This article will briefly discuss:
- the benefits of using project management templates;
- phases of project management;
- how to use project management templates in the different phases;
- project management software to help projects run smoothly; and
- free digital project management templates which you can use from a project’s start to finish
Why use project management templates?
Project management templates have been aiding project leads in every business field to manage their projects better. These tools help them avoid pitfalls in project management, such as poor project planning, weak resource management, and ineffective communication, which cause almost two-thirds of projects to fail.
Further, project management templates help leads achieve the following for their projects:
Improve communication at every level of management
Communication may sound elementary, but it is arguably the most important project management element that many lacks. In fact, 28% of a web survey involving more than 1,000 respondents cited poor communications as the top cause of project failure. Having project management templates allows leads to account for all the communication requirements of a project and plan for a communication strategy that encourages collaboration among all levels of the project team.
Precisely scope projects and allocate the right resources
Poor resource allocation, or the process of assigning and scheduling the best available project resources, is cited to be the second most frequent cause of project failures. With a project management template (e.g. project charter template), it is easier to have a uniformed process of scoping projects across an organization and ensuring that the right resources are identified and allocated before starting a project.
Save time and achieve project milestones on time
The initial project setup can be time-consuming, especially if project managers have to always create project management plan templates for every new venture. The availability of project management templates can significantly help improve efficiency from the get-go by eliminating the extensive amount of time to think about what or what should not be included in the template.
Project managers know that all projects have risks, (e.g. delays, schedule conflicts, emergencies, fortuitous events, and client reviews), but also recognize that they have to be identified and managed so that their negative impact on the project will be minimized. A project risk management template, for an instance, can help guide leads to know where to immediately look at, assess the level of an identified risk, and assign it to a responsible person who can be accountable for it.
Reinforce the need for documented processes
Utilizing a project management template underpins the need to have a process that is well-documented and archived. Having secured data readily available at any time can be essential for the success of current and future projects. The template can hold all relevant information that interested parties can easily access and refer to help deliver their projects successfully.
5 Phases of Project Management
The Project Management Institute (PMI) have originally developed five phases of project management:
Project Initiation Phase
A project is formally started, named, and defined at a broad level during this phase. Project sponsors and other important stakeholders due diligently decide whether or not to commit to a project. Depending on the nature of the project, feasibility studies are conducted. Or, as it may require, in an IT project – requirement gathering and analysis are performed in this phase. In the construction industry, a project charter is completed in this phase.
Project Planning Phase
This phase kickstarts the creation of a project management plan, which accounts for the cost, scope, duration, quality, communication, risk, and resources necessary for a project. Some processes that are often completed during this stage are the development of Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), the definition of deliverables and tasks, milestone charts, and modes of communication.
Project Execution Phase
This is when a project deliverable is developed and completed, adhering to a mapped-out plan. Majority of tasks during this phase capture project metrics through tasks like status meetings and project status updates, other status reports, human resource needs, and performance reports.
Project Monitoring and Control Phase
Occurring at the same time as the execution phase, this one mostly deals with measuring the project performance and progression in accordance with the project plan. Scope verification and control occur to check and monitor for scope creep, and change of control to track and manage changes to project requirements. Calculating key performance indicators for cost and time are done to measure the degree of variation if any, and in which case corrective measures are determined and suggested to keep a project on track.
Project Closure Phase
A project is formally closed. It includes a series of important tasks such as delivering the product, relieving resources, rewarding team members, and formal termination of contractors in case they were employed on the project.
What is iAuditor and how can I use it for efficient project management?
Traditional project management checklists printed on paper take up plenty of space, are susceptible to damage and loss, and worse, may be accessed by unauthorized personnel. With iAuditor by SafetyCulture, project managers can easily create, customize, and share digital project management templates to the rest of the project team—all within just a few taps. With the iAuditor project management software, you can:
- Download ready-to-use project management pdf and templates, convert your paper template into iAuditor’s digital format via smartscan, or create your own with Smart Forms
- Access your project management templates through your iOS or Android mobile device and desktop and edit data even while offline
- capture, annotate, and attach photos to your project management templates for easy reference
- automatically generate a professional project management report and digitally share it with key stakeholders to facilitate efficient communication for decision-making; and
- enjoy unlimited cloud storage for data safekeeping and easy access.
Featured Project Management Templates
Project Status Report
his project status report template, sometimes called project progress report, can be used regularly to track the progress of a business project. This template can be used by project managers and inspectors to document status on project performance areas: time, quality and budget, and determine roadblocks along the way. The template was converted using iAuditor and can serve as a guide for inspectors to perform the following:
- Provide details on the project performance areas if the current status was behind, slipping or on track;
- Document roadblocks, risks and potential hazards identified;
- Create a summary of the project status by providing a completion rate: 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%;
- Validate audit by affixing a digital signature;
- After conducting all project status reports, you can export all your audits as CSV and then transfer data in a separate sheet to have an overview of the project.
Project Audit Questionnaire
A project audit questionnaire is used as part of a project audit to interview project team members to identify concerns, challenges and opportunities related to the project. Conduct the interview by capturing the following information:
- Gather general feedback on the project including understanding of objectives, senior communication, collaboration and safety (if required)
- Ask questions related to concerns of the overall project and challenges faced in daily work
- Ask the team member to identify opportunities for improvement within their role or others
- Provide any additional notes and takeaways from the interview
- Gather signature from the project team member
Project Closure Checklist
A project closure checklist is a detailed document prepared by project managers to assess the success of the project. Use this template to gather information and share a report with business sponsors when formally closing the project.
Project Risk Management Template
This Project Risk Management Template can be used to monitor risk management activities throughout the project. Identify the risks, likelihood, and consequences. Record how risks will impact the project. Identify the symptoms, triggers, strategy, and contingency plan to eliminate the risk. This template uses iAuditor’s Dynamic Field to allow you to ask recurring questions. Generate comprehensive reports and highlight the current status of risks with iAuditor.