Managing one’s own projects is a subject about which many books and articles have been written. Managing the projects of others, however, is a subject unto itself, as many small business owners will quickly learn as they begin to grow their staff. What’s the secret to managing employee projects without taking them over as your own?
For most small business owners, this is a matter of combining effective employee management with basic project management principles. Depending on your own level of experience and skills at each, this can be somewhat straightforward or somewhat challenging.
Let’s break this process down into three bite-size project management tips.
How to Manage Your Staff Projects Effectively
1. Acknowledge the Bigger Picture
Work, of any kind, without meaning is tentative at best. There is no clear purpose, no understanding of the “why” behind the given task, and so it remains work and nothing more. But as soon as you show the correlation between one’s project and a greater strategic objective, you provide an essential ingredient to enthusiastic productivity: meaning.
But there is another aspect to the bigger picture: interdependence. While it is clearly worthwhile to show each employee how their respective roles relate to the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic direction, aka the big picture, there is tremendous value in showing how various team members are necessary participants in each other’s projects. Doing so adds a third dimension to the bigger picture and also serves as a team building tool.
2. Empower Your Staff to Manage Their Own Projects
Managing employee projects is as much about leading your staff as it is about managing their projects. The key is to provide the necessary tools and support that they require to effectively manage their projects. As the business owner, you provide the structure.
You set the expectations. You provide guidance and assistance as needed. But—and this is critically important—the individual staff members still own their respective projects. As the leader, you provide the necessary support while enforcing the appropriate account-abilities.
3. Manage Workload to Seek Balance
Here you are monitoring individual progress on your staff projects in the context of overall staff workloads. As the business owner or team leader, you may be able to spot opportunities to balance workload by shifting day-to-day operational duties among staff members.
You may opt to recommend transferring specific project tasks from one individual to another—within the context of existing project ownership. Or you may wish to consider some combination of the two. As the leader, your role is one of support and guidance. In the end, a given project’s owner remains that project’s owner.
More Project Management Tips
Spring-Green has long held fast to the following principles of project management.
• Any viable project must point toward a strategic goal for the betterment of the company.
• Begin with a well-defined objective and list the steps toward achieving that objective.
• Although there may be many participants in any given project, there must be one sole owner who will be held accountable for the outcome of that project.
• When necessary, adjust the plan(s) in order to better balance individual workloads.
• Never let the achievement of an objective go uncelebrated.
• However large or small, never let a failure go undiscussed.
The Spring-Green Way
We would be remiss not to acknowledge Spring-Green’s decades of experience in the areas of employee and project management. The Spring-Green Business Consultants and Support Center staff have been helping franchise owners across the US when it comes to ongoing support for the business.
From marketing new services to growing your business, the Support Center and Business Consultants ensure that you have expert guidance whenever and wherever you need it. Would you like to learn more about how we do this? Call 1-800-777-8608 or visit us at www.growmygreenindustrybusiness.com to learn more.