Small businesses will spend nearly $602 billion on IT software and services this year. If it wasn’t already clear how important (and expensive) software is, that number should seal it. When small and midsize businesses (SMBs) invest in software, the last thing they want is for that software to change. That’s why some users of Atlassian’s software tools were shocked to learn last month that its communications apps—Hipchat and Stride—will shut down soon.
There’s a trick to hitting project milestones that doesn’t demand a series of all-nighters. If you’re worried about missing a hard deadline, you can cut the scope of a specific task. This is especially true if your milestone includes some nonessential tasks.
This advice might seem counterintuitive. After all, delivering what you promise is a key aspect of project management. But there are times when de-scoping project tasks isn’t just acceptable, but necessary to meet milestones.
Business owners pay a high price for projects that don’t deliver. Research from the Project Management Institute shows that businesses waste $97 million for every $1 billion invested in projects. Meanwhile, the expectations for project delivery are higher than ever before. “Go live” is no longer the main metric; “advance business strategy” is.
There’s an overwhelming amount of project management software. To give you an idea of how many tools exist, GetApp has 18 separate directories under the project management umbrella. Even when you’re shopping for specific software (for example, tools to manage Agile projects), it’s still overwhelming for small business owners to choose which software is the best fit for their needs.
So, it won’t seem helpful if we introduce another tool: Project portfolio management (PPM) software. With so many project management software options, why add PPM to the crowded ring of contenders?
One-third of British workers have reported feeling “financially unstable” for absorbing large or unexpected business expenses. Since enterprise employers are more likely to have expense policies, employees that work for small and midsize businesses are at greater risk—and that’s not the only expense-related challenge.
If you know which deductions to make, and have an expense management tool, your small business can save a substantial amount at tax time. But the opposite is true as well: You risk taking a fiscal hit if you’re caught off-guard at the end of each year.
For every $1 billion invested in projects, businesses waste $97 million because of poor project performance. This should scare small businesses with scarce extra cash: Can you afford to waste 10 percent of your project budget on inefficiency?
Now for the good news: Project Management Institute (PMI) reported last year that more project managers met their initial goals and completed work within budget for the first time in five years. PMI cited the growing use of Agile within organizations as a factor in this rise of successful projects.