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Startup Project Management Guide in 2022

Startups are fast-growing companies that develop innovative products, services, or platforms in order to meet market demands. In today's fast-paced, a structured approach to startup project management may seem unnecessary, distracting, and inconsistent at first. However, did you know that startups that fail to adequately incorporate project management into their plans would witness their rate of project failure increase by a factor of two-thirds?

 On the contrary, it has been found that those who choose efficient startup project planning are likely to enjoy early benefits towards startup success. According to Wrike Statistics, 87 percent of high-performing firms utilize project management software for startups and a critical reason behind accomplishing projects in time. At least one project management office (PMO) is now present in 89 percent of startups, with 50 percent having multiple PMOs.  


So in this guide to project management for startups, you will gain the fundamental knowledge of why your small business needs project management and how to effectively create a startup project plan with the right project management framework and tools. 


Table of Contents


01. Why do startups need project management?


02. Do you need to hire a startup project manager? 


03. How to manage a startup project?


04. Best Project Management Softwares for Startups


05. Key Takeaways 

01. Why do startups need project management?

Startup Project Management
Do you need Project Management for your startup? 


The more your startup grows, the more difficult it becomes to complete your most prominent projects and tasks. At the initial stage of your startup, there will be several hindrances in effectively planning, offering value to clients, managing finances, project execution, and so on. However,  when the project process takes place according to the project plan, not only you, your entire team will reap benefits. In effect, a robust project management system can definitely increase the chances of your startup success.

For example, when you have a solid project management methodology to plan out the budget and process, it's easier to keep your costs down. It’s actually cost effective on labor and a time-efficient approach to get more tasks done in a short time. Moreover, if you incur issues on your budget, you'll notice it sooner and be able to get involved before it becomes a costly problem. As a result, there will be more collaborative teamwork which impacts the startup growth as well.


A robust project management system can increase the chances of your startup success. You may get your products to market faster and with fewer resources if you use the correct project management methodology. 


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02. Do you need to hire a startup project manager? 

Project manager for a startup 
Project manager for a startup 


Before we continue with the project management, you should ask yourself whether you need to employ a project manager or if you can manage projects for your team yourself. 


Consider the size of your team and the project you undertake. You know you can save more with the right project management software to assist you to stay on top of things whether or not you hire a project manager. The latest project management tools are simple to use, and most of them are economical for startups.

03. How to manage a startup project?


1. Choose a project management methodology

Answer the following questions about your startup to choose the right project management methodology:


  • What is the current size of your team?


  • Is it necessary for your employees to communicate frequently, or do they tend to operate independently?


  • How many projects do you have to control concurrently?


  • Are the majority of your projects the same, or do you have to oversee a variety of tasks for several departments?


  • What is the level of difficulty in your projects?


  • In the next five years, how much do you predict your company to grow? 


  • What resources do you now have, and how will they alter as your business evolves?


Ask yourself these questions and think about what you need to achieve today and in the future. Even businesses with a single product may find themselves with more complex project requirements as they grow.


I. Agile 

Agile Methodology


 The purpose of Agile project management is to finish a functional project as rapidly as possible, then build on it to make things better. Agile allows you to learn and adapt without risking a significant financial investment. 

The agile process is based on four elements: 


  •  Main focus on team interactions instead of process or tools


  • Working software instead of documentation.


  • Collaboration with customers instead of contract negotiations.


  • Adapting to change in accordance with a strategy


This is an excellent methodology for businesses that focuses on delivering perfectionism and due to it encounter conflicts. With Agile, you're not developing the perfect product right away. The core idea is to finish something that works, get it out there, and then use the money from that initial iteration to help fund future iterations. Therefore, Agile is a way of thinking and a set of ideals rather than a methodology.


II. Scrum

Scrum Methodology
Scrum Methodology


Scrum Master and a Product Owner are used in this project management technique. The Scrum Master oversees the team's adherence to Scrum standards. The Project Management Backlog is managed by the Product Owner, who is also responsible for the final product. These positions can be filled by the same person in some cases. Scrum is a fairly structured methodology. The Product Backlog or the Sprint Backlog are used to organize work. Sprints are brief, focused periods of time (such as one week) during which team members focus on their objectives.


The Product Backlog is a list of all the tasks that must be accomplished before the project can be considered complete.The Sprint Backlog functions similarly to a to-do list. It's a list of tasks that each employee is responsible for completing during this Sprint. However, you'll need a committed Scrum Master and Product Owner to implement Scrum efficiently. This makes it less cost-effective, especially for small groups.

Related: Scale your remote team and your startup with these 6 steps



III. Kanban

Kanban Methodology
Kanban Methodology


To implement Kanban, you shouldn't have to make major modifications to your workflow. It’s about aiming for steady improvements and encouraging leadership. Kanban mainly involves visual workflows, balancing workload, and managing work instead of individuals, with a transparent task process. 


  • Visualize workflows — Using the popular Kanban board track tasks. 


  • Workload balance — You're not implementing Kanban if employees can have an endless number of things on their to-do list. Limiting your work-in-progress forces you to prioritize projects and keep workloads under control.


  • Work, not people, should be managed – Kanban focuses on improving workflows and procedures rather than micromanaging your employees to get more done. Make sure that work moves smoothly through the process.


  • Publish your process -  Transparency of processes and tasks is a key here and ensure your team is aware of each other's tasks, works in progress and role as well. 


  • Create feedback mechanisms - It's critical to communicate. Daily standups are used by Kanban to keep team members connected. You can also conduct service delivery reviews, operations reviews, risk reviews, and other meetings to identify areas for improvement.


  • Continuously improve - It is everyone's responsibility to identify little ways to improve. With Kanban, you and your team can collaborate, learn and grow collectively. 


We're a MarTech company and we'd love to help you scale your starup. Find out our success stories



2. Create a startup project plan

One of the most crucial aspects of project management is planning. Every project should go through this process. An effect of planning and setting realistic goals can increase project efficiency, profit margins, and market share. Hence, this is the stage where  you respond to queries such as:


  • What does this mean in terms of other priorities?
  • Who needs to work on this, and what else do they have on their plates?
  • Are your project's objectives realistic?
  • Are you able to meet your deadline?

3. Determine project milestones and keep track of them.

Set critical project milestones ahead of time so you'll know when you're on track — and when something goes wrong. Keep track of main tasks completed within the pipeline, crucial decision points, initial delivery, and testing completion.


  • Make a list of deliverables for the project.


  • Determine the project's pitfalls.
  • Set up a system for tracking progress.
  • Important dates must be highlighted.
  • Control the project's deliverables.
  • Objectives and requirements that are clear
  • Consider the support of your stakeholders.
  • Prepare yourself for the long term.


In order to actually manage your startup project, you will need to try out project management software among your team members.


4. Integrate a project management tool or software.

In project management software, there are numerous high-level bucket features. The following are some instances of what you can do with a tool:


  • Keeping track of what needs to be accomplished


  • Planning


  • Keeping track of data and papers


  • Inventory control and resource management


  • File-sharing


  • Bugs should be reported


  • Budgeting and bill-paying


04. What are the best Project Management Softwares for Startups?


Top 5 Project management softwares according to 

01. Asana


02. Smartsheet



03. Basecamp


04. ClickUp Project Managemen\




05. Key Takeaways 

For effective project management for startups, establish your end goals and draft a project timeline. Set your deadlines and timeline for the project and a financial plan as well. 

In terms of managing your team, organize tasks, communicate, collaborate and utilize workflow diagrams and startup project management software. This helps to track progress and change the project plan accordingly. Moreover, evaluate the effectiveness of your project management tools and processes on a regular basis and make improvements as needed. 



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