Making physical products can be prohibitively expensive and requires careful coordination of the right people, processes and tools. No one knows this better than Eric Lange. As an engineer in the toy industry, he’s taken more than 60 products from various stages of development to production for retail stores like Target and Walmart. In this episode, Eric not only defines what a prototype is but also tells us about the one thing we need to know for successful prototyping without wasting money.
Special Guest: Eric Lange, Senior Product Development Engineer
Visionaries, whether executives or entrepreneurs, are great at developing and articulating strategy but may find difficulty in execution. This is where Kim Farmer comes in. As a certified project management professional with 30+ years in corporate business experience, she knows how to get stuff done! In this episode, Kim graciously gives us an excellent primer on project management to help you take specific actions to achieve your company’s growth strategy.
No fluff, no B.S. This is where the rubber meets the road and this episode is one of the most important to-date because it’s all about action! Learn the 5 major questions to answer prior to beginning any project as well as the triple constraints you’ll have to balance throughout a project. You’ll also find out how to identify, assemble and coordinate the people, processes and tools you’ll need to ensure your project’s success as Kim explains the Waterfall and Agile approaches to project management. Be sure to check out the show notes below – they’re packed with great information to support you in planning and organizing your next project!
Below is a project management diagram that Kim wanted to share with you. It brilliantly illustrates the importance of clear communication to ensure all team members on a project understand the estimated scope, time and budget.
I also found a website, TemplateLab.com, where you can download different types of Gantt charts for FREE! Gantt Charts are a useful tool to illustrate a project plan/schedule. “It allows you to quickly see the status of any project and see how far along it is. It also allows you to manage processes that depend on the completion of other processes. Mostly, Gantt Charts allow project managers to quickly give estimates about how long the project will take to complete.”
Here’s a video that explains how to create a simple, basic Gantt Chart in MS Excel:
And last, here’s a diagram that showcases the “triple constraints” that Kim referenced in her interview:
Episode 006: How Can I Implement Business Infrastructure in My Company?
Episode 008: The Lean Methodology: What It Is & How to Apply It to Your Small Business
Episode 021: Improving Quality in Healthcare Operations
Episode 034: Developing a Business Strategy for Sustainable Growth
According to global freelance matchmaker, Upwork, 57.3 million people freelanced in 2017. In 10 years, they predict that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers. As a small business owner, this means you will likely have more freelancers rather than employees performing work for you. Managing these dispersed, virtual teams can be challenging. This is where Sherry Heyl comes in. In this episode, Sherry shares how she was inspired to start Amplified Concepts as a share economy solution for freelancers. By pooling freelancers, she’s able to provide them back-office support resulting in reduced overhead for them and reduced project costs for you. She also shares best practices for managing virtual teams of freelancers so important deadlines are met without sacrificing quality. You’ll definitely want to download this episode!
Do you feel stressed out? Maybe a weekend hike can help! According to a 2018 report by the Journal of Travel Research, backpacking is not only good for your physical health, but for your mental health as well. In this episode, Tim Walter, an operations consultant, shares his experiences in hiking the Appalachian Trail for five months. Learn how Tim leveraged his professional background in project planning and strategy implementation to research and link the people, processes and tools necessary for him to “hike his own hike.” He emerged from his backpacking experience with better clarity, agility and perspective on wants vs. needs — all of which had a profound effect on him both professionally and personally. You might gain similar results.