PMA Milestones Tool
PMA–Plan; Set Milestones; Assign Accountabilities
Dick Whittington and his Cat had milestones to assess how many miles they had left to reach London on their way to fame and fortune. Entrepreneurs and good managers should do exactly the same to keep track of their own journeys.
In order to have your startup operating as a fully functioning company, you need to set responsibilities and accountabilities among executives of the company and/or key subcontractors. Even a sole practitioner has a ‘team’, even though it may be virtual and the tasks to be completed have time constraints and sequence.
You should direct and oversee this process, with your executive team, if you have one and the virtual one if not, to be sure that to hit your targets. Monitoring progress can only be done if the parameters are pre-determined. If you are on your own, then the buck stops with you, thus you are accountable to yourself for everything, but then set your own personal PMAs.
Whether you are setting up on your own or not, you will be ‘sub-contracting’ some tasks, so be sure to include them as well. An example is bookkeeping, where you may be using a local bookkeeper or accountant to help you or even just to set up your QuickBooks program.
The key tasks to be fulfilled at the time of startup are:
- finalizing strategy;
- sales prospection & customer relations management;
- having products or services ready to generate revenue;
- business plan – in whatever form;
- product finalization;
- production plan;
- marketing strategy, promotion & public relations;
- banking, bookkeeping system;
- finance, loans;
You will change the headings above to suit your own circumstances. In my list, you may notice apparently strange order. Right after finalizing your strategy, I suggest sales should be number one priority. With no revenue, you have no business.
Creating a simple progress charting system will help to ensure that goals are being met. The chart would be based on the schema below, but adapted to show due dates and noting the executive responsible for each task and with a period 6-12 months.
Your design will fit your own circumstances and would need to be agreed by the participants. One person would be designated to check progress, issue reminders and ensure co-ordination. This is just an idea, but the principle is vital.
Use the schematic table below as a model to design your own, using the table function in a word processing program such as Word or OpenOffice. Be sure to keep it simple and preferably on one page for easy monitoring. Check it regularly and if you have a team, use it as a checklist for the beginning of every team meeting.