Thursday, 30 October 2008

What new horizons can we see? Project management for business start-ups – Richard Newton, consultant

The skills and mindset of a project manager are an important tool in starting up a new business – and it is business start-ups that could take us out of the current economic downturn.

Start-ups are dynamic, uncertain and volatile, awash with emotion, uncertainty, ambiguity and assumptions. Tasks are difficult to identify or estimate and resources are limited.

On the plus side, the people involved are highly motivated, decisions are made fast, there are fewer sacred cows when it comes to prioritisation, clear accountability and progress, all mixed with passion and ideas.

Credibility and confidence is needed especially when chasing funding. A project manager can help to develop this by being the honest voice of calm and reality and by bringing clarity, structure, problem solving and robust processes to the table.

A pragmatic approach, being action and outcome orientated, keeping plans as simple as possible and the ability to drive ruthless prioritisation and fast decision-making are all great project management attributes for this world.

It’s not for the faint-hearted – you need to be flexible and go in with your eyes open. If you can’t take the stress, don’t do it!

Do you think project managers can add value to a start-up business?
Yes – 100%
As a project manager, would you relish the challenge of that kind of environment?
Yes - 75%

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