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Project management in start-ups

Project management in start-ups 24.01.2019 - There is no such thing as "project management", there is project management in a wide variety of forms and manifestations. Even if the techniques and methods are similar by and large, certain approaches differ depending on the environment in which projects are managed. In a start-up company, project management is a very special challenge because there is usually a lack of resources to employ specially trained, experienced project managers. Nevertheless, deadlines have to be met, budgets are very tight and the quality has to be right, otherwise the start-up has no chance of a future. Especially the first projects of a start-up are usually very exciting - and also full of suspense.
 
Pragmatic approach
 
Every start-up company starts with extraordinary new ideas that are implemented in the form of ambitious projects. These first projects of a young, aspiring company already decide whether the company will survive or become a flash in the pan. A failure is not an option at the beginning - there are usually too few funds and too high expectations on the part of the investors or supporters. Professionalism at all levels is therefore also the highest priority for a start-up. It is often difficult that a start-up has not yet established any fixed structures and resources are often very limited. In addition, there is often a lack of experience. All this must be made up for by zeal and enthusiasm. If you want a start-up project to be a success, you must approach your tasks as pragmatically and professionally as possible. If there is hardly any time for learning and trying out extensive analyses and methods, the goal must be achieved in another way. Results must be achieved with the least possible effort. There is a fine line between "not wasting time with complicated methods" and "managing professionally and creatively". However, not dealing with project management at all is a big mistake.
 
Project management for beginners
 
As a start-up manager, you have to convince your customers that you have everything under control and that you have to handle your projects professionally, perhaps even more so than established companies. Project management is therefore important for you. Don't be put off by thick tomes and treatises as well as collections of methods. Look for a practical and quickly applicable approach. Most methods can be simplified to such an extent that they can also be used by beginners. Follow the project management guide: define goals and tasks very precisely, create a schedule, an overview of resources and define the desired quality. Record your decisions and document important steps in the project. Set priorities and evaluate everything you do at regular intervals. Communicate closely with your clients and always let them participate in decisions and important milestones. This not only avoids undesirable developments, but also keeps relations with the client at a level that can be important for the success of the project. Show that you are committed and give your clients the feeling of always keeping the reins in their hands. To be prepared for eventualities, you should also do a risk analysis. You can do this strictly according to the guidelines of professional methods, or simply answer the question "what can go wrong, how bad can it get and what can we do to prevent it" pragmatically and informally.
 
Means and methods
 
Hundreds of programs and tools have already been developed for good and professional project management. Ultimately, however, all methods and techniques can be edited with a pen and a sheet of paper. Especially in a start-up company, it is important not to spend money on expensive software if it is not yet clear whether the method is the right one for the company. Your risk analysis, goal definition and time planning can also be done with very simple means. Sit down with your team and record your ideas and results on paper. Work actively with to-do lists, diagrams, and preferably a concise project diary. Try to keep track of the team, the budget, and the project in general by easily tracking high-quality results. If a method seems too complicated to you, don't waste too much time. Choose a simpler method and get started. Once the first projects have been successfully completed, a training course can be taken to perfect or refine the methods.
The fact that a start-up often has very limited human resources often brings with it countless overtime hours, but also the advantage that the important steps are stored in one or two heads and that the important hurdles are taken by exactly these people. The first projects in a start-up are excellent for gaining high-quality experience in the field of PM and laying a foundation stone.

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