A template is a pre-defined design and layout that you can use without customizations. A project template is a document that defines what a project should look like. It is used to capture the structure and content of the existing projects. It can be used to speed up the new project creation process and standardize the project lifecycle processes. It is usually created by the project administrators and can be reused as many times as needed.
What Is a Project Template?
The project template is the document that creates the high-standard format of the project. Usually, it contains all the essential elements common in most projects, such as the stakeholders, scope, timelines, estimated cost, processes, and communication method. The project manager fills in the information according to each project. It may or may not contain the content of the project.
The Benefits of a Project Template
There are many benefits of using the project template, some of which are as follows:
- It helps in standardizing the project management process. When there are so many documents, the project team may find it difficult to collect all the required data, so it is better to define the major structure for each project in a single document to make the information more accessible.
- It enhances communication. When the project team has a project template, they can use it to determine if the project is progressing as expected or not. If not, what things need to be improved?
- The project template defines the priorities someone or some task has over others. It clearly defines the roles of each team member so that there are no conflicts.
- It helps deliver the project on time without sacrificing its quality.
- It saves time that the project administrators spend creating a whole new document for each new project.
Types of Project Templates
There are four major types of project templates based on the objective of the project:
1. Task-Focused Template
Best suited for small projects, it defines how different small tasks can be completed. It is just a guideline to accomplish the milestones.
2. Schedule-Focused Template
A schedule-focused template divides a large project into small phases. All the tasks related to the project are divided into milestones. The size of each phase depends upon the size of the project.
3. Timeline-Focused Template
In this type of template, the timelines for high-level tasks are defined. Unlike other types, it does not focus on individual tasks. It can be used for large projects.
4. Gantt-Chart Focused Template
This template visualizes the project’s progress by a bar chart. It shows it by time or by the project member. It is useful for all types of projects.
How to Create a Project Template?
A project template can be created by following a few simple steps:
1. Choose an Application
Choose a software application to create your project plan easily and be accessible to all the project members.
2. Define the Timelines
Create a schedule based on the tasks that you want to complete. Define when a task would be started and when it should be completed.
3. Categorize Tasks
Define different categories for each task. Try to use different colors to mention the tasks in different categories.
4. Explain the Processes
Explain the processes that you will be following during the project execution. Try to use the visuals and images for better depiction.
5. Display the Summary of your Project Plan
Try to explain your project plan briefly.
6. Status Report
The status report helps you identify and communicate the issues and problems with other stakeholders.