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Project Management Templates Resource

May 22 2010

Project management templates are an excellent resource for a manager’s first project, or a fine tool for the experienced project manager that produces numerous project documents.  Templates give a consistent and repeatable format for all products or projects that are entered and tracked in the company’s pipeline of projects and products.

This list indicates the common heading or sections in a project management template.

  • Title
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive or Project Summary
  • Mission Statement
  • Objectives
  • Needs Assessment
  • Technical Analysis
  • Project Work Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Appendix

Senior management will find consistency is very helpful for an objective and fast evaluation, comparison and decision-making.  They are the ones to decide whether a new project has sufficient economic value, especially compared to other potential projects, to be included in the company’s project portfolio.

Having determined the outline for the project management template, it can start being filled in.

A rough draft of the project plan is created with initial estimates and definite information.   At this beginning point, information will likely be sketchy and incomplete.  This will be attached to a “New Project Proposal”. Feed the proposal and business plan into a company system for reviewing new project ideas, prioritizing them, and authorizing project ideas to receive further attention.

Approve the idea for initial concept investigation: This initial “Phase 0 concept investigation” is very brief, meant to allow a small amount of time for high-level investigation work by one or two people, for example a marketing or business person and a technical person.  The additions they make and add to the plan might further describe the project purpose, revenue/cost savings contribution, expenses and technical feasibility.

Once they are finished, it is again reviewed and the determination made whether to continue the project or not.  Management needs to know whether this project is beneficial enough economically to be approved for a full Planning phase.

A full definition and planning phase refines the concept and a core project team is selected.  As the project’s requirements and scope are fleshed out during this phase, the business plan estimates are revised as the project scope, schedule, and resources are defined as well as cost information on the product, system or service. Before the project is approved for full execution past this phase (such that there will be a major ramp-up of resources to a full project team and corporate commitment to the project), the Phase 1 Business Plan is refined to most support the return-on-investment case in the appropriate level of detail and accuracy.

Any project has a lot of documents: project management templates save time and effort since there is no need to start from a blank page.  This is why project management templates are so vital to a smoothly-run development process.