Being an entrepreneur has been one of the most frustrating, challenging and rewarding jobs I have ever had. While I am a project manager/business analyst from my corporate life, I now play many roles in my small business life. I think my favorite part of being a small business partner is teamwork…it is crucial. Each person has their particular role in our small 10-person company, but we are also each expected to pitch in when anyone needs extra help in their role (or heaven forbid, one of us wants to take a vacation).
As the sole IT person, I am expected do the system project management, business analysis, design, development, testing and implementation. One of the trickiest parts of being ‘the’ IT resource is doing the business analysis for day-to-day operations and small enhancements; then, adding in the big projects that come along every few months. Another layer of complexity for our particular company is that we don’t have a central office; most of us work out of our home offices. With this complex workload, I have to rely on my co-workers to help me understand the client’s business and how we can help them as well as how to ensure that the solution we provide is relevant going forward.
What I’ve come to understand is that great (not just good) communication and an entrepreneurial mindset are key. We take advantage of all of the modern technologies like web conferencing, texting, email, cloud hosting with file sharing, etc. But we try not to forget to get together face-to-face regularly. We have essentially taken on some of the agile project principles: regular face-to-face meetings, continuous attention to detail and improvement, simplicity, everyone pitching in where they believe they can help, and most importantly, we are all motivated. If any one of us fails in our role, all of us fail. I believe that great communication and teamwork will keep us in business for many years to come.
So you may ask, what does this have to do with me? I work for a huge, complex company on large projects. Well…what if everyone on your projects acted like an entrepreneur? What if everyone worked on projects with the motto “if the project fails, the company fails”? What if everyone became ‘agile’ and worked toward continuous improvement, great communication, simplicity, and true teamwork where everyone pitches in regardless of role? Would that change your project outcomes? Think about it!
“The entrepreneur is… the most important player in the building of the global economy. So much so that big companies are reconstituting themselves as networks of entrepreneurs.” — John Naisbitt, writer
All the best,