The Project Management Office
Project Plan Template
The Project Management Plan is central to PMBOK project management. We suggest you start with this template then use subsidiary management plans to further build out your project plan.Go to Template...
Templates Organized by Process Group
Project Charter Template
Every successful project starts with a good Project Charter. We have two Project Charter templates available, a short one page version and a longer more comprehensive version.Go to Template...
Business Case Template
Before starting a project many organizations require a formal business case to be developed. Our business case template will help you to get started.
This week we've put together a list of tips for conducting effective project meetings. These tips will help you avoid the pitfalls of a long and unproductive meeting.Before the Meeting Takes Place:
- Meeting Objective - All project meetings should have a clearly stated objective of what is to be achieved. This objective should be included in the agenda and re-stated at the beginning of the meeting.
- Time Considerations - The meeting should be planned for enough time to achieve the objective but not so long that participants lose interest. An hour or less is generally ideal. For anything more than an hour, the project manager should strongly consider breaking the discussion up into two or more meetings.
In this week’s blog we have compiled a list of what we believe are the Project Management Body of Knowledge’s (PMBOK) seven most critical project management templates. Each of these templates represents an important part of an effective and integrated project plan.
- Project Charter – The project charter can be considered the foundation of a project. A completed and signed project charter establishes the authority to begin a project to address a business need that has been identified. Great care and detail should go into the creation of a charter because of its importance. If you sacrifice quality with the project charter, your project performance and deliverables will almost surely suffer. Click Here to Download Our Project Charter Template.
- Project Management Plan - If the project charter is the foundation of a project, the project management plan is its core. The project management plan is important because it is an integrated framework which includes the management plans from all of the project management knowledge areas. It ties these management plans together into a collective whole which is then used to manage the project through to completion. Click Here to Download Our Project Management Plan Template.
Project Management has come a long way in recent years turning a loosely-tied community of practitioners into a growing and thriving industry through governing and certifying organizations like Project Management Institute (PMI), and others. Today’s project manager can benefit from training and knowledge sharing through these organizations and their members across the industry. Project managers enter the field with much stronger preparation and training than in years past. However, as we all understand, formal training, while beneficial, cannot fully substitute for years of experience. This is true in most professional fields and project management is no exception. While there are no shortages of tricks of the trade from experienced practitioners, these tips provide both new and experienced project managers opportunities to look outside of their formal training toward more effective project management.
In the 1980s action-adventure television series The A-Team, one of Colonel Hannibal Smith’s most enduring and oft-repeated lines was “I love it when a plan comes together!” This project management insight for the ages, while seeming simple, is deeply insightful. Hannibal’s series career was a never ending string of serious challenges. Hannibal, however, always had a plan. Hannibal’s plans always worked. However, as another series character, reporter Amy Allen put it, “Hannibal’s plans never work right. They just work.”
Hannibal’s series writer may have been a student of former U. S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s management philosophy. A former general and the visionary of the United States’ system of interstate highways, Eisenhower is quoted decades before Hannibal as having said “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”
Seemingly paradoxical, isn’t it?
Today it seems that everyone has an idea for a monster web site or product that will be “the next big thing.” Many of those that don’t are in the business of developing sites for those who do. In today’s economy more people than ever are entrepreneurs of all sorts, whether envisioning web sites, starting or expanding businesses, or any of thousands of other things. What they have in common is that they are in fact (perhaps unbeknownst to themselves) project managers. Bill Gates wasn’t too far off the mark when decades ago he predicted that one day grandmothers would often be software developers or at least hire them.
Proven time and again, their projects, like all projects in organizations of every size, often end in failure. A project that initially seems to have a clear path to success turns out, amazingly, to be a twisted road with ice and ravines at every turn. In business, lose-lose propositions, though all too common, can be disastrous for all involved. Failure can be in totally wasted funds and even total business failure. In short, these failures can end in lost dreams.