Project Management

Too Many Templates

Dr. Andrew Makar is an IT program manager and is the author of the Microsoft Project Made Easy series. For more project management advice, visit the website

Does your project management methodology hinder rather than enable project delivery? At first glance, this question may offend rather than provoke critical thought. After all, a PM methodology is supposed to ensure work is completed using a disciplined, proven set of processes to ensure consistent and reliable project results.
If a PM methodology is supposed to enable project delivery, why are PMs bogged down with documentation for every single step, process and procedure in the methodology? It can often feel like the PM is spending more effort managing the administrative documentation instead of managing the day to day risks, issues and schedule delays.
As project managers, I’m sure all of you have seen various methodologies to initiate, plan, execute, control and close your projects. I’ve had the pleasure of managing a variety of projects in different Fortune 500 manufacturing firms. Each firm had a different methodology tailored to their organization, although they all had a foundation from the PMBOK. In order to complete the planning phase in one organization, the project manager was required to complete 16 documents. In another organization, the planning phase required 25 documents. It makes you wonder if delivering the project is an exercise in filling out paperwork or actually delivering the project scope for the business partner.

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