Best Management Techniques for Startups
Today, a business model canvas is preferred over a long business plan for agility and speed. Startup founders are usually very knowledgeable and experienced in technical areas related to the new product or service they are working on. However, they need to know enough about other disciplines such as marketing, business development, accounting and of course project management to better manage the entire startup effort and increase their chances of success. Project management know-how, including but not limited to stakeholder management, scope management, risk management, effort and time estimation, can help founders develop a more accurate business plan and play an important role in startup success. A solid project management will provide startups to fulfilling their business goals, meet the expectations stakeholders, increase their chances of success, deliver the right products at the right time, solve problems and negativities, timely response to risks, optimize resource usage and better manage changes.
Most Popular Project Management Methodologies for Startups
In order for a startup to survive in the ecosystem, it is very important that it does not disrupt its work, proceeds according to a certain strategy and has a good command of a project management.
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Waterfall, one of the most basic types of project management techniques, follows a sequential and linear process. The linearity of the software process requires completing the activities in the previous one in order to move on to the next step. This technique was first used in the manufacturing industry and later to simplify projects with heavy manufacturing demand.
Before using the waterfall technique, all stages of the project should be determined in detail in order of priority. While using this technique, it is not possible to return to the previous mission and all missions progress in conjunction with each other. Planning is done using the Gantt chart, a type of bar chart that shows the start and end dates for each task.
Agile, one of the most popular project management techniques of recent times, is basically similar to the waterfall method, but has a flexible and collaborative structure. In this project management technique, which is most frequently preferred in the software industry, tasks are handled much faster since software is included in the process. As in the waterfall method, there is no need for documentation and reporting before the project, the process is autonomous. In addition, in this technique, when a mistake is made in any step, it is possible to regulate the previous step thanks to the cooperation and dynamic structure of the system.
This method, which is the circular and cyclical processing of the steps in the waterfall technique, enables individuals to quickly solve problems by working as a team. In this method, in addition to the tests and changes made at each step, customers have an active say in the process and this allows the team to make changes in the project. Agile is one of the most compatible tool for the dynamic and flexible structure of startups. It supports startups to be fast and practical while managing the ongoing processes.
The lean method, which was first used in manufacturing, was developed by Toyota Production Systems. The main objective of this project method is to reduce the resulting waste by minimizing the use of resources while increasing the value offered by the project, that is, to work as simple as possible.
The term defined as waste in the Lean method does not create a profit for the customer; however, it is the set of things that are expenses for the company. The 3 main sources of waste of the lean method, inspired by Japanese philosophy, focused on producing more by using less, are as follows.
Muda is a resource or material waste that does not contribute to the project. For instance; errors, revisions, unnecessary waiting time, overproduction, overwork, excess stock, unnecessary movement and transportation.
Mura is a form of productive waste arising from the process. An unstable and fluctuating production graph causes delays and disruptions in the workflow. This means wasting time, also meaning the biggest waste. Getting rid of Mura waste and re-planning the workflow will contribute a lot to companies.
Muri is the type of waste that arises from loading people or machines with work that exceeds their capacity. This waste causes delays in work and reduces productivity.
By getting rid of these wastes, the Lean method aims to increase the value and efficiency for both the customer and the manufacturer, and to maintain the sustainable flow of the process.