As a small business grows, managers may find that old methods of project management do not serve the needs that come with larger staffs, budgets and client claims. Moving from an informal system to a software application such as Project is not an easy task and should be done in stages. Project 2007 training is a critical first step, but after a few courses managers are not suddenly going to be Project experts.

Starting Small

Although it's tempting to apply everything you learned in Project 2007 training right away, doing so will yield a cumbersome, poorly organized plan that frustrates everyone involved and hurts the organization. It can take weeks or months to move aspects of project management over to a new system.

A good start is one of the most basic functions of Project 2007: the creation of task lists. Take the duties of each person involved, break them down into individual steps, and create an overall project schedule for each employee. This may not seem like much but often informal management systems do not have explicit task lists, which can leave employees unsure of what future duties will be.

After creating the task lists, start to employ other techniques from Project 2007 training. Assign time estimates to each step and integrate all task lists into a calendar. Share the calendar and task lists with the team. Now each worker knows not just current and future duties but has a picture of what other people on the project are responsible for. A visual schedule helps employees to understand deadlines and timetables intuitively.

Add New Features With Each Project

Even the simple system above will help organization and control of tasks among team members. Depending on the size of the ventures your company undertakes, it might take several projects for this system to flow smoothly. Then it is time to add more functionality.

Proper organization is more than scheduling people's time; it's scheduling resources. Although time is an important resource, others include raw materials, outside services, and of course money. Intermediate Project 2007 training introduces techniques that allow you to add resource management to task scheduling so that your team does not find itself with the time to do something but not the tools.

Assigning resources to tasks and employees allows the manager to predict a budget for the project. This is critical in the early stages to see if a given endeavor is worth a company's time to undertake. Tracking resource usage allows managers to change the budget as needed, requesting extra supplies before work stops due to a shortfall.

Finally, the tracking methods that come from Project 2007 training allow a manager to get a big picture view of whether the project is on course or not. If not, workloads and staffing can be adjusted or features can be cut to meet deadlines and keep clients happy.

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