Project management

Creating a new social business or undertaking change in an existing one requires the effective co-ordination of strategy and implementation.

The task of liaising with the various teams working on the project falls to the project manager. It’s therefore essential for the success of your business that you adopt effective project management techniques.

Managing social business projects

There are many project management methods, tools and systems available in the business world. The key features of effective project management are:

Project management basics

Start with some early stage planning and designing a workable plan.  Brainstorm to generate ideas. Perform a SWOT analysis, assessing these ideas  in the context of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to your social business.

A critical path analysis is also a great way to examine the dependencies of the different project aspects and how they all fit together. There are many free tools online to allow you accomplish the above.

Following the critical path analysis, many project managers develop a timeline to help them co-ordinate the parts of the project that depend on each other. A Gantt chart is also often used to map out the project schedule, with start and completion dates for each part. Again, there are many free tools for this online. 

Project management risk register

Another essential part of any project is the management of risks to the project delivery. Project managers assess the risks to the  delivery in terms of timeliness, budget and quality. Once risks have been identified, a contingency plan is created to reduce the likelihood of the risks actually happening, as well as the effect of the risks should they materialise. It’s also good practice to create alternative plans in case of serious threats.

Business-wide project management, communication and reporting

It is critical that all information about the project’s timescales, targets and progress is available to everyone involved. Everyone needs to be looking at the same thing, so project managers are also in charge of making sure the information is consistent.    

Social business help and support from Business Wales

Business Wales offers a wealth of information, advice and guidance for business owners. Below, we’ve listed some useful resources for social business project management.