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Project Management for Business Startup

SECOND EDITION

Applying Project Management Methods to the Creation of a Start-up Business Plan: The Case of Blendlee

Jolita Kiznyte, Marcos Welker, André Dechange

Dortmund and Berlin, Germany

 


Abstract

The importance of entrepreneurial ventures in economic development is undeniable. The trend in recent years has shown that the increasing number of small, innovation-driven start-up companies that operate through internet platforms are shaping the future of business. It seems that, nowadays, everyone can become an entrepreneur; nevertheless, nine out of ten start-ups fail. Scientists are attempting to find solutions to increase the success of early stage start-ups. One of the main methods suggested is to devote a lot of effort to business planning. However, in order to create a ‘winning’ business plan, entrepreneurs need to have, or develop, management skills and use the most effective methods. Project management is acknowledged as a discipline that greatly increases the efficiency of the implementation of projects. Therefore, if the creation of a business is seen as a project, then that discipline can be used to increase the success rates of this kind of project, with beneficial methods arising in the areas of planning, budget, risk control, time management and the creation of a teamwork culture within the organization. To manage a dynamic start-up creation process, project management can be used to create a management system for the whole business (starting with the creation of a business plan). The aim of this article is to research the possibilities of using project management methods in the creation of a start-up business plan. The empirical research was designed by combining the literature study and the single case study of applying project management methods in creating the Blendlee start-up business plan.

Keywords: Start-up, Project Management, Business Plan, Entrepreneurship      

Introduction

The trend in recent years has shown that the increasing number of small, innovation-driven start-up companies that operate through internet platforms are shaping the future of business. Favourable conditions for creating a start-up company suggest that, nowadays, anyone can become an entrepreneur. Nevertheless, nine out of ten start-ups fail. Scientists have discussed the main reasons for these failures, with the primary reason (around 42% of cases of failure) being that there is no market demand for the products or services created (CB Insights, 2014: 2). The majority of other failure cases are caused by a lack of solid business management skills as even ventures that have great business ideas fail when faced by their first challenges. Scientists are attempting to find solutions to increase the success rate of early stage start-ups. One of the main methods suggested is to devote a lot of effort to business planning. A highly beneficial tool to implement this process is a well-prepared business plan that defines the whole business idea, managerial approach and business strategy in one document. However, in order to create a ‘winning’ business plan, entrepreneurs need to have, or develop, management skills and use the most effective methods.

Project management is acknowledged as a discipline that greatly increases the efficiency of the implementation of projects. Therefore, if the creation of a business is seen as a project, then that discipline can be used to increase success rates for this kind of project, with beneficial methods arising in the areas of planning, budget, risk control, time management and the creation of a teamwork culture within the organization (Nixon, 2015). Therefore, the author raises the main question of this research: What combination of project management methods could increase the success rate of start-up business plans?

Aim of the research: To research the possibilities of using project management methods in the creation of start-up business plans. The author has defined the following objectives to address the aim of this research:

More…

To read entire paper (click here)

Editor’s note: Second Editions are previously published papers that have continued relevance in today’s project management world, or which were originally published in conference proceedings or in a language other than English. Original publication acknowledged; authors retain copyright. This paper was originally presented at International Research Conference 2015 at the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts, 25-26 June 2015. It is republished here with the permission of the authors and conference organizers.

 



About the Authors

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Jolita Kiznyte

Lithuania – Germany

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Jolita Kiznyte
 holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration, Double Master’s Degree in Project Management, and is certified as the Professional Scrum Master (PSM). She recently co-founded a start-up company called ‘blendlee’ which is focused on an innovative approach for blended learning instructional design. The approach combines different cognitive strategies using scenario-based learning, experiential practice and also the application of different media to enhance the blend. The latest project was a course design for a Master degree course “Introduction to Project Management” in the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.

The main areas of interest and research:

  • Applying project management methods in start-up business development
  • Agile in non-software development projects
  • Cross-cultural project teams’ management
  • The importance of cultural intelligence in project management
  • Public and cultural diplomacy

The author can be contacted via email: [email protected]

 

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Marcos Welker

Germany

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Marcos Welker 
is PMP certified project management professional, holds an MBA in Information Technology and a Master’s Degree in Project Management. He is specialised in management of projects according to international standards; processes efficiency analysis and optimization strategies; market analysis for strategy definition; complex enterprise systems integration and optimization;  training and mentorship of teams.  His recent research on effective and efficient strategies for project management competences development motivated him to co-found a start-up company called ‘blendlee’ which is focused on innovative approach on blended learning instructional design. The approach combines different cognitive strategies using scenario-based learning, experiential practice and also the application of different media to enhance the blend. The latest project was a course design for a Master’s degree course “Introduction to Project Management” in the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts.  Marcos can be contacted via email: [email protected]

 

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Prof. Dr. André Dechange

Dortmund, Germany

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André Dechange, born 1967, studied electrical engineering and business administration and made his PhD at the Technical University in Dortmund. He worked as a consultant and manager in different international companies for more than 20 years. He was responsible for more than 4 years for a Project Management Office (PMO) in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Since 2008 he is working as a trainer and consultant for project management. He is a PMP and a professor of project management at the University of Applied Science in Dortmund. André can be contacted at e-mail: [email protected].