What every startup should know about product management. Running an early-stage startup is no joke. The entrepreneurship journey comes with its fair share of highs and lows and if you are not prepared, it is easy to lose control. There are too many things that a startup needs to worry about; securing funding, taking care of the available finances, endless email threads, bugs that need fixing, clients that need to be talked to and convinced, and so much more.
It’s all enough to make one go mad. But things don’t have to be this way, which is where a project manager comes in. Project management for startup companies can make all the difference between success and failure.
For startups that want to be successful, hiring a project manager is easily the best way to make sure that the companies goals and objectives are achieved in a timely and cost-effective manner. Sadly, a lot of businesses undervalue the power of effective project management for their startups.
However, the right project manager will not only make sure that the startup is moving in the right direction, but a project manager handles many other roles and responsibilities. These responsibilities ran the gamut from planning and budgeting to executing a project and delivering it to the customers in need.
It’s never too early for startups to include a product manager. But when one is introduced too late, he or she may not be able to turn things around soon enough. So if your startup is looking to bring a project manager into the mix, here is everything that you need to know:
Figure out if you need one in the first place
Hiring a project manager to steer your startup in the right direction is a great investment. However, sometimes it just isn’t the right time to bring in a professional project manager. So before you invest in an expense that you cannot afford, first figure out if your startup needs a project manager in the first place.
You will know that you need a project manager to step in if:
You keep missing deadlines
Often busy startup owners and entrepreneurs find it almost impossible to hit their deadlines consistently due to the busy nature of their jobs. When an entrepreneur is too busy handling other more important aspects of running a business such as outsourcing and other in-house tasks, it’s easy to lose track of time, which causes missed deadlines.
The last thing a startup wants to do is lose its credibility. As such, adding a project manager into the mix of things could be a huge lifesaver for all parties involved.
Your development team cannot seem to agree on issues
As the startup begins to grow, the business starts to branch off into smaller teams that must all be managed. The leaders of these various teams must work together to bring the project to life. But sometimes this is easier said than done.
When a team is constantly disagreeing, the best thing that a startup can do is bring in a project manager to coordinate all the members of the team. The project manager will be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that there is effective communication between team leaders and that the project stays on track.
Your startup is losing money
Although hiring a professional project manager is not going to be cheap, it is definitely better than losing money. As your startup grows, a project manager acts as the glue that holds everything and everyone together, which makes it one of the most worthwhile expenses that a business can have.
Determine exactly what kind of project manager your startup needs
Once your startup determines that you need project management help, the next step is to determine what type of project manager that you need. That’s because project managers come in all shapes and sizes and you will need to figure out which type your business needs the most based on whether yours is a functional or technical project.
A good project manager is well informed in a wide range of topics, marketing subjects, and industries. The most experienced project managers can work on practically any type of project. However, if your project for instance involves a great deal of computer networking, then you will need to hire a project manager that’s well versed in all technical areas.
This will make sure that the right person for the job can coordinate all team members, whether they are involved in the technical or functional side of things. A specialized project manager can do outstanding things for the growth of your company but you need to determine what it is you need exactly so that all your project management needs can be met fully.
Flexibility is required
When you do finally hire a project manager for your startup, remember to remain flexible. That’s because things must always be tested then re-tested and tested again; that’s just the best practice. The best project managers are constantly on the lookout for ways to evaluate the efficacy of a project, the management tools being utilized, as well as best practices.
A project manager must listen to the team members are they put everything together on the front lines. If something is not working, it must be changed to suit the needs of an organization. If a project manager does not have the flexibility or leeway to change things in the process, then your project manager may not be able to achieve much, which would be an utter waste of talent and experience
When startups implement project managers into the business of things, it ensures that the affairs of the business are looked after in a cost-effective yet efficient manner. Project management allows businesses that are just taking off to streamline their activities and develop strategies methodologically.
This is not only vital for tracking a startup’s development and progress, but it’s also crucial for its future. When professional project management practices are followed, positive changes start to happen, and it’s evident.