This week we've decided to share what we consider our top seven project management templates and the reasons why we consider them as such. These are what we consider the core documents required for project management. Of course we start with the Project Charter - as there is no project without an actual signed Project Charter. Then we selected the Project Management Plan as it's the core document for managing the project. After that we selected four templates which we feel are important parts of the project plan. Finally, we included the Lessons Learned template because it is often overlooked but is important to improving the success of future projects.
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.
- Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) - Projects have the potential to be very large and very complex. Because of this it is useful to have a tool to break project work down into manageable pieces. This is why the WBS is so important. The WBS allows the project manager and team to break work down into smaller work packages. Each work package can then be viewed as a mini scope statement and managed as such to ensure completion of all project work. Click Here to Download Our WBS Template.
- Communications Management Plan - Communication is arguably the most important and most difficult project knowledge area to plan and execute. The key to any successful project is effective communication. As such, a detailed management plan is needed to ensure effective communication occurs throughout the project lifecycle. The importance of the communications management plan cannot be overstated. Click Here to Download Our Communications Management Plan Template.
- Scope Management Plan - One of the most common causes of project failure is scope creep. If scope is not carefully managed, it can and will get away from a project manager in a hurry. Without a deliberate scope management plan, project stakeholders, with varying influence and interests, will try adding or changing requirements and deliverables which may no longer meet the intent of the original project charter. Click Here to Download Our Scope Management Plan Template.
- Risk Management Plan - Everyone understands that project risks must be prevented, avoided, or mitigated. However, before any of these actions occur, risks must be identified. The risk management plan is important because it spells out how risks will be identified and documented. It also lays out the processes for how risks will be categorized and handled. Without this plan many risks will not be identified until it is too late to take action. Click Here to Download Our Risk Management Plan Template.
- Lessons Learned - We have heard it over and over again: organizations strive for continuous improvement. But how many of these same organizations ignore one of the key components of improvement? Lessons learned are one of the most critical, and often overlooked, project documents. Lessons learned should be completed at the end of a project, reviewed by the project manager, team, and stakeholders, and archived for use in future projects. By doing this, organizations can take advantage of this key tool in adding to the future success of the organization and its projects. Click Here to Download Our Lessons Learned Template.