Does Your Project or Small Business Need a “War Room”?

battle planSo you need to brainstorm or “put the pieces together” for a new project or your small business. But maybe you need a little help coming up with ideas, organizing, or just a space to focus on your small business or project. If either of these situations or something similar pertains to you or your small business, consider setting up a “war room”.

It sounds humorous, doesn’t it? A “war room”. In fact it might feel like just that. This is basically a project team’s or a manager’s own space that consists of everything that has to do with a particular project or small business. A “war room” usually has a bulletin or dry erase board, a table, chairs, project props, and any other items or furniture pertinent to working on or discussing a project. Although it may seem like an oxymoron, as a “war room” should provide team members and project managers with a place to think and organize, it actually looks like a cluttered mess, hence the name. However, project managers like to refer to this as “organized chaos”, which is supposed to spark and stimulate creativity.

“War rooms” have actually existed in business for quite some time. Project managers became huge fans of them, especially since they have proven especially helpful to projects of major or complex buys. This is because these types of projects that involve a lot of risks, phases, and procurements require a sound management plan and risk response plan in order to tackle the project effectively from all angles. A “war room” is also where team embers gather and bring their “worries”. It’s a common meting area for the sole purpose of discussing, brainstorming, and working together on a major project.

Although “war rooms” are still a very popular project management project response method, many organizations have replaced the idea of the “war room” with a concept from the twenty-first century and that is a “war site” or a website. This website can be a website or wiki, which is a virtual common area to post and share all project related information and ideas. This is prefect since so many project teams today are virtual and work off site or remotely. It is still a vital visual component to project organization where team members can post ideas, suggestions, or study project information that is already gathered and organized. A “war site” is also a cost effective approach as it saves on office space, time, materials, and furniture.

“War rooms” or “war sites” can also work for small businesses. It is a great way to brainstorm or organize a marketing plan, business plan, or even a particular project or service for a large client. “War sites” are actually more popular for many start up businesses since most don’t usually have the extra office space to dedicate to such a large project or part of the business, if they have the space at all. If you and your small business or team prefer to work with a “war site”‘ the project manager can take charge and take “ownership” of operating, managing, and updating the site, or he or she can promote a project team member to manage the task and make sure all tram members are actively using the site and stay informed.

All in all, “war rooms” may seem humorous or even a dated strategy, but they are still a highly effective brainstorming and organizing method for major or complex projects, special projects requiring a lot of time and development, or even a place to organize that small business.

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About Julie

Julie Anne Hoey is the owner and founder of J. H. Language Solutions. She has over four years experience in publishing as a full time editor and project manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusett. The main focus of her personal and professional studies has always been language. Her project management experience began while she was working for Victory Productions, a small publishing house in Worcester, MA. She now holds a position at Pearson Learning Solutions, the largest textbook publisher in the world, managing an initiative to ensure that custom higher ed textbooks are more relevant and cost effective for students. As the textbook publishing industry is facing steep competition from digital format books, she has learned to work closely with professors, adopters and field editors all over the country to ensure projects are seen through to successful completion. Her own consulting business, J. H. Language Solutions, is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals with their language needs and challenges whether it be translation, editing, writing blogs, or project management. She can be hired via her oDesk page: