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Small Projects, Big Management Problem

Published: 2015-09-11

by Marcelle Du Rand

A common misconception in business today is that project management is only for project managers. This could not be further from the truth as companies are increasingly utilising larger numbers of ordinary business people to run with small to medium sized projects, such as year-end functions, marketing campaigns and/or planning company events.

The primary goal of a business project is the delivery of value or benefit for the business. As a result, traditional project management although relevant, needs to be broadened to address the unique requirements of business projects.

Most companies already have some project management methodology in place, and that's part of the problem… if you're not actively questioning your approach, looking for weak spots, and comparing it with other options, it'll creep along in whatever direction it's already headed.

So the question is: How do you track small projects?

While companies tend to have a decent handle on large, expensive projects, they often fall short on the smaller ones. When you consider that smaller projects can add up to a significant chunk of resources, this can put a big dent in IT's reputation and credibility.

Small projects are the piranhas of IT. Individually, they are not so bad but in packs they will eat you alive.

Two suggested strategies for handling small projects are as follows:

Firstly, group small projects together. Here, portfolio management systems can help us to classify resources, while simultaneously making portfolio management practical on a small scale. Start off by classifying sets of activities and then abstracting them into a larger project. So, for instance, don't classify "patch the servers" as a project, but rather track patching as part of staff time spent on "server maintenance."

Secondly, train business-unit people in core project management skills to enable them to drive small, localized projects. Think of it as similar to having a few "super users" of SharePoint scattered around to help their less tech-savvy colleagues and drive adoption. The benefits of business staff undergoing just a few days of training, will quickly be evident as they start implementing their knowledge to drive the basic process of good project management fundamentals. 

Looking for a dynamic introduction to Project Management?

Faculty Training Institute’s, Project Management Essentials cuts through all the project management jargon and equips you with simple, yet powerful techniques that you will be able to apply immediately in the work place. These techniques will increase your effectiveness and efficiency, while reducing the stress as you plan, organise and control business projects.


About Marcelle…Marcelle Du Rand

Marcelle has been broadly involved in some way or form in the Education sector since 2000. She is passionate about both education and Africa and lives her daily life by the motto “Change Africa one person at a time”. This passion extends to her personal life where she volunteers at the Art of living organisation which strives to strengthen society by strengthening the individual.

She joined Faculty Training Institute (FTI) in April 2012 as a Business Development Consultant. Her extensive travel experience combined with independent client interaction has proven invaluable in the development of client relationships in a short time.

In addition Marcelle is an excellent communicator and experienced facilitator. Her passion for customer service and well developed relationship building skills with both clients and colleagues have allowed her to work in numerous countries throughout Africa as well as with internal teams in China, Malaysia, Middle East and the UK.




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