Taking a project management approach to your firm can be hugely beneficial. It ensures that projects are being properly completed and can provide much needed information for future projects. Projects and processes will vary depending on the industry, but they will all follow the 5 basic phases:
• 1. Intiation – The identification of projects and determination if they are a benefit to the company and if so actually feasible.
Any task that currently take more than a few hours, have multiple steps or require multiple staff members should be looked at as a project that needs managing. Too many firms are treating each client as a unique transaction.
• 2. Definition – Defining the scope of the project including budget and timelines. If done incorrectly can lead to the scope needing to be changed and unrealistic results.
• 3. Launch – Official start of the project, includes the distribution of responsibilities and resources.
• 4. Performance – Monitoring the status of the project. Comparing actual and expected timelines and budget.
• 5. Close – All tasks have been completed, and the client has approved. Evaluate the project to see if anything should be adjusted for the future.
Many of the larger firms have started taking this approach, they have planning processes and meetings once the file is completed.
Once you have adopted the project management approach, scheduling and planning becomes much easier. You gain a clear picture of the actual time and work required to complete the task. It also allows you to learn from previous misshapes and enables you to very quickly identify potential delays.
The ability to budget and monitor, means you will be able to see in real time if this project will be making money or not. Allowing you time to make changes or simply learn for the next time.
The amount of project management resources available online is staggering. From software tools to actual course, there will most definitely be a tool to your liking. An approach to training that we like is to have a small group attend formal training either in a classroom or online. Once completed they in turn teach what they have learned to the rest of the staff. The result is a stronger team and more knowledgeable staff.
Client Track includes a built-in projects management system that tracks all of your clients’ tasks.
Any task that you feel should be properly managed can be set up and monitored every step of the way gaining you invaluable information about your firm.