Project management: Key to start-up success

Steve Carkner on product development

For many start-ups, protecting intellectual property and developing a viable business strategy is just the beginning of the perfect venture. Entrepreneurs need be organized, disciplined and systematic in how they run their business and their day-to-day operations.  So how can new entrepreneurs optimize their chances of successfully managing their business? I believe the answer can be found in basic project management practices.

In his CIBC Presents Entrepreneurship 101 lecture, Steve Carkner takes us through the phases of product development.  Early in the lecture, I realized that these phases  were virtually identical to the standard phases of any project, from requirements gathering, scope definition and design, to implementation and quality assurance. This illustrates how project management principles are applicable and indeed crucial to most aspects of business.

While most project management textbooks and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) present the knowledge areas within the context of managing a project, they are equally relevant to running a successful business. The nine knowledge areas are:

  1. Project Integration Management
  2. Project Scope Management
  3. Project Time Management
  4. Project Cost Management
  5. Project Quality Management
  6. Project Human Resource Management
  7. Project Communications Management
  8. Project Risk Management
  9. Project Procurement Management

The application of project management best practices for the knowledge areas listed above will help you become better organized, provide tools and methodologies for conceptualizing and planning your business strategy and ideally, save you time and money, both of which most entrepreneurs are in short supply. Many universities offer courses in project management fundamentals if you are interested in learning more. I encourage all new entrepreneurs to explore project management to discover how these principles can help you build a successful business.