Abstract
A must read article for all Business Owners interested in smoothly running great Projects.  Once a company achieves a reasonable level of growth and size, projects become an inevitable part of running a business.  Many business owners do run projects, but those that don't are usually focused on managing via the rear view mirror, rather than looking forward.  There a some project owners that choose to establish and run projects on an annual basis. Whilst this may be effective for large organisations, the dynamic environment in which many Small and Medium enterprise operate is not conducive to this.

 
Tip 1 - Don't  set and forget your projects 
Projects require ongoing maintenance and management. Not only is cost management critical but the emerging filed of benefits management has also recently emerged.    Whilst it might be seem simple and efficient to set and forget your projects, things are continually changing and the direction of your project(s) needs to reflect these changes.   Gantt Chart systems can enable more effective monitoring and management of your projects. They enable simple, visual dash-board based reporting.   Consider the most critical elements of your project and identify key metrics that you would like to manage. Investigate possible Excel based solutions that might give you a simple and effective Gantt Chart View

 
Tip 2 - Ensure you  monitor and manage delivery
A project can very quickly become a significant business problem. Without constant monitoring it is highly likely that your project will not deliver the benefits that you are seeking.   Often the lack of tools makes monitoring a very time consuming administrative task, that becomes too overwhelming for management to use efficiently.   Employing the appropriate tools can make automated, visual reporting and monitoring just a part of the process of project delivery.   Whilst there are many different tools that can assist in the delivery, the visual appeal and flexibility of an excel based Gantt Chart offers a simple and effective solution.

 
Tip 3 -   Find out how Gantt Charts and Pert Charts can help 
One of the key issues with project management is team level communication. The use of a Gantt Chart is effectively a team communication mechanism and ensures that all members of the team are assigned to the right tasks at the right time.   Often business owners are not aware of what a gantt chart is. They refer to a project plan as a mere table than a visual time-guide. Chartgantt.com   Google is full of useful sites that explain what a Gantt Chart is and how it can be used in project management. For more detailed information, you could consider taking a course with The Project Management Institute on project planning.   Set aside an hour per week to learn about the techniques employed in project planning. This small investment of your time could save significant project funds in the long run.

 
Tip 4 -  Also Consider the power of dependencies to automate your project management 
Dependencies are effectively an approach to programming the relationships between tasks in your project. This enables any slippages in your project schedule to be automatically modelled, with subsequent tasks automatically slipping as a result.  Most business owners and founders are busy focusing on delivery of products or services, rather than project management. Many have never even heard of the concept of project task dependencies.  Review wikipedia on project dependencies. There is a fantastic article on all 4 dependency types and exactly how and when they could be used in project planning. Download a program such as Chartgantt that will give you a better understand of exactly what dependencies are and will enable you to play around with exactly how they might affect your project.

 
Summary
There a some project owners that choose to establish and run projects on an annual basis. Whilst this may be effective for large organisations, the dynamic environment in which many Small and Medium enterprise operate is not conducive to this.  To resolve this issue there are a number of key steps that can be taken.   the power of dependencies to automate your project management    Whilst there are many different tools that can assist in the delivery, the visual appeal and flexibility of an excel based Gantt Chart offers a simple and effective solution.   Set aside an hour per week to learn about the techniques employed in project planning. This small investment of your time could save significant project funds in the long run.   Download a program such as Chartgantt that will give you a better understand of exactly what dependencies are and will enable you to play around with exactly how they might affect your project.