Joanne Fleming April 7, 2021 Project Template
Transparent There is truth in the saying that if you have to explain a joke, it is not funny. The same holds for project templates. If you have to go to great efforts to explain or justify a templates objective to your sponsor and team members, then those template are not needed. Strive to remove the bloated, complicated and non-targeted templates from your library. 3. Flexible Contemporary thought suggests that companies should have five or less layers of hierarchy, projects should be agile and true change response means having the ability to turn on a dime. The same thoughts need to be applied to your templates. Truly flexible templates should be the following characteristics: a. Does existing templates achieve their objective? For those that only partially achieves their objectives, can those templates be modified? b. Can the template be used in 80% of the projects as is? Does your sponsors, team members or project managers have any thoughts/actions around adjusting the templates to meet the other 20%? c. Is feedback from sponsors/teams/project managers on the template discussed and weighted before deciding whether to incorporate the change.
There is a not-so-tall-tale of the project manager who spent seemingly hours completing and updating templates. These template were deemed necessary for each project by the PMO Director. This project manager spent so much time with his templates he had very templates he had very little time to actually manage his projects. In short, he was a slave to his tools. This not-so-tall-tale actually plays itself out across PMOs daily. There are 5 templates characteristics to ensure that you are not the central character this tale. These are: Simple This recommendation seems almost run contrary to what project managers deal with every day. Our jobs are sure not as simple and certainly not easy. Why should our tools be? After all, doesnt that give sponsors and team members the false impression that our jobs are in fact simple and easy? The answer is to encourage full participation of sponsors and team members to make their jobs as simple and easy even if you risk your own ego and empire building. Before adding a new template to your protocol library ask: a) What is the objective I am trying to achieve with this template? b) Can the template at least 80% of the type of projects only partially achieves the objective? c) Are any two elements within the template that asks the same question.
When you adopt a new project its possible you could enter that project at any stage. Be it startup, initiate, closure or anything in between youll want to prove that youre a capable Project Manager as fast as possible. When you get down to business and start working on project documentation and related material, one of the most common things youll eventually ask will be "So, what template do you guys use for project stage xyz". Unfortunately, youll often be surprised at the answer. "Here are some templates we have used in the past". What happens next is horrifying. Its a terrible half finished template thats missing critical components of the project stage. After the panic has subsided its usually our resourcefulness that ends up saving the day. Be it project initiation or risk management, usually all PMs have a suite of project management templates in their kit bag. Some even carry them from job to job!
Concise Verbal communication is often richer than written communication. It is often easier to be told what to do than it is to read what to do, especially if that reading consist of blocks of text within in 8 point font. Your template should be targeted (use bullets where possible), allow "eye breathing" space (white space), delineate where information is needed (boxes, lines, check boxes) and save trees (does not say in two pages what can be said in one). Concise. 5. Evolve Like the theory of man, your template needs to learn, grow and stand on its own. A template created and maintained with evolution in mind displays the following characteristics: a. Has feedback on templates has been reviewed and incorporated, if applicable? b. Are you willing to admit the template is not working or modify its elements into another template or delete it entirely? c. Was the template fully vetted within the PMO or is it simply an inherited template from the last PMO best practice exercise? The 5 traits presented above when taken together aim and ensure the templates used within a PMO are the best (effective, responsive, targeted) it can be. Avoid the central characteristic in the not-so-tall tale. Ensure your templates are simple, transparent, flexible, concise and evolve so you avoid being a slave to them.
In my research on the benefits of project management and work management, I have thought a lot about the power of collaboration not only on projects, but on project processes, methodologies, and frameworks. While it is obvious that there is power in collaboration to get work done, I would like to consider the power of collaboration on "how" that work gets done. After all the "how" is ultimately what carries projects through their life cycle. To bring this discussion to a very focused level, I would like to discuss the benefit of collaboration on the "tools" of managing the "how." In less complicated, less opaque terms, I mean the things like project management templates, project cycle management, software etc., where the actual processes are managed. While project management software effectively directs the project, and the methodology effectively directs the project processes, the project management templates change the way in which the project management software uses methodologies to direct projects and their processes.
There are many ways to create a plan for the project like creating diagrams or flow charts. However, it can become very hectic as there are many aspects you have to plan for. Instead you can use ready made project templates where you just have to fill in the information just like you fill a form and distribute copies amongst your staff or members. These templates will help you in planning out important aspects of the project like completion of the project before the deadline, delegation of work and coming up with solutions in case you have any problems. There are several websites who offer these templates. You have to find out which template suits your requirements the best.
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