Agricultural Project Management: Setting Your Farm Business In Order

Posted On: September 11, 2018 Published by | View Comments

Pay attention to detail in the running of your farm business with this agricultural project management plan


Frameworks are useful tools.

We use them especially for mastering granular level of detail on big thinking projects.

This grants a firm grasp on the matter in hand.

Less chance of things running away from your so to speak.

In business, where control slips – costs creep.

Frameworks keep things tidy.

Where farm businesses are concerned, we have applied professional project management discipline to maintaining an organised business.

Enjoy our take on an agricultural project management plan.

Let’s Make Things Clear! With Agricultural Communication Management

Define the lines of communication between stakeholders within your business project

Each farm business has a variety of stakeholders.

Management, staff, suppliers, consumers, business customers (buyers), contractors etc…

Each with their own preference which how they would expect you to communicate with them.

Produce a plan of how you’ll approach sufficing and catering to their individual communication needs of stakeholders.

Write a communication plan for your agricultural business

  • Step 1 – approach 
    • …disclose your general approach to communication management as a business and why
  • Step 2 – constraints 
    • …what are the limitations that could be problematic for communication from the beginning?
  • Step 3 – requirements
    • …what does each stakeholder state as being a priority communication need within this project?
    • …specify their role, the requirement and the type of documentation.
  • Step 4 – methodologies & technologies
    • …what platforms of communication will be used within the project? i.e. CRM, Email etc…
    • …what parties will typically use each platform?
    • …what type of documents will be passed via these media?
  • Step 5 – communication matrix
    • …this table is a comprehensive map of all communication types and pathways within the project…types, objectives, media, frequencies, audiences, owners, deliverables, formats
  • Step 6 – communication flowchart
    • …this illustration states both standard and escalatory communication pathways according to your prescribed project governance

Keep Close Tabs On Cost! With Agricultural Cost Management

Develop a consistent basis of cost for your agricultural project

Getting your costs right is one of the principals of accurate ROI projections.

In business, costs are an uncompromising detail.

Underestimate your costs and you will be setting a deceptive measure on profit.

Here, using professional protocol, we walk you through our recommended cost management method for agricultural business.

Produce a basis of cost estimate for all your farming activity

  • Step 1 – name the category (centre) to which the cost belongs
    • …assign your cost to a base
  • Step 2 – date
    • …state when the cost estimate was conducted
  • Step 3 – WBS (work breakdown structure) Element
    • …give a root unit of work to which the cost is connected
  • Step 4 – funding source
    • …declare where within your business budget you aim to fund the cost
  • Step 5 – WBS description
    • …describe in detail the work element to which the cost is assigned
  • Step 6 – cost description
    • …describe the cost and it’s drivers related to the work element to which it belongs
  • Step 7 – costs
    • …breakdown the costs in an itemised fashion
  • Step 8 – total cost per estimate
    • …total the itemise composite costs for each estimate

Get Hands On Deck! With Agricultural Labour (HR) Management

Map the operational tasks of your farm business directly against the persons responsible

Getting your quota of labour accurately lined-up is critical to hitting productivity targets.

From acquisition, to training and further development HR management for agricultural businesses needs keen attention for keeping staffing on track.

This framework allows for documentation, tracking and monitoring of all labour related resource activity in a neat snapshot.

Write an HR management plan for your agricultural business project

  • Step 1 – roles and responsibilities
    • …make a list of every role and it’s direct responsibility within business
  • Step 2 – organisational chart
    • …plot each member of staff against individual operational tasks
  • Step 3 – acquisition policy
    • …show the steps you take to acquire new labour talent for your farm
  • Step 4 – resource calendar
    • …plan your need and use of staff members as weekly allocation by total hours worked
  • Step 5 – staff training
    • …list the titles of qualifications and accreditation which staff members have attained

Get Best Value For Money! With Agricultural Procurement Management

Set firm policies for purchasing to ensure consistent results

Buying products and hiring services for your agricultural business needs a planning to derive best value.

Being organised in your approach to purchasing, typically yields more effective results.

Procurement management in agricultural business helps protect the profitability and productivity of your rural enterprise.

Write a procurement management plan for your agricultural business

  • Step 1 – approach
    • …narrative on your general approach to buying, your procurement style
  • Step 2 – procurement definition
    • …list items/services required, why they are needed, when they should be bought and who will approve their purchase
  • Step 3 – contract type
    • …what type of purchase agreement  is typically offered with the related product or service
  • Step 4 – procurement risk management
    • …identify the risks involved with any particular procurement exercise and what you’ll do to mitigate
  • Step 5 – document
    • …a list of your staple procurement documents
  • Step 6 – constraints
    • …pick apart potential bottlenecks of constraint within your resourcing & purchasing pathways
  • Step 7 – procurement performance rating
    • …rate your procurement opportunities according to chosen criteria across alternative vendors

Keep Your KPIs Consistent With Quality Management For Agricultural Business

Establish what your acceptable quality standards are for products and services to preserve excellence

Managers in all industries keep a close eye on their business’s key performance indicators (KPIs).

These are the vital statistics which tell a story about the general health of the business.

Quality rating of product or service is one such category of KPI.

Product or service quality has direct impact on customer satisfaction and if overlooked can leave your business unable to correct a critical deficiency in one area or another.

Establishing tight & consistent managerial control on quality gives you more levers to reach for in steering improvement.

Write a quality management strategy for your farm business

  • Step 1 – approach
    • …describe your general approach to quality management within your business and why
  • Step 2 – requirements/standards
    • …name the products and the processes that you have decided will warrant scrutiny for quality
  • Step 3 – quality assurance
    • …use quality assurance criteria to measure service delivery
  • Step 4 – quality control
    • …products, their standards & processes are registered here and intervals for measuring quality documented
  • Step 5 – product/service profiles
    • …each product or service is profiled with quality metrics, the standard aimed for, the frequency measured and a report document attached for each measurement

Nullify The Risks In Your Farming Enterprise With Agricultural Risk Management

Identify the snags which lead to commercial compromise and get rid

Risks can be costly.

Risks can be avoided with forward planning.

Save on the cost of unchecked risks maturing into realised commercial loss.

Have your hand on risk management for your agricultural business.

Write a risk management plan for your farm

  • Step 1 – top 3 risks
    • …name your top 3 business risks and provide a brief description for each one
  • Step 2 – approach
    • …what is your general approach to risk management within your farm business? Provide a neat summary
  • Step 3 – risk ID
    • …identify each risk and provide a description for each
  • Step 4 – risk prioritisation
    • …produce an ordered list of risks according to your priority
  • Step 5 – monitoring mitigation and avoidance
    • …declare the meetings within which you are to discuss the business risks; who the lead on that risk will be; whether the risk has been officially registered; the time, scope and cost associated with the risk; and the response you will take in tackling the risk

The Bottom-Line Benefits Of Agricultural Project Management

Project management discipline offers control your agricultural business environment.

This gives the ability to see either a problem or an advantage coming, before it arrives, giving you space to prepare.

In business, the value gained from this foresight could be transformational.

Use this framework as a means of staying on top of operations and change.

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