Starting a business- The Need to prepare a project management plan


The Rationale for the Preparation of a Business Plan for the Project

The business plan establishes the feasibility of the business and the possibility of it being successful.  It gives information about what the business is about and the future direction it will take.  It includes an executive summary of the plan, a description of the business and of its market strategies inclusive of target market and competitive analysis.  It looks at the operations and management of the business, possible  design and development of products and services and financial analysis to inform profitability.

It does not advise on how to set up a business either in the preliminary stages or in the stage of the establishment of the business.  

The Rationale for the Preparation of a Project Plan

The Project plan on the other hand is a formal, approved document used to manage project execution. It outlines how the project will be  executed, monitored and controlled, and closed.  It identifies  what is to be achieved by the project, the methods and resources to be used, the reports to be prepared and how information will be communicated.
Many business failures previously blamed on lack of entrepreneurial qualities are more the result of poor project planning and implementation.  The establishment of a business is a project.  Work comprises operations which is done to sustain the business and projects which are temporary endeavours undertaken to create a unique product, service or result (outcomes or documents).PMBOK.

Often business persons access funding for business start up having done the business plan, only to realize later that many of the legal and other requirements have not been adhered to.  For many such persons  there are waiting periods for approval during which they have to keep loan commitments.  In addition some budgets exclude vital activities and hence there is the requirement for additional funds before the completion of the establishment of the business.  The business plan has its use but a project plan will be a better guide to the establishment of the business and can help one to avoid project failure..

The reasons for failure of projects

This can be the result of one of the following:

  • Poor Planning
  • Inadequate Resources
  • Lack of Management Support
  • Unclear and insufficient communication
  • Conflicts Between Departments or among individuals
  • Poorly Defined Roles & Responsibilities
  • Objectives were Not Clear
  • Changes in Scope
  • Failure to Heed Warning Signs
  • Unrealistic  or unclear project expectations
  • Unrealistic budget and schedule
  • Poor risk management
  • Team problems
  • Poor quality problems
  • Lack of support for the project e.g. losing resources

Benefits of the use of Project management methodology include:

  • Improve the Project Estimation, budgeting and cost control processes
  • Improve Cash flow management
  • Allow for better resource acquisition, allocation and utilization
  • Ensure you select and prioritize the right projects
  • Plan Projects in a clear and consistent manner
  • Allow for timely delivery of project deliverables
  • lead to timely and Improved Product and Service Delivery
  • Encourage and Facilitate Team Collaboration
  • Minimize Project Risk
  • Reduce Project Failures
  • Allow for the establishment of metrics to measure performance and inform project performance and other reporting
  • Improve Customer and stakeholder satisfaction

So let us not miss any step but move onto the development of the project charter, a critical output in project initiation- the first process in project management.

At this stage it is important to check the Lolovesit Startup Business Model Checklist.  While on my face book page – Project Management Made Easy, like it and browse around for additional goodies.  You should also check some of our start up articles e.g Are you ready for entrepreneurship in Trinidad and Tobago.

We will assist you in the development and implementation of the plan.  Please contact us and sign our newsletter