I get the same questions over and over again:
Why would an entrepreneur need project management?
What is project management at all?
Ines talked me into answering these questions, as they came up so often. As showing is always better than writing, you will see strange things happen on our Cactus Competence Social Media profiles and pages. In fact, you will see lots of apartment before and after pictures and videos, renovation work and such kind of stuff. But why?!?
Well, Ines and I have bought an apartment which needs some serious makeover to become our home and workplace and we had the idea to kill a bunch of birds with one stone.
We need to get our apartment in shape in the shortest possible time.
We would do a project plan anyway, so using the apartment makeover as a project seemed kind of obvious, as not too complicated and as something everybody can relate to.
As we both are no handymen by any means, to show that project management can be a real game changer even when navigating unknown waters (as entrepreneurs often do).
It would allow you to get to know us a little bit better and get a glimpse behind the scenes of our personal life and of Cactus Competence.
Why use the DIY Apartment Makeover project to demonstrate project management?
Well first, is this a project at all? Does a DIY apartment makeover fit into the definition of ‘project’?
Remember? I published a blog post on ‘What is a project?‘ not sooooo long ago. So, let’s have a look what the CACTUS definition was and see if it fits.
For us, for a sequence of tasks to become a project, we need:
Yes, we have a goal.
Oh yes, it is definitely something we’ve never done before.
What can – but doesn’t need to – be part of a project?
- Temporal limitation
Yes, we do have this too.
Yes, mainly the two of us, but there might be a plumber too at a certain point.
- Use or meaning
Yes, yes, yes, it means a lot to us to move into our own apartment.
- Sales, capital investment volume, etc.
Yes, there is a huge capital investment, but as I explained in my ‘old’ post, this is not the most important part.
Now, why is our Apartment Makeover Project so great to demonstrate project management?
This DIY Apartment Makeover (#ApartmentMakeoverProject) is great to show what project management can do for entrepreneurs in several ways.
- Virtually everybody can relate to renovation. Either you have done it yourself or you know and followed somebody who did it. Therefore, the topic does not need a huge amount of explanation and we can concentrate on showing the project management.
- It’s exciting and challenging. We will need to take walls down, get all the old furniture, appliances, carpet and decoration out and then start building from there. New build-in kitchen, put a new floor in, get the electricity updated and then build custom-made furniture based on what can be bought in the stores.
We have decided to do all by ourselves, so that we can develop a real emotional connection with the new apartment. The problem is that I have never done any of those tasks, nor has Ines. Our handyman know-how ends in wall painting and the assembly of an IKEA®
- When you start an entrepreneurial project, you only know a few things about what lies ahead of you. The rest is hidden in the mist of future. And that’s true for us when it comes to renovation, furniture building etc. So, I can show that doing a project plan and follow it can really decrease overwhelm and keep you on track towards your goal.
- In this project, we need the flexibility to easily adapt our project plan as we will learn along the way. The same is true for entrepreneurs. You do something, you analyse the result you get, and you adapt your planning. There is no benefit in planning details too far ahead. BUT, on the other side you can’t change horses all the time, so you need to follow a plan. In applying the system we have developed over the years, both is possible, follow the plan and be flexible to integrate what you learned along the way.
Why does an entrepreneur need good project management?
When an entrepreneur starts a new endeavour he or she has only one goal in mind, to become successful. That said, it’s not easy to become successful when you don’t have a plan how to go from your world today to your world tomorrow, or in short how to reach your goals.
Project Management is doing just that, helping you to create a plan and to follow it through all the way until you reached your goal. Now, the project management methods you find on the market tend to be confusing as often designed by non-entrepreneurs or consultants for big companies and so they are overloaded with lots of stuff an entrepreneur never needs and very probably will never need. Or, to put it short, they are full of useless bullshit.
That said, if you cut off everything useless and get to the core of the methods which we have done with our system, project management can be extremely useful in several ways.
What project management is good for:
- It helps prevent overwhelm. It helps you think and prepare a plan to follow when you are in a calm state. It helps breaking down huge goals into bite-size tasks which are easily manageable. It then helps to put the tasks in the right order so that you can work your way through them.
- It is a remedy against FOMO. If it’s not in your plan you do not do it. Unless there is a good reason and then your project plan will show you, what will happen if you spend 200 hours on following this shiny new path.
- It’s a motivation pill. You cannot get yourself to do work because Facebook is more interesting? Then, just do the next task on your list and get going. At least, you moved a bit towards your goal.
- It helps you to communicate. Lots of people would like to know, what you are up to and your project plan provides a base to show them that you are not just dabbling around but follow a plan and will reach your goal.
- Perhaps the most important, when the last task is done, logically you will have reached your goal. It is as simple as that!
So now, let’s get going!
In the next days, you will see some introduction videos like a walk through the apartment before the renovation, so that you get an idea what it looks like and what needs to be done. Then, we will start with our daily videos on site where we show you the stand-up planning process day by day, what has been achieved that day and what is planned the next day.
Plus, we will post some juicy videos when things do not work out like expected. 😉
Now its your turn!
Watch out for this hashtag #ApartmentMakeoverProject to find the posts on our Facebook page.
And by the way, we really would appreciate some encouraging comments … Chocolate would probably do it too! 😉