Managers are commonly assigned a new project by senior management and then they must decide how to best approach it. Depending on how analytical they are or whether they’ve successfully managed new projects from start to finish before, it can be overwhelming. Nevertheless, don’t be overly concerned. By using organizational tools, it’s possible to make projects go more smoothly. Here’s how.
Flowcharts Provide a Good Starting Point on New Projects
A good starting point is to use a flowchart maker to get the bones of the project in an understood format. Once a few key parts of the project are added to a new flowchart, it will begin to seem less daunting. This is possible because a few key decisions or actions within the project will be clear whereas others need more thought. So, creating a flowchart gets the thought process flowing nicely for people who are a little stuck.
For other people, they may wish to create a full project plan in the form of a flowchart on day one. These folks need a sense of organization to their project or simply to see a successful way through to the end. Completing all the flowcharts (there will be additions at a later point) gives them confidence as the overseer of the project.
Regardless of which type of person you are, flowcharts shape and advance your thinking in useful ways.
Why Flowcharts Help with Project Management
Projects require a clear idea of the beginning, middle, and end. While eventually it will drill down to individual tasks assigned to various employees, remote workers, or freelancers that comes later. When the planning for the project including decision points, important processes, and other aspects are inferior, some considerations get overlooked. Using an online flowchart in the cloud allows you to make changes at the office, in the car, or at home too. This way, they don’t get forgotten about.
The consequences of overlooking parts of a project can cause delays, mistakes, and some tasks being unnecessarily assigned or not assigned at all. Just like a business needs a dependable business model, not just a business plan, it’s fair to say that projects need a project flowchart too. It can be helpful and for the doubters, it certainly won’t do any harm.
Timelines Vary, So Get a Head Start
Identifying where new relationships must be built, suppliers brought on, or technology providers selected is advantageous. By using an online flowchart, a manager can see when new business relationships or providers will be required. They can then decide the right ones in each situation and go ahead with getting the ball rolling. Also, sharing the online flowchart with other knowledge workers to get their thoughts ensures nothing is overlooked.
Bear in mind that depending on what it is, such arrangements can require weeks or months to become ready. Therefore, a digital flowchart shared with the team helps to spot what’s needed sooner and to avoid delays to the project completion date due to a lack of planning.
Follow the Logical Flow to Validate the Flowchart
When creating a flowchart, adding decision points confirms when either an employee or the customer has made a choice. This then points the flow in multiple directions depending on the outcome of that choice. For instance, different activities can follow a prototype being market-tested and receiving a score. A decision point branches off on whether the score met a standard or not, and the actions to follow from that decision. These points of difference confirm that the project is ready to handle all major potential outcomes, either good or bad.
It’s necessary to follow the logical flow of a flowchart. When doing so, finding missing decision points is possible. People make wrong assumptions all the time in life. Verifying that the flowchart hasn’t made assumptions of customers or clients and missed off decision outcomes that should be included avoids early mistakes.
Refer Back to the Flowchart Regularly
Project flowcharts can also be improved upon. What you knew at the beginning of a project isn’t necessarily the sum of your knowledge after it has been running for a few weeks. Let this guide whether you need to look at the online flowchart again and make some updates to what was created.
Not only will this improve your thinking on the project, but when similar follow-up projects are created, the latest version of the first project’s flowchart can be referenced without concern that it’s already outdated.
Project management is made simpler and more constructive when planning to employ a flowchart. Not using one can create too much distance from the nuts and bolts of what’ll happen on the project, to the detriment of the final results.