clearly defined, and your team doesn't move to the next step until the previous one is completed. 


Kanban


Kanban is a visual project management methodology that shows at a glance where you are with each project. It balances what is coming next with what is done already. Additionally, it also shows you where your backlog is and what still needs to be done. Kanban boards are a great option if you find your team members wondering what they should be working on next. 


SCRUM


This methodology branched off from the agile method and became its own entity over time. This framework follows several short sprints that maximize efficiency by narrowing your team members' focus and priorities. SCRUM is an excellent option for smaller teams that deliver several products or services routinely. 


Each of these methodologies has its pros and cons, and you will need to determine which one is right for your particular business and situation. 


Best project management tips for startups and entrepreneurs


As you manage projects for your team, you will need to follow a specific set of guidelines. These are the steps you will follow with every project before you tackle them. By streamlining and systematizing the process, you keep everyone on the same page and eliminate confusion and chaos. Below are our leading tips on project management for startups.


1. Determine where you're going


As the saying goes, you want to start with the end in mind. So, before you begin any new project, you must first set the goals for that project. What will you accomplish by tackling this project? 


By outlining the clear goals and metrics you're aiming for, you also eliminate scope creep before your project ever begins. We've all been there; we start down one path only to see three more projects that would also benefit our company. However, if you don't maintain focus on the object at hand, you will find yourself with many started projects and none completed. 


2. Determine where you are currently


You can't create a roadmap to accomplish your goals if you don't know your current baseline. The next step is to analyze where you currently stand in terms of reaching the goals outlined in the previous step.


Did you set a goal to increase lead generation by 15% over last year? If so, then how many new leads did you gain last year? And how many of those leads did you convert to new customers or clients? When you know your current metrics, you can understand when you've accomplished your project.  


3. Determine the resources needed


As with all projects, you must determine what resources you will need to succeed. This can be in several forms, including human capital, time, money, and tools or software programs. 


Determine what you'll need before you start so you can be sure to secure them now. Without this step, you will find yourself with many projects in your backlog graveyard and not complete them due to a lack of resources. 


4. Create your plan


This is your roadmap that you and your team will follow to complete the project. Each step along the way will move you one step closer to the goal created in the first step. If your team doesn't know the scope of the project or the workflow to get there, they won't move your startup forward autonomously. 


As a result, you should take the time to create a robust plan with each step, when it needs to be done, and by whom. Now, when you share this with your team, they can see at a glance what they will be responsible for. This will allow them to manage their time more effectively and will remove the need for micro-managing each step along the way.  


5. Execute


You're finally at the step of carrying out your plan. Execution is where the rubber meets the road and where many teams falter. Without a well-laid out plan and the proper resources in place, your startup won't make it out of the gate. 


The daily execution cycle is also what you should track in your project management tools, which we'll discuss in the next section. But this is where you can quickly see where each project is in terms of completion or backlogs. 


Execution is also where you'll communicate with your team throughout the process to ensure total transparency and minimize micro-managing. Many teams fail in this step and blame it on their tools or lack of resources. However, when you look at each situation in detail, you will likely find that the real source of the problem was that they skipped the first few steps and jumped into this one. 


As an entrepreneur, you thrive on action and getting things done. However, since you're also the CEO and project manager for your startup, you also need to ensure that every step of the process is completed to maximize success.


6. Evaluate


As you work on your plan, you must continually evaluate your progress. How are you doing? Are you on track to reach your goals? Are you on track with your budget? Could your team improve efficiency in a particular area? 


As the CEO of your startup, you must take the time regularly to work on your business, not just stay in the weeds. This vital step in your project management system will mean the difference between success and failure. So, take the time to evaluate your progress and pivot if needed. 


How to choose the best project management tool


A useful tool helps you get the job done better and faster. The same is true when it comes to project management. The right tool will combat the usual constraints (time, budget, scope) most project manager's face. 


The best project management tool will allow you to map out your goals, then set milestones to reach that goal. Additionally, it will need to provide your team with a way to communicate within each project to avoid the endless email that gets lost in everyone's inboxes. 


Good communication within your team can mean the difference between hitting your goals and missing important deadlines. Your project management tool needs to communicate the priorities of each project to everyone on the team and outline the tasks that need to be completed. 


If you're still using notebooks and spreadsheets to plan your tasks and to-do lists, then it's time o get online and get your team on the same page. You can't afford to have everything on one computer and be worried every time you share a document that it might get altered. In today's global society, you need online project management software. 

A useful project management tool is more than a to-do list. You need to be able to share your task list and assign each task to a team member and define deadlines. Additionally, you need to be able to share files, schedules, and budgets across the platform. 


A quality system, such as TrueNxus, can allow your team to see the scope of any project from anywhere they're working every day. Time, budget, scope, communication, and task management can all be outlined, so everyone on your team has full transparency at all times within each project. 


Grow and scale your business with successful project management for startups

TrueNxus understands what it's like to be a startup, we are one, and we have everything that you need to collaborate from end-to-end. TrueNxus is the most pragmatic work management software geared toward project management for startups.

Whether you need help with:

TrueNxus has got you covered! TrueNxus is project management for startups.

Here's a look at some of its features:

1. Multiple views

Personalized views illustration

Your employees and clients require different ways to visualize work across time. Not only that, but each individual specializes in a specific domain, and as such, each thinks about work differently. To ensure successful planning and execution, you need software that provides personalized views that make sense everyone involved in executing the actual work. These views need to be in sync as well.

TrueNxus provides you with the following views:

List

Plan screenshot

A list is a table that allows you to manage your cross-functional projects easily. You can organize your project work into groups such as workstreams or any logical way to categorize tasks.

Timeline

Product roadmap or project timeline screenshot

With TrueNxus's Timeline, a Gantt-chart like view, you can visualize your project plans across time. It lets you understand how all of the work fits together. You can make updates to the project plans through an interactive interface.

3. Automated project status reports

Automated project status reports illustration

We understand project management for startups. We also understand that each member of your team is busy balancing multiple priorities, from your day-to-day responsibilities to various programs and projects. Therefore, TrueNxus successfully executes monitoring and controlling projects by automatically analyzing the project's health in real-time, giving senior leadership and the team the insights they need to make decisions and move the ball forward.

4. My Work

View all of your work in one place

Another essential thing for everyone involved in project management is understanding what you're on the hook for delivering. With TrueNxus, you can view every task and every dependency vital to you, across every project, in one location, ensuring success.

5. Dependencies

Dependencies

Additionally, we know that you don't want to let your colleagues down or be let down. You can ensure the successful delivery of programs and projects through collaboration and documenting task dependencies. By doing so, you can be accountable when others are reliant on you. You can understand dependent tasks, change implications, and adjust course as needed.

6. Automated notifications

Automated workflows - notifications

No matter your role in the startup, you can also successfully execute work by leveraging software to notify when changes occur. With TrueNxus's 20+ out-of-the-box automated notifications, you will have the transparency you need to stay in-the-know.

7. Comments

Cross-functional team collaboration - comments

Additionally, the entire company can ensure project plans are successful by collaborating directly in the app. With TrueNxus, you can communicate with colleagues, clients, consultants, and contractors in one place.

8. Project charter

Charter illustration

Lastly, you can leverage OKR and create a project charter. You can ensure the successful execution of projects by documenting and aligning the project's objectives, benefits, and risks from the very beginning. TrueNxus is the only software that has a project charter directly in the app.

TrueNxus is project management for startups.

Conclusion


As a budding entrepreneur struggling to grow your business, you wear many hats. And to best manage these many priorities, you need a project management tool that will keep up with you. The right project management for startups can change the face of your company. 


No longer will you have several projects waiting in your backlog due to a lack of resources. And no longer will you chase after every new idea you come with. Now, you have a system to plan, prioritize, and complete everything on your to-do list. 


So, if you're ready to get started maximizing efficiency and completing projects on time, then check out our free trial of TrueNxus today.