Small businesses that want to grow simply must build reliable and repeatable processes internally that help team members get work done and reach goals. 

This could be on the sales and marketing side, production or development, or client onboarding. The key is that these departments must work together efficiently and at a considerable speed in order to improve performance, grow, and achieve results.

It might seem easy, however, execution is the number one threat to small businesses. This is because businesses need to be able to do more with less.

Although project management practices and tools can help, the challenge is that most project management tools don’t allow businesses to do this with clarity and ease. They also do not allow them to move fast or scale, the tools aren’t easy to use, and the traditional way of running a company just simply doesn’t work anymore.

The market is moving too quickly, customers and clients are easily distracted, and this leaves businesses and their teams feeling like they can never catch up… 

In this article, we will explore why traditional project management doesn’t work for small businesses like it used to, and how implementing the right methodology and execution model can help teams remain adaptable and open to change in order to move quickly and scale.

Why Today’s Teams Are Switching to Agile  

Every business and project has its own unique shape, size, scope, and needs. As a result, different businesses and projects require different teams. For example, some large-scale projects may require a blend of in-house team members, external vendors, or even remote team members located on the other side of the world to build the latest and greatest app. Other projects may only require three team members working together on a website in a co-working space.

It is this vastly different dynamic that ultimately determines the project methodology used to manage the project. However, more and more teams today are becoming agile. Agile is a modern methodology, which involves taking an adaptable, flexible approach to planning, managing projects, team members, and outcomes. 

Here are some reasons why agile has become the way to go:

– Flexible and Adaptable. The agile method involves embracing, responding to, and adapting to change. The agile method takes an “adaptive action” to project plans. This means that “change” is mindless; adaptation is mindful.

– Project Planning. Project planning is done throughout the lifecycle of the project and before entering each phase rather than all at the beginning of the project. 

Increased Team Communication and Collaboration. Agile project management is also more collaborative, involving end users, clients, and stakeholders throughout the project. It also improves decision-making.

As a result, teams address defects sooner and have fewer project overruns. Risk might increase slightly with the faster pace, but the organization is better equipped to identify, deal with and mitigate those risks. The increased flexibility means teams can manage and change priorities more fluidly. 

– Shared Responsibility. Perhaps one of the most important agile principles is project performance is really the responsibility of the entire project community. Whether the community involves designers, developers, product managers, writers, or all of the above, project success is the entire team’s responsibility. This level of shared responsibility increases productivity and accountability across the team.

– Improved Decision Making. Because agile encourages more team communication and collaboration, this ultimately improves the team’s decision-making abilities. If the project team or community is effectively adapting to project or organizational changes, then this improves the team’s overall ability to make decisions as a cohesive unit.

Increased Customer Satisfaction. Rather than delivering a product at the end of the project, the agile methodology allows teams to deliver the project in “batches”, allowing end user or customer collaboration and feedback.

Organizations can expect greater focus on customer needs and wants, which equates to a rise in customer satisfaction. Organizations post-agile tend to experience an increase in sales and revenue while also reducing waste. They’ll see an improvement in collaboration, organizational flexibility and adaptation to change, as well as more innovation. They can also expect improved morale, productivity and better quality products.

According to a study published by Reifer, more than 70 percent of organizations follow the agile methodology for product development (namely software development). This study also found that agile projects are more productive than traditional projects.

Responding to Change

As we mentioned above, one of the primary reasons why many small and startup businesses struggle to keep up with growing market trends is because they follow a methodology that doesn’t allow them to quickly adapt to change.

By building and implementing processes and a culture that is open to change, teams and businesses have an easier time keeping up with market trends, making changes to their products, and to also reduce the number of market delays. 

This brings us to our next point: process…

Project Management: People and Processes

Whether you have been in business for 10 days or 10 years, you likely know that processes break from time to time. As a result, many businesses end up forgetting about processes. However, processes are crucial. Without the right processes to support operations and business goals, risks significantly increase. 

Therefore, when processes break or there is a lack of adoption or accountability, this means that it’s more important than ever to build processes that actually work and that everyone will follow.

So, what does “the right” process look like? Processes should have the following criteria:

– Simple to follow

– Predictable

– Reliable and repeatable (in place and ready to support)

– Easy to report progress

Additionally, processes should have generative rules built in, which means rules that can easily grow and change but continue to meet organizational needs and objectives. 

For example, the “barely sufficient methodology” sets processes for each individual project phase, but team members can use their own individual processes to achieve the needs of each project phase).

Although both project management and processes are important, people are one of the greatest assets to the success of a project and the organization. You just need to make sure you have the right people on your team. By the “right” people, we mean people who also adopt the agile mindset, and who are adaptable and open to change. This involves building the best possible environment that sets the entire team and organization up for success. 

An Execution-Focused Model

All in all, we build processes that support execution, or producing a final product or outcome. A process that doesn’t produce output isn’t a process.

When building processes, it’s important to remember that simplicity beats complexity. Simple, scalable processes not only help improve production and activities, but they also help companies grow and adapt. And companies that adopt the agile methodology are in a better position to adapt to change than companies that are stuck following traditional methodologies.

Today, automation can be built in any execution-focused model to help streamline processes, improve processes, and boost productivity.

Adopting a tool with built-in automation capabilities can help teams and businesses easily build reliable, repeatable processes that are focused on achieving a goal or producing a product.

Simple project management; powerful automation capabilities

How Rindle is Different

All in all, we aren’t saying that agile is better than waterfall for every project or organization. There are definitely cases where traditional project management works best for specific projects (such as government projects).

However, in regards to helping small businesses move faster, grow, and scale, building processes, recruiting people, and adopting the right tool can help companies not only execute, but move faster and scale quickly.

Although there are a number of project management tools and solutions available today, Rindle is different. Rindle is not only easy to learn and implement, it is also streamlines workflows and processes. With Rindle, businesses and teams can easily adopt an agile mindset and approach to projects—and execution becomes a lot easier, allowing teams to move, scale, and grow that much faster.

Give Rindle a try today.