Got a short-term project coming up? Here’s what to do

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Businesses in all sorts of sectors find themselves with short-term projects from time to time. Whether you work in construction and need to replace or rebuild a small part of a client’s property or you’re in tech and are looking to develop an app, there are lots of reasons why a monthly or even weekly project may arise. However, while short-term projects are inevitable, they can also cause a headache. From finding short-term staff to ensuring that no time is wasted, there’s a lot to think about.

Find the staff

Short-term projects are often just as essential as long-term ones. However, while for an ongoing endeavour it makes sense to hire some staff, it doesn’t make quite as much sense to hire if you’re only running the project for a short while. By the time you’ve expended resources running them through payroll and helping them adjust to their new working environment, it will be time for them to leave.

That’s where contracting comes in. Hiring a contractor is common practice especially in sectors such as IT, where short-term projects are common. A contractor is self-employed, and this means that you both have the flexibility to end the partnership as necessary – even in the short term. There are also PAYE services for contractors available, so you don’t have to worry about the administrative burden either.

Avoid time waste

Short-term projects come with short-term deadlines, and you’re going to have to be organised in order to effectively meet them all. Using some kind of team organisation tool is a good idea: whether this is Google Docs, an app such as Trello, or simply a large whiteboard, everybody needs to stay organised. It’s also likely that you’ll have to keep an eye on your employees in order to ensure that they’re on board with the message that every second counts. If somebody isn’t pulling their weight, then it may be time to have a quick word and help them to work more productively.

Have enough funds

When you’re managing a long-term project, it’s usually possible to spread any unforeseen costs over a period of time. If you suddenly find that you need to make a new hire, for example, then you’ve got the time to find the right candidate yourself rather than use an expensive recruitment service. However, with a short-term project, you’ll probably need to pay for speed at one stage or another – so before kicking the project off, it’s wise to think about how you’ll cover any costs that may creep in.

Running a short-term project isn’t easy. From finding the right personnel with the flexibility to come and go to ensuring that there are enough funds in place to cover all eventualities at short notice, there are plenty of steps that you can take to make certain that your short-term project goes ahead smoothly and without any hitches.

The Editor

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