Getting Work Done: How to Use Project Templates

by David Millar / 12/18/2017 11:35:06 AM

Over 1 in 3 (34%) projects have no baseline. 75% of business and IT executives anticipate their software projects will fail!

Isn’t that surprising?  

75% is quite a pessimistic number to start when it comes to managing projects. Planning and executing a project is quite a cost intensive process, but an astounding 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success. Unfortunately, Barely over half (56%) of project managers are certified.  

But there must be a solution…Perhaps there is: Project Template.

Picture this: The outline of your project is ready but you need to see it in a tangible form so the entire team can find a unique and common platform for communication. Moreover, you need approval to go ahead with the plans from the stakeholders. Enter Project management software/Template and all your storage and project administration problems are solved. Let’s begin with the basics first.

What is a Project template?

Various digital sources define Project templates as templates that “enable a project manager or team member to capture and reuse the structure and content of existing projects, including project pages, custom tracker fields, and workflow definitions, to speed new project creation and standardize lifecycle processes”.

Project template or project managing software enables planners, managers and supervisors to develop and configure new projects easily and quickly while enforcing organizational standards, and maintaining process improvement.

If you want to create a new project, you can select a project template and start inserting information to develop your own. A template may or may not involve the original Project’s structure while no content is updated in it. But, it can contain both, structure as well as the content.

  • "Structure" here refers to the folders, sub-folders sought from the original project.
  • "Project content" translates into work items that have been created by you or your team.

Templates offer reliability, ease of use and integration making a great tool for delegating tasks to the team. The largest benefit for project manager and senior management is that with the software and template, they can keep track of project progress. An advantage for the team is they can update daily progress, distribute work in hours and days and complete one task at a time.

Project Templates: Uses

Templates ease project managers’ burden and give them a simple structure/outline to follow while working on new projects. It is as easy as selecting the template, uploading content and updating it frequently as per need. Today, we are counting down some amazing advantages of project templates.  Take a look:

Saves time

Project templates are a lifesaver. Project managers save enormous time putting templates to work. In a project, a lot of information needs gathering and organizing and often the team is not equipped well enough or there are time constraints that push the project manager.

So, having a project template allows provides managers with sufficient support regarding planning and updating the project on the template so everyone can get a detailed idea about project requirements.

Moreover, using the template will cut back on specific layout/design/color brainstorming and creation. These elements already come as part of the templates and you just need to pick a template and insert information in it.

Safe Platform for Mission-Critical Information

Project managers are required to plan extensively and this means numerous meetings, analysis and discussions. Suitable and best project approaches are considered, different aspects of the project such as risk, schedule, timelines and production are analyzed.

This information needs to be on a safe platform where the entire team can check for instructions, upload project progress, provide inputs on the strategies, etc. When this critical information is committed to memory, it is integral that it is uploaded to a sophisticated tool that entire team can access or published and distributed among the entire team. A manager can’t purely rely on their memory as they might skip a few details or steps that might prove out to be detrimental to the project interest. Recording or journalizing the information eliminates the risk of information loss.

Using a template online helps in making a permanent record for the stakeholders and team members.

Boosts Communication

The reason why most projects fail is poor communication. Using a template makes easy-to-read, accessible, critical information available for the team. It makes it easy for the team leaders and supervisors to publish and distribute updates well. Moreover, approval can be easily sought through information that’s posted on the template. Any changes in the project plan can also be documented in advance. Employing a template bridges the gap between stakeholders, planners and executioners, which in turn speeds up the project process.

Reinforces Existing Processes

A well designed project template is indeed a boon for the project and assists in executing the project management methodology well. Templates help in guiding the team to perform projects accurately and reproducibly successful way.

Moreover, when a template is used, project aspects are not missed frequently. Comprehensive information encompassing questions and checklists reminds the team of key queries they need to consider for every topic and enables them to explore every sphere of the project suitably.

Reduces Risks and Costs

Uploaded information on online project management software template enables a better repository of detailed and planned project, making it easy for the team to follow updates. Templates promote comprehensive project planning and communication between team and stakeholders. The written record allows project managers, team and stakeholders a descriptive process for the plan, removing errors that result in project failure.

Have you tried project templates yet?

When the team follows a specific method through the template, the project becomes successful due to proper project management methodology followed. The second advantage is that it can save on the cost of hiring a professional graphic designer.

Designing visual aids digitally is quite a tough task that needs services of an experienced graphic designer. However, by using these generic templates, you can save the cost that would otherwise be incurred in graphic designing.

So, Project templates not only cut back costs but also streamline the project lifecycle, focusing on task completion one at a time. Project managers can rely on templates for better functioning of the team and effective administering.

Since templates are available through open-source mediums, they are quite easy to get. Moreover, you can also buy a simple project management tool that has some stunning in-built project templates embedded in it.

Author Bio:

David is a technical writer, his works are regularly published in various papers and top-notch portals. His rich experience in Project management domain helps him offer latest and fresh perspective on improved efficiency in work flows across organizations. His informative works on similar lines can be reached out on ProProfs Project.


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