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Do not let the words “project management” intimidate you!  I’m sure you use elements of project management (PM) in your everyday lives.  Yes, the science of it is about the overall management of time and resources, recognizing and evaluating risks, and contract and change management, each of us do at least one or more of these things every day.  

As an example, let’s look at the household task of weekly grocery shopping.  To keep with the PM theme, let’s call this Food Management.  Before doing our weekly grocery shopping there are a few things (or tasks) that we do to prepare.  Here are a few:

  • Determine weekly food budget.
  • Decide meals for the following week (this is another project as well, let’s think Meal Management).
  • Review recipes for those meals.
  • Compare recipes to items we currently have on hand.
  • Compile list of items needed.
  • Arrange/Organize Coupons (this is another project as well, let’s think Coupon Management).
  • Review stores ads to compare pricing (in the PM world this would be procurement management).
  • Go Shopping.

After you decide the tasks that need to be done, then

  • Assign “resources” or people to complete the task.  (in this instance, you may be the person who completes everything or maybe you assign certain tasks to different family members)
  • Determine the order in which the tasks should be completed.
  • Give each task a time frame or “duration time” to be completed.

Many of us probably don’t realize we follow all of these steps (and probably a few more) because some of it you just do mentally and it’s a part of your routine so you can go do it with your eyes closed.  This grocery shopping project demonstrates how we are ALL project managers in our everyday lives.

I hope you enjoyed my first venture out into the blog world and that I took a little bit of the “fear” out of project management.  In the weeks to come I will be writing more about how to incorporate project management techniques into your business (and home) routine and the value of having a trusted project manager as a vital part of your business team.

Twanna Gill is an experienced project manager and the owner of Empress.  Empress is a virtual business solutions company offering administrative support and project management services to small businesses.  For more information, please visit our website at www.virtualempress.net.

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