As an entrepreneur I have many times grappled with the thought of how I will get my idea to the market. I most often have a clear vision on what I want to create, how I can create it and why I want to create. I have found without a clear structure to my activities I get caught up in the excitement and want to start developing my solution before I am ready. To help myself I have created a 12-step program that breaks the project into phases and helps me have a clear structured approach that does not stifle innovation. This has stood me in good stead since 2009 when I became an entrepreneur. The 12 steps are very important to me and to help me plan the project I have fallen back on a method I learnt whilst studying and later working in Civil engineering, the Critical Path Method (CPM).
People who have studied management may have come across ‘critical path’ as a tried and tested method that is used quite broadly in many companies to help them find the fastest way to get a project done efficiently and for the lowest cost. In civil engineering, where the cost of each project often comes with at least six 0’s in the budget, critical path planning is considered essential for planning and managing projects. The thing I have found, though, is that not many startups use this principle to help them reach their goals, ending up losing lots of time and money before they find their feet, or go out of business.
So, what is Critical Path Methodology (CPM)? The definition is simple: find the shortest amount of time to complete a project by identifying the relationship between each task that needs to be performed to complete the project.
The five steps to performing a CPM analysis:
I personally use the five CPM steps to do these four activities:
1) Task planning
This is the more usual way to use the CRM where you break the whole project implementation down to individual tasks and plan out how to finish the implementation in the shortest time with the most effective use of resources.
2) Higher level planning
This is my 12-step program to planning the stages of the project and these fit together slightly differently for different projects, which I’ll cover in more detail in a later post. I’m also happy to consult companies on this – kindly schedule a call to discuss details.
3) & 4) Planning funding needs
I break my planning for seed funding into two stages for which I create a clear path of how and with what I approach investors planned out (often these phases are presented as one to the investor even though it is planned separately). The two stages are as follow:
- Funding to get me to implementation
- Funding to implement and market idea
I always think of that adage; failing to plan is planning to fail. So if you are interested in learning how I use my 12-steps and the Critical Path Method to help you reach your dreams please follow health Tech Consulting closely over the next 12 months or contact us directly to come and help you plan your potential path to success.
Next week’s post is about: How Critical Path can benefit your business.