Smart Projex:

Project Management Basics for Startups

Author: Suzanne S. Davenport

All startups are crazy busy, but is your startup doing what matters most? Find out:

  • Why scope is so hard to manage in startups and what you can do about it.
  • Why part of kicking off a new project includes developing a compelling “Why?” statement and how this will engage your team.
  • Why deadlines matter (Hint: are you looking to attract investors?) and how to structure your project so that you never miss an important deadline again.
  • Why tracking labor costs is critical, and how you can build a reliable budget, even when you aren’t really sure what you are doing.


You’ve started your first company, formed your first team, begun creating your first product, found your first customers, and thinking about your first investors. You’ve heard stories about how difficult investors can be and what they expect and you’re a little worried. But, you need their money to grow.

Everyone is talking about project management, but you’re not even sure where your projects intersect with operating your company. Everything you do seems like an interconnected series of tasks, but you aren’t sure whether they are projects, or not.

Some things you do know:

  • Time is money and some things you are doing seem to be adding value. Other things, maybe not so much.
  • Collaboration can be fun if you have the right tools. But staying up all night to finish projects is not fun. And missing your child’s birthday party, because that task that you thought would take you two days took six, did not make anyone happy.
  • You (and your team) are flying by the seat of your pants and at the end of the month you look back on what you’ve accomplished and wonder whether you have made any real progress or not.
  • You celebrate new product releases with gusto, and secretly worry whether the improvements that you’ve worked so hard on will generate more paying customers.
  • Meeting deadlines is hard. Life seems to constantly throw you curve balls. Venture capitalists expect you to meet your sales projections and deadlines.
  • Maybe angel investors are a little more forgiving, but then, don’t you want their introductions when your financing needs increase?

Maybe it’s time for you and your team to understand the basics of project management.

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