Why Project Management Templates are an Essential Tool for Project Managers
The reason why project management templates are an essential tool for project managers is simple. Using a template saves time and ensures uniformity of documentation. Of all the tools available to project manager, templates are likely the most important and essential tool for project managers.
Tools are the means that help managers and the team members successfully plan, manage and execute the different tasks involved in each project. The best project management tools are not very sophisticated. They include primarily templates, check-lists (milestone reviews) and planning software.
Given the wide range of project management tools available, the keys to selecting the right ones are understanding that different tools are needed along the different stages of a project life cycle, and knowing why project management templates are an essential tool for project managers.
During all phases of the project, Milestones Reviews and Business Plans take a leading role. In the Initiation phase, the Project Charter, Business Plan, Project Framework (or Overview), and Business Case Justification are essential. In the Execution and Control phases, an update of Risk Analysis and Score Cards prevail. During Closure, no special tool is needed.
Project Templates are available for:
• Business Plan
• Milestones Check-list Scheduling Tools and Methodologies:
• MS Project
• Business Case Justification
• Project Charter
• Project Framework or Overview
• Risk Analysis
• Score Cards
• Team Building
• Project Communication Plan
• Project Management Templates
• Project Management Software Packages
The above list is only a small sample of the tools and templates a good project leader uses.
Templates can be used in almost every phase of a project. From the initial brainstorming stage to the successful closure of the project, templates simplify the management of the process.
Using templates can help the project manager with:
- Communicating the requirements of the customers to the project team without any ambiguity.
- Discussion on the requirements gathered and acceptance of the goals that must be achieved to satisfy the customer.
- Documenting the scope and feasibility of the job.
- If the plan is a worthwhile venture, it is documented. A part of the document goes to all the stakeholders to understand the scope of the project.
- Defining the project scope and goals
- Division of the plan into tasks and sub tasks
- Drawing up a project schedule to allocate work for each person and the deadlines for each of the tasks
- Determining if the cost predictions are comparable with the actual cost incurred
- Determining the effectiveness of the job, which can be measured by earned value or activity float statistics
- Identifying areas of potential concern to the plan; the findings along with the solutions are added to the reports
- Adjusting and modifying the plans and schedules to overcome the problems that exist and those that are forecasted
- Completing the documentations that were maintained throughout the assignment
Successful project managers know that templates are not just time-saving. Templates provide a uniformity to the project’s documentation.
Understanding why project management templates are an essential tool for project managers is a first step toward a successfully completed project.