Project Management Tools is a collection of key project management templates. It is free of charge and can be used by companies in their own business and in-house training.
The toolbox provides a minimum set of templates needed to run a project successfully and a minimum necessary to maximize business benefits realization. It covers the entire project life-cycle from initiation and pre-study to project closing and the business as usual phase. We have applied the following principles when creating the templates:
1. Focus on business benefits realization: A business case for a project is often created in the pre-study phase and then forgotten. Project success is measured in terms of scope, schedule and budget, but business benefits realization is not followed-up. The approach we have used aims to avoid this problem. Business benefits realization is followed up through-out the project life-cycle. Realization of the targeted change is a criteria for closing the project. Business benefits realization follow-up continues after the end of the project.
2. Enable the project to be a needed part of the company’s success by providing the relevant information for the proper portfolio management decision-making: Consistency in Project Charter, Business Case, Standard Status reporting etc. have a key role in enabling the portfolio management decisions
3. Create a consistent package where templates complement each other: The Internet is full of excellent templates. A problem with them is that individual templates do not form a consistent package. Different templates may have overlapping information or gaps between them. Furthermore, terminology may vary from document to document. This template package has been created as a consistent and aligned entity. Together, the templates are like a puzzle. Each piece is needed to complete the project management.
4. Minimize the need to create separate presentation and planning documents and the need to enter the same information more than once: Do you want to make a puzzle with overlapping pieces? Project managers are often overwhelmed with the documentation requirements. We see that having the right documentation is critical for projects’ success, but duplicated effort should be avoided. The same information often needs to be entered into different documents in a slightly different format. This takes time and may result in out-of-date information since documents are being updated at different times. Our focus has been to create templates that minimize any duplicated, non-value adding documentation effort. For instance, instead of creating the project planning documents in Word and then presentation materials in PowerPoint, you can have all the content in PowerPoint. Word document and the work of maintaining same information in two documents is eliminated. As another example, the project manager can assemble the Project Kick-off material for a half/full day session by collecting the package from already existing materials. The Kick-off agenda is the only thing you have to create particularly for the kick-off. Handy, isn’t it?
These templates are valid for all project life cycle models, e.g. agile and traditional waterfall. For example, the project charter is the contract between the business owner and the project manager/team in all life-cycle models and the project schedule is the contract between the steering group and the project manager/team independent of the life-cycle model.
The table below summarizes the available document templates. Additionally, the table defines the project phase in which each of the documents should be created.
C: The phase when the document is first created or when the main part of the documentation is done
I: The phase when an initial version of the document is created. Standard document template is already used when creating the initial version
U: The phase(s) when a document created earlier is being updated
Dash: No actions in this phase
|Closing||Business as usual|
|Project pre-study plan template||C||–||–||–||–||–|
|Project pre-study report template||C||–||–||–||–||–|
|Project charter template||C||U||U||U||U||–|
|Project business case & budget template||C||U||U||U||U||U|
|Executive summary template||C||U||U||U||U||–|
|Risk management matrix template||C||U||U||U||U||–|
|Risk log template||C||U||U||U||U||–|
|Stakeholder list template||C||U||U||U||U||–|
|Communication plan template||C||U||U||U||–||–|
|Lessons learned template||C||U||U||U||U||–|
|Project management plan template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Project schedule template||I||C||U||U||U||–|
|Project summary template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Resource plan template||I||C||U||U||U||–|
|Project steering group presentation template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Steering group minutes template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Project status template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Training needs analysis template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Training plan template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Issue log template||–||C||U||U||U||–|
|Project kick-off template||–||C||–||–||–||–|
|Change impact analysis template||–||–||C||U||U||–|
|Project final report template||–||–||–||–||C||–|
These documents have been arranged into four categories based on the target audience and the usage of each document: 1) steering group/business owner, 2) project management, 3) change management and 4) content.
By utilizing the templates, you can avoid the effort needed to create or find your own templates. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Use them as much as possible and focus on the content. The project’s business owner is looking for business benefits, not the creation of custom templates. To help people to find the information that they need, please keep all the chapters included in the templates. Just write N/A in the chapters that the project does not need. N/A is also important information as it indicates that this item is not relevant to this project. We have intentionally used PowerPoint as a file format, wherever possible to avoid the creation of separate presentation material.
Through this document package, our intention has been to help companies in their efforts to achieve business benefits realization and project managers and their team to focus on essential documentation and minimize unnecessary effort. We continue to develop and add templates to this package. If you find that a key document is missing or if you have suggestions on the document content, let us know so that we can improve the package.
Wishing you success in your projects
Heikki J. Mattila & Ilkka Töyrylä, Midagon Ltd.
Together, Heikki and Ilkka have over 50 years of project management experience in major global companies. Heikki has been the main contributor and developer in Nokia’s project management methodology creation. The methodology has since been widely adopted by many of the largest companies in Finland. Ilkka has experience in managing over 100 projects at Midagon, Accenture and Nokia. In 2013, his project was awarded as the ICT project of the year, 2013 in Finland.