Latoya Chaney April 11, 2021 Project Template
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.
A project manager is a really high post where many people suffer because of the lack of leadership skills and also because they have a very bad team who will not listen to one word they are saying. PMs also have another problem, bosses who think they are superior and do not consider the PM or the project experts. In such cases the project management becomes weak and this leads to the failure of the project. In other cases when there is a good PM he will think of new ways to make his way with his team and also deal with the bosses in such a way which is beneficial for both of them. Being a PM comes with a very high social responsibility and it also comes with a level of dignity and respect among the team members. The leadership skills of a good PM spreads in the market like wildfire and his market value is constantly on the rise giving him a competitive edge over other competitors.
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!
This template kit bag usually consists of a full set of proven project templates from budgeting through to closure. Personally having a kit bag like this has saved my bacon on several occasions. But hold on I hear you say, Im a new PM and I havent yet built up a repository of proven collateral yet? Thats where you can cheat by getting a decent set of project management templates from the Internet! There are lots of resources on the Internet check out a few and start building your kit bag! If the company you work for has rubbish templates, think of the value youll provide if you start introducing relevant, targeted professional templates and get the work done in half the time. You will be the PM Hero. Other than cheating time, a collection of templates can be branded to all look the same, whether its a highlight report or a closure gate template a consistent look and feel is a professional touch that sets you apart.
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.
The methodology is like the knowledge of how to build successful roads. The template is like the guide to the type of road you are building - trail, dirt road, interstate highway, etc. - how to gather the specific types of resources and the knowledge of where / when to conform to certain regulations. That said, when team members are able to collaborate on the exact "how-tos" of the road they build, they are able to produce much faster while maintaining efficiency. It is not about making roads into new places, nor is it about making new types of roads. It is about standardizing the means of making new types of roads into new places. The purpose of project management software, in this respect, is to automate time-consuming and / or repetitive processes, and what better way to do it than let team members collectively produce their own means of managing work? When this happens, management truly starts to pave roads for a future of creativity and workplace harmony. That is when, in its ultimate end, a foundation for work is laid out for entire enterprises.