Better Project Management Tips for a Leaner Business
Lucy Hudson

In the previous article, we discussed the business changes that you can make without breaking the bank. With the market being as competitive as it is today, every competitive advantage counts. Small changes such as managing office expenses better can help your business be more flexible when facing market challenges.

Making improvements to workflows and operating as a lean entity will push that competitive advantage even further. The best way to do that is by adopting a better project management approach and improving how tasks are organized. There are several things that can be done to improve project management for a leaner operation, and we are going to discuss them in this article.

Adopt Kanban

There are many ways to manage projects in a more efficient way, but using a Kanban board – and adopting the Kanban system – is the easiest way to optimize your workflows. This is because Kanban is visual by nature, with cards on the board representing the tasks in hand.

The Kanban system is even easier to use now that it is available in digital form. You can customize the digital Kanban board to suit the existing workflows of your business. Kanbanize is a good example of a digital Kanban board that can be customized to suit specific needs.

Adopting Kanban gives you the opportunity to do other things such as eliminating bottlenecks, checking workloads of team members, and making sure that collaborations happen smoothly. Since the digital Kanban board also comes with automation, you can be much leaner than before.

Improve Task Planning

Sticking with the Kanban system as a way to improve project management, tasks that are added always start on the leftmost side of the board, and the side represents the ‘Planning’ stage. This is a huge advantage when you are trying to improve task and resource planning.

Tasks that are in the Planning phase can have details added to the cards. Everyone involved in the project can be at the same level of understanding since the planning phase, and the task can be completed better moving forward.

Resource planning can happen in a similar manner. With tasks pooled on the left side of the Kanban board, resources can be allocated based on priority and other factors. As a result, tasks will proceed with the right amount of resources and waste – and delays – can be minimized.

Clear Deliverables

The next thing you can do to improve project management is make sure that all deliverables are defined clearly and specifically. Deliverables for each task being organized must be defined so that the closuring of each task can be done at the right time.

Clear deliverables will supplement having clear objectives for the project. Each project will have multiple tasks to complete, but you can accurately predict the time needed to complete them, which leads to having a clear timeline for the project.

Lastly, having clear deliverables lets you measure whether the resources allocated to the tasks are worth the end results that you get in return. This allows for every project to have moderate to high return on investment (ROI) and it will be measurable from the start.

Automate Repetitive Tasks

Expanding capacity is usually tied to investing more resources, but automation makes it possible to operate in a leaner way. This too results in your operational capacity being expanded by a substantial margin. Even better, there are a lot of ways to automate repetitive tasks.

Depending on the tools you use, automating tasks can be done by simply integrating multiple tools, adding automation routines, or configuring built-in features to be triggered automatically in certain events. The technical side of automating tasks is the easy part of the equation.

The challenge is identifying tasks to automate. This needs to begin with reviewing existing workflows and identifying repetitive tasks that require little to no human input. Tasks such as generating reports, filing documents, or specific ones such as synchronizing contacts are the easiest to automate.

Integrate the Right Tools

As mentioned before, the right tools can help streamline how projects are managed. Synchronizing tasks on the Kanban board with Git push is something that many app development teams now do to simplify their workflows, and using the right tools makes that possible.

Team members must be comfortable with the tools they use in order to remain productive. With the primary project management tool at the center of your integration plan, adding solutions such as CRM, ERP, and general financial management tools completes the equation.

Integration is the key here. You want the different solutions you use to be compatible with each other. When a team member adds an expense to the Kanban card, the accounting software must be able to pull that data and make the necessary records automatically.

There is no doubt that better project management leads to leaner and more effective operations. With the market being as competitive as it is today, operating as a lean business is the key to staying flexible and ahead of your competition.

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