A Quick Guide to Project Management with your VA

a quick guide to project management with your VA

Project Management | Small projects pose unique challenges for the business. Small projects are usually considered of less priority than large ones. As a result, they end up being delayed, poorly executed or completely forgotten. This quick guide will tell you how your VA can help in efficient small projects!

Project Management Basics 

What is Project Management?

In its very basic sense, project management is an organized initiative that aims to achieve a predetermined goal. Whether it’s increasing productivity, sales, or online engagement, project management outlines the strategies you need to deliver business value. 

In short, it’s getting a team to do specific tasks to improve your business. Sure it doesn’t seem all that complicated, but getting you and your team to commit and follow through a project has its ups and downs. 

Before starting a project, you first have to identify whether it’s a small or large project. Identifying your project avoids overcomplicating the entire process, and as a result, makes it more realistic to achieve. 

Identifying a Project

Projects, big or small, exist at all times in all areas of a business. However, failure to identify small projects makes it difficult to prioritize and execute. 

Oftentimes, small projects are confused with regular or day-to-day operations because they aren’t distinguished properly. Your project could end up delayed, poorly executed, or completely forgotten. 

Obviously, the bigger the scope, the bigger the project, and looser constraints. 

However, to get started on the right foot, you should identify a small project from a large one. 

To do so, you must carefully define your project scope. 

Defining the Scope of Your Project

Defining the scope of a project sets the boundaries for the entire process. 

Say, for example, you are a small bakery specializing in made-to-order wedding cakes, and you want to improve your Instagram page through consistent and professional-looking content! Your scope definition doesn’t have to be scary or intimidating! It should, however, be clear to you and your team. Here’s what a basic scope outline might look like! 

Table 1. Scope Definition and Example

SCOPE CONTENT EXAMPLE
  1. Business situation and impact they have on your business
My bakery’s Instagram content needs a lot of improvement. The posts are not consistent, there is no clear brand, and looking through the feed is messy. 

The Instagram content should parallel the visual artistry I put into my wedding cakes. 

  1. Objectives or what your business should look like after the project
  • Have a professional-looking Instagram page that is pleasing to the eye
  • Have consistent and creative content that matches the work I put into my cakes
  • Be able to tell my story through Instagram in a way my audiences can relate to
  1. Deliverables or the tasks your team needs to complete
  • Create a content style guide that includes templates, color schemes, fonts, and variations of the logo, tone of voice, and my company’s story
  • Create a content calendar for the next 6 months as overseen by my social media manager
  • Have at least one Instagram engager keep my Instagram Stories updated daily

After creating your scope definition, it’s important to consider the constraints your project operates on. These constraints include quality, cost, time, and resources. 

Constraints to the Small Project

According to Robert Wysocki, author of the essential project management book Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme – any business project will have constraints. These constraints depend on the current abilities of your business. Make sure that the goals on your scope definition are achievable and realistic. Most likely, you’re going to end up editing and revising the scope as needed by these constraints. 

It is essential that you involve your virtual assistant in this phase of the project. Firstly, your virtual assistant can help you clearly identify these constraints. Moreover, they can make sure the project is working efficiently within them. 

  • Quality

There are two types of quality for every project – the product quality, and the process quality. 

Product quality – this is the quality of the deliverable from the project. In the earlier bakery example, these include the quality of your style guide, content calendar, and your actual Instagram content. 

Process quality – this refers to the quality of the project process! How efficient were you in your team when accomplishing the project, where your team’s skillset enough? What can be improved? 

Your virtual assistant can assess the quality of your project by implementing tools and criteria. They can also facilitate assessments within your team for feedback and improvements. 

  • Cost

The cost, or the budget, for the project, establishes the project. In the earlier example, we mentioned at least one Instagram Engager, but a bigger budget might call on more employees. 

The cost is a major consideration for your project, and decisions for the rest of the project are heavily based on this. 

  • Time

This is the specific time frame in which your project needs to be accomplished! Deadlines deadlines deadlines! 

Cost and time are very much related to each other, as major decisions have to be made with these in mind. In other words, a project accomplished in less time will require more funds. 

Meanwhile, a good virtual assistant should be able to keep the project on schedule, so that your team is most efficient and productive in the time allotted. 

  • Resources

Resources include all your assets such as people and their skill sets, facilities, tools, and equipment that you need for your project. In essence, these resources are central to the scheduling of your project and the order of completion. 

For projects like an improved Instagram business page, the main resource would be people and content creation software. Your staff should be able to complete their tasks in time and of exceptional quality. These include, but are not limited to, your virtual assistant, social media manager, graphic artists, and a branding consultant. Of course, your budget will dictate manpower. Sometimes, it’s better to have three skilled and dedicated employees than 15 inconsistent ones!

Virtual Assistants in Perth

Digital Offsider is an outsourcing company in Perth. We have a roster of skilled and professional virtual assistants, social media managers, graphic designers, and many more to complete your projects efficiently and in good quality! 

Contact us today for any questions or concerns. We’d be happy to consult you on your next project!

 

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