Abigail Mayo April 7, 2021 Project Template
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.
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!
A completed project template will give you a lot of confidence and as you have, what is essentially a map, for your project you will be able to make better decisions. Another advantage of using a template is that is allows for effective communication. Looking at the template will give all involved a clear understanding of their roles and what is expected from each individual. You can either make your own template or find completed templates online. The advantage of using pre made template is that you will save a lot of time and energy. If you are new to project management than a pre made template will be an excellent guide and will give you a place to start from. Make sure you stick to your project template and you will see the project through to the end and the end will be a success.
Templates save your time and increase your efficiency. After defining your project and appointing your team you will enter the Project Planning phase. This involves creating planning documents to help guide you team through the project life cycle. Execution templates are created when the final work is presented to the customer for acceptance. Management templates like Time Management process, Timesheet form, Cost Management Process, Expense Register and Purchase Order Form help you execute projects successfully. Templates help you work smart and give you a headstart. Templates and guides are usually professionally laid out, come with step by step instructions, contain practical examples and include tips and hints.
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.
This is a lot to think about, so, let me provide a metaphor. A project is like cutting an apple. The methodology is the way you slice it, and the software is the knife that slices the apple. The theres the apple slicer, a very specific knife which makes exact cuts all around the apple in one downward motion. Like the apple cutter, with software that creates and customizes templates, project managers can hone in on projects with extreme focus to its individual characteristics. Let me bring you back to the crux of my argument: the power of collaboration on templates. If project teams are equipped with means of web-based collaboration on project templates, then the efficiency of project execution is greatly enhanced. In another metaphor, a project is like building a road.