Risk Management

How to Navigate the Big Perils of Small Projects

“Small project” is a very misleading title. It gives the illusion that it’s somehow simpler than normal projects. However, smaller projects fail at double the rate of their average counterparts, and that is in no small part due to poor management. In a post for Project Management Basics, Dmitriy Nizhebetskiy covers how to succeed when managing smaller projects:

No Small Task

Before delving too deeply into how to manage multiple small projects, some common misconceptions should be tackled. A small project’s success depends upon your treatment of it, so make sure you show others how important it can be to the company. That said, each small project is complicated and unique in its own right. Believing that you can lead several of these projects easily using the exact same approach is a one way ticket to failure.

When it comes to the complex task of managing multiple small projects at once, Nizhebetskiy recommends the following tips:

  • Combine project teams.
  • Build up leadership within teams.
  • Track all projects as a whole.
  • Manage it as one project.

About combining project teams, he says this:

If you are using shared resources, it is better to share their time among your projects only. So, you need to try to create one team that is 100% dedicated to your projects.

From one side it removes the necessity to communicate with other managers about time allocation of resources. Moreover, it gives you an ability to level resources workload. And, if needed, boost the lagging with relatively free resources from other projects.

It should also be noted that you should build up the leadership of these teams to free yourself up for other responsibilities. Tracking the projects as a whole and not micromanaging teams should also be a goal. Your new team leaders exist to help keep them on track and as such do not require as much of your oversight. In addition to this, managing them as a single project means you can allocate resources properly among all of them as long as it doesn’t impede progress.

Lastly, remember to be especially rigorous with your risk management on small projects. Nizhebetskiy gives this example: If you have a six-person team, and two members get sick for two weeks–then what? Smaller projects can absorb less damage.

For more tips on running small projects, you can view the original post here: https://pmbasics101.com/small-projects/

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