Whether your business is small, mid-size or large, your first project should be an initiative to review the vision and direction intended for the business, and ensure all projects support that vision. If your business is small, you can achieve this by assigning one person to be a dedicated or part-time project manager, focusing time and efforts in this regard. Larger organizations can transition their traditional Project Management Office (PMO) into a high-performing Enterprise Project Management Office (EPMO) that ensures all projects, programs and portfolios are channeled effectively and efficiently to fully support the company-wide strategic direction.
The end result for businesses ultimately is to meet the needs of customers, regardless of a product or service. Now is the time to pause and think about whether your product or service is meeting the needs of your current or potential customers. Have you solicited feedback? What feedback have you received? Is the product or service you provide meeting their needs? If not, something needs to change. If you are meeting their needs, maybe exceeding expectations could be the new goal. Either way, this would be a good time to assign project management resources to address this, and stay ahead of the game.
As a business grows, processes must be updated or possibly removed if they no longer make sense or if they create unnecessary work for employees. This does not always mean there is a need to take on costly process re-engineering initiatives. Often times after the process reviews are complete, you may need to make only minor modifications to a process to achieve overall improvements, cost and time savings. It makes no sense to continue using a process or partial process if the only reason it is in place is because “it has always been done that way.” This is one of those areas where past performance should not necessarily be an indicator of acceptable future performance.
Many business owners and management intend to make vendor- or service-offering-related changes but, because they are so busy, they plod along paying for services that do not fully meet their needs. As companies grow and change so do their needs. Often times their back-office functions in particular can no longer keep pace in a way that supports current and future business growth requirements or potential. For example, this may be of particular issue for many small to mid-market businesses owners who receive accounting related services that only provide after the fact, partial, and not necessarily relevant financial information; making unnecessarily difficult to make crucial decisions on time.