Project Management

Are Templates Harming Your Project?

Central Ohio Chapter

Kimberly McCoy is a project manager in Zanesville, Ohio.

We all know how templates can help us in our jobs. The amount of time a template saves us from building documentation from scratch allows us to do other tasks for the project, which is probably the biggest advantage. Another reason could be the uniformity they can provide within a PMO—or just for the project manager as they progress through a project.

Everyone has their own personal reasons about why they love using templates, but have you ever considered that your templates could be harming your project? If I asked you to look back at the majority of your projects—at the templates you use time and time again—were they always successful?

The answer, I would expect, would be “no.” That’s because templates, similar to projects, need to fit with the purpose of what you are trying to accomplish. This means that templates need to be adapted to situations and changes just like a project.

Potential Risks
Templates are very similar to projects—you have to adapt each one, as they are not one-size-fits-all solutions.

Without thinking of the considerations below, you might be spending more time than necessary trying to ensure that you are communicating well with the project group, making sure things are properly documented, or even trying to make sure you have captured all the information needed to kick off the project.

1. Audience…

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"More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly."

- Woody Allen